Personally, I hope Boeing gets the contract. I’m a Washingtonian now, and the state has already taken a hit because Boeing decided to move a second production line for the 787 to South Carolina. It will be better for Washington if the new tanker is built here – and I know of at least one Doper who works at Boeing.
I also think that one should use the right tool for the mission. I don’t drive my Jeep to Seattle. In fact, it hardly gets used anymore. The Toyota is more suited to my needs. Unless it’s snowing or I need to tow something. Then the Jeep is the right tool for the mission. So why have the extra capacity of the Airbus when the mission doesn’t call for it? And apparently there will be a separate contract for the KC-10. They can try for that one.
Boeing is an American company. Northrop-Grumman would partner with the French/German/Spanish consortium of EADS. Now, I’m not a nationalist. But with the economy the way it is, I’d rather not share profits with an offshore consortium. Let’s keep the money here, at least for a while.
Boeing has a lot of experience building tankers. Northrop-Grumman and Airbus build fine aircraft. Some of my favourite aircraft are Grummans. Heck my first logged hours were in a Grumman. But I like Boeing’s track record with tankers and transport aircraft.
So: A Boeing contract would keep jobs in Washington, where I now live. The profits would stay within an American company. Boeing has a good track record with the type.
What do you think about the tanker contract?