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Congressman says tanker contract won’t be split

TACOMA, Wash. — Congressman Norm Dicks says a proposal to split an air tanker contract is dead.

Dicks told The News Tribune of Tacoma that a key congressman, John Murtha of Pennsylvania, has agreed not to split the contract between Boeing and a European competitor.

The Air Force spending is part of a bill being considered by the House Appropriations Committee. The tanker contract for 179 planes is worth $35 billion.

Boeing proposes a plane based on the 767. A Northrop Grumman-EADS team would use an Airbus plane.

Boeing lost a contract in 2003 in an ethics scandal. A contract awarded to Northrop-EADS last year was overturned after the Government Accountability Office concluded the Air Force unfairly penalized Boeing’s smaller plane.

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