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Northrop says it won't bid on air tanker competition

Northrop Grumman said Tuesday that that it won't bid on a $35 billion U.S. Air Force tanker contract unless significant changes are made in the competition.

A draft request for proposal clearly prefers a smaller aircraft, Northrop president Wes Bush said in a letter to Ashton Carter, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

It also places unacceptable contractual and financial burdens on the company, Bush said.

"Absent a responsive set of changes in the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it cannot submit a bid to the Department for the KC-X program," he said in the letter.

Northrop Grumman said its offering, an Airbus A330, would provide the best capability for the Air Force.

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