Ukraine-U.S. Team Submits Tanker Bid

WASHINGTON, DC -- A dark-horse candidate submitted a bid by Friday's deadline for the lucrative Air Force contract to build 179 aerial refueling tankers, making what had long been considered a duel between Boeing Co. and EADS North America a three-way competition.

The world's largest aircraft - Antonov 225.

California-based U.S. Aerospace Inc. teamed up with the Ukranian aerospace firm Antonov to offer a tanker at a cost of $150 million per plane.

The total bid comes to $29.6 billion, including research and development costs, according to a U.S. Aerospace statement.

"We are proud to be participating in the largest military contract bid in history," said U.S. Aerospace director Michael L Goldberg. "We are pleased to be executing on our aerospace business plan focusing on expanding our company's sales and manufacturing capabilities."

The aircraft components would be built by Antonov in Ukraine with final assembly of the planes by U.S. Aerospace in the United States.

The team had asked the Pentagon to extend the deadline for responses to the request for proposals to give them more time to assemble their detailed bid, but that request was denied.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon extended the bid deadline by 60 days after EADS asked for more time. A contract decision is expected in the fall.

Source: Congress Daily