Aerospace & Defense News - Defense Europe.

New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Aerospace & Defense News - Defense Europe) Nov 28, 2010

Airbus, EADS, Northrop Grumman The US Air Force has acknowledged extending the evaluation process on the KC-X tanker competition into early next year amid new upheavals caused by political changes and a major procedural gaffe. The Republican Party's takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2 November election changes the political context of the highly charged competition to replace the Boeing KC-135 tanker fleet with either a Boeing KC-767 or an Airbus A330-200 derivative offered by EADS North America. Represenative Norm Dicks, a Washington-based Democrat and staunch Boeing partisan, loses chairmanship of the powerful defence appropriations committee, becoming the minority leader. Meanwhile, Representative Todd Tiahrt, another key Boeing ally from Kansas, lost his seat in the House after a failed bid for a Senate seat. EADS North America chief executive Sean O'Keefe, who publicly discussed KC-X on 22 November for the first time since surviving an aircraft crash in Alaska four months ago, says the Republican takeover of the House is a positive signal for the Airbus tanker bid. Meanwhile, O'Keefe declines to rule out the possibility...

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