Boeing / EADS
10:26 am
Mon February 21, 2011

Boeing, EADS, press every angle in high-stakes contest for air tanker

Five F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and a KC-135 Stratotanker in silhouette during an aerial refueling operation over MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. in 1998. The KC-135 is the aircraft in question in an impending announcement by the Pentagon.

In a matter of weeks - if not days - the Pentagon will announce whether Chicago-based Boeing Co. or European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company will build 179 new tankers to replace the Air Force's Eisenhower-era KC-135 planes.

It's a $35 billion contract to build nearly 200 giant airborne refueling tankers. And the decade-long brawl by two defense industry titans to win it has been just as epic.

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