“After numerous attempts to resolve concerns within the procurement process, Boeing has informed the Air Force that it will not bid for Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Engineering (GBSD) and Manufacturing Development (EMD) under the current acquisition approach,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve evaluated these issues extensively, and determined that the current acquisition approach does not provide a level playing field for fair competition.”
Boeing’s decision to remove itself from the race will leave only one remaining contender – Northrop Grumman. According to DefenseNews, Boeing had concerns the bidding process gave an unfair advantage to Northrop Grumman.
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The winner of the contract would be tasked with replacing the country’s land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as Minuteman III. The value of the project is estimated at $85 billion, as reported by multiple media outlets.
In a statement released earlier this month, the Air Force said it expected to award the job to the company that provides “the best overall value to the warfighter and taxpayer.”
The Air Force was expected to begin production next year – awarding the contract in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Boeing did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.
During the company’s second-quarter earnings call, CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company was “focused on leveraging our work to date on GBSD to help deliver this essential national security capability.”
The Pentagon is under fire for another lucrative cloud contract – the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract – where companies and lawmakers have voiced concerns about the procurement process potentially being anticompetitive. President Trump said during a briefing with reporters last week that he was receiving “tremendous” complaints about the bidding race – specifically where Amazon is concerned. There have been qualms over alleged connections between Department of Defense and Amazon employees.
Meanwhile, Boeing is still reeling from the grounding of its 737 Max aircraft – two of which were involved in fatal crashes. The company reported its worst ever quarterly loss on Wednesday – $2.9 billion – adding that losses could continue to mount.