U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby has placed a blanket hold on all of the Obama administration nominees as a means of drawing attention to the Air Force tanker competition.
Shelby, R-Ala., says the Air Force needs to make substantial changes to its aerial refueling tanker contest between the Boeing Co. and duo Northrop Grumman and EADS.
Northrop, which would build tankers in Mobile, Ala., has threatened to drop out of the $35 billion contest unless the Air Force alters its requirements when it releases the final draft this month. Northrop believes the requirements favor Boeing’s smaller KC-767 tanker, based off the Everett-built 767 jet.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently told members of Congress that the Air Force will proceed with the tanker contest even if Boeing is the sole bidder.