National

Dec 1, 2009 6:10 PM by Joshua Freed

Northrop will drop out of tanker competition

Defense company Northrop Grumman says it will drop out of the running for a major Air Force tanker project valued at $35 billion unless the government changes its request for bids.

Northrop Grumman President and Chief Operating Officer Wes Bush wrote to the Pentagon saying the company cannot accept the financial burdens included in the government's request for proposals. The letter leaves the door open for Northrop Grumman to bid on the tanker if the Defense Department changes the way the bidding is set up.

Northrop and Boeing Co. have been fighting over the tanker contract for more than five years. The Pentagon has tried and failed twice to award a contract to replace its old tankers that refuel military planes in flight.

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