In this artist's depiction provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., a KC-45A refuels a B-2 stealth bomber. The Air Force, Feb. 29, 2007, awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. and a European partner a $35 billion contract to build the airborne refueling planes in one of the biggest Pentagon contracts in decades. The unexpected decision has sparked outrage from union halls to the halls of Congress over the impact on U.S. jobs, prestige and national security. (AP Photo/Northrop Grumman Corp) ** NO SALES **
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Pentagon has opened a second round of
bidding between Northrop Grumman Corporation and Boeing Company for a disputed $35 billion Air Force contract.
A revised request for proposals has been issued for a new aerial refueling tanker meant to replace the Air Force's current fleet
that date back to the 1950s.
The team of Northrop and Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company won the original deal, but Boeing, which operations in Wichita, Kansas, protested and won after a government
review found ``significant errors'' in the Air Force's decision.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates later said he would reopen bidding.
A new decision is expected by the end of the year.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)