Boeing has been awarded the contract for 179 KC-X tankers.
What are the ramifications?
Is this contest over?
As we noted in a previous post, not necessarily. A protest can follow. EADS has said it won’t unless it finds something “egregious” in the process, which it has commended so far. But don’t consider it a given that EADS won’t find reason to protest. Still, we think it unlikely based on what we know today.
Why wouldn’t EADS protest?
EADS sorely wants the contract. It would be a huge boost toward its goal of reaching $10bn a year in Pentagon contracts, from $1.5bn today. But by competing for the KC-X contract at the Pentagon’s request to do so, it built up a lot of good will for future contracts. There would be little to gain from a protest.
Will Congress go along? There is a strong EADS contingent.
That’s all it is, a contingent. There aren’t enough EADS supporters to force a reversal. They still could block an award, but if EADS doesn’t put up a fight, it’s unlikely they will, either.
The timeline of what’s next is listed in this post. As the cliche goes, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”