Sessions on EADS and the tanker
“The Pentagon should be delighted by today’s announcement from EADS. Just a few weeks ago, this major acquisition program was headed toward a sole-source selection process, despite an unequivocal Congressional mandate for competition. EADS’ bold decision to bid alone salvages that competition, and should be music to the ears of taxpayers and the men and women in uniform who will depend on this aircraft for decades to come. Compared to a sole-source deal that clearly undermines competition and would result in an inferior aircraft being provided to our war fighters, a true competition is far more likely to produce an aircraft with better capabilities at a lower price.
“The EADS team is clearly confident that they can submit a competitive proposal and are justifiably proud of the plane they can build for the Air Force. To continue this procurement without considering that aircraft—which overwhelmingly won when this process was conducted under the Air Force’s original rules—would have been a tragic mistake. Air Force officials have repeatedly stated a need for a multi-role, transformational aircraft that can support military activities around the globe, and we know from the previous evaluation that the EADS aircraft is best equipped to satisfy those demands.
“Although this contest appears to now have two participants, it will not be a true competition until it is conducted on a level playing field. Serious concerns still remain regarding the fairness of the Pentagon’s RFP, which was dramatically altered in ways that clearly favor one side over the other. I will continue to encourage senior Department of Defense officials to address those concerns. Ensuring that every aspect of the process is conducted properly will send a strong message that the Pentagon is serious about selecting the best aircraft for the military and the taxpayer.”