KC-135 Stratotanker

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.