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Last updated 4:56AM ET
February 26, 2021
Air Force Chief: Tanker Project Will Be Delayed
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The outgoing civilian chief of the Air Force says an audit agency's recommendation that the service reopen bidding on a contract to build a new generation of aerial refueling planes almost certainly means the Air Force will fail to put the planes into service starting in 2013.

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne made the comments Friday (6/20). He also noted that Northrop has put off groundbreaking for two facilities that would build the aircraft.

On his final day in office, Wynne said he was disappointed by the review conducted by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO found ''a number of significant errors'' in the Air Force's February decision to award the $35 billion contract to Northrop Grumman and its European partner. Boeing, the loser in the bidding, protested to the GAO.

Wynne was ousted two weeks ago by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, along with Air Force General Michael Moseley.

Wynne said the Air Force would seek clarifications of the GAO ruling before it proceeds with a new competition.

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