Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has included the tanker replacement as a priority in his budget recommendations this month and has said he hopes to reopen the bidding this summer.Lawmakers such as Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., has proposed a dual tanker buy, a split between the two companies. But Gates opposes the idea.
The KC-X tanker would replace the aging KC-135 fleet. But, the program has faced serious delays and other problems.
If Northrop-Grumman/EADS does win the contract, the tankers would be assembled in Mobile.