As Aviation Week reported two weeks ago - and the Washington Post and other publications reported today - Boeing might drop its re-bid for the Air Force KC-X refueling tanker project if it isn't given more time to revise a proposal.
Boeing spokesman Dan Beck said the company needs six months to put together a new bid because it thinks the Air Force has changed the requirements and is now asking for a plane that can carry more fuel. Beck said the four additional months are needed to do further price analysis and engineering work to propose a different plane.
If the Pentagon doesn't grant more time, Beck said "one of the options we would seriously consider is that we would possibly" not bid at all.
Actually, that sounds like an empty threat from a military contractor willing to do most anything for an edge. The nation's No. 2 contractor is not going to bid on a potential $100 million deal to build a newer version of a plane it already produces? Sure, it never paid bribes and gave kickbacks to sell its commercial jets, either.
Sen. Patty Murray, whose pork-driven meddling helped Boeing loose the original tanker bid in a 2004 political and criminal scandal, is as usual blaming the Defense Department rather than the Lazy B: "Congress insisted on having a [tanker] competition," she told the P-I a few weeks back, "and if the [request for proposals] from the Pentagon has changed so dramatically that a competitor dropped out, it would not be viewed very well in Congress."
The irony is that Boeing may have lost out to Airbus/Grumman in the first re-bid because the Pentagon indeed failed to fairly weigh Boeing's proposal. Apparently, the way Boeing, Murray, as well as Rep. Norm Dicks play the game, it was okay to win when cheating in 2004, but not lose when being cheated in 2008.