WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Connecticut's congressional delegation have formally requested a briefing with the Air Force over its award of a $35 billion refueling tanker contract that would have meant more business for the state's aerospace contractors.
The Air Force, last week, awarded the contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. and the European-based maker of Airbus planes instead of Boeing Co. Had Boeing won, East Hartford-based Pratt & Whitney would have built the engines for the fleet of nearly 600 tankers and Windsor Locks-based Hamilton Sundstrand would have worked on the electrical systems.
In a letter Wednesday to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, the lawmakers expressed concern that the award did not consider the U.S. jobs that would be affected. They also said the Air Force did not take into account the subsidies from European governments to its aerospace industry, which puts the U.S. contractors at a disadvantage.
But speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, Wynne told lawmakers the plan offered by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. and its U.S. partner, Northrop Grumman Corp ''was clearly a better performer.''
The letter to Wynne was signed by U.S. Reps. Christopher Shays, Rosa DeLauro, John Larson, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy.