US tries to fix tanker mix-up with Boeing, EADS
WASHINGTON: The US Air Force said it has tried to correct an embarrassing mixup that sent the wrong data to aerospace rivals bidding on the lucrative contract for a new aerial refueling tanker.
After having sent technical analyses to the wrong companies, the Air Force reportedly learned that one of the firms, EADS, had opened a computer file with information about the bid of its rival, Boeing.
As a result, the Air Force decided to resend each company the other?s information and allowed them to review it.
"Air Force officials have analyzed the information that was actually accessed by one of the offerors and have taken steps to ensure that both competitors have equal access to this information," the Air Force said in a statement.
The move was first reported by the New York Times on Wednesday, with an official saying forensic investigators that inspected computers from both companies concluded that an EADS worker had opened a file with details of how Boeing's proposal performed in a technical evaluation.
The Air Force insisted it would ensure "a level playing field" in the hard-fought contest but Boeing expressed concern over the episode, leaving open the possibility of an eventual formal protest.
The incident "is a concern for us," said Dennis Muilenburg, president and chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. -Ap