WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Air Force is poised to award one of the biggest contracts in military history -- a $35 billion deal to build nearly 200 giant airborne refueling tankers. The rival companies are Chicago-based Boeing Co. and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co.
The decision will be announced at the Pentagon after the financial markets close on Thursday. It is certain to set off celebrations in the states where the tanker will be manufactured.
If Boeing wins, production would occur in Everett, Wash., Wichita, Kan., and in cities in several other states. If EADS wins, the tanker would be assembled in Mobile, Ala. The two companies say that, either way, some 50,000 jobs would be created.
The losing states -- and their lawmakers -- will weigh any challenge to the decision.