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Miss. Officials Disgusted Over Loss Of Tanker Contract

Tue, 03/09/2010 - 3:38am

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi officials expressed both disappointment and disgust with a Pentagon process that prompted Northrop Grumman Corp. to drop out of the competition for an Air Force refueling tanker contract.

The Northrop proposal had set off a celebration along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Mobile, Ala., area, where some 2,000 jobs would be created to help build the aircraft.

But the large design of the Northrop tanker fell out of favor over the past two years as rival Boeing Co. kept up the pressure for its own smaller model. The Defense Department redid the contract's specifications and Northrop Grumman announced Monday that it won't compete, leaving Boeing the lone bidder.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says the lack of competition was unfair to the military and the taxpayers.

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