The company's tanker won in the areas of capability, price, aerial refueling assessment and past performance, Los Angeles- based Northrop said in an e-mailed statement today, citing a briefing from the Air Force. The fifth area considered was proposal risk, and Northrop didn't comment on that category in the statement.
Northrop and its partner European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. won the award over Boeing Co., which built the current fleet of Air Force tankers used to refuel fighters and bombers in flight since 1956. Chicago-based Boeing said today it has "serious concerns" over inconsistency in requirements and cost factors in the competition, and is considering protesting the decision.
Northrop fell 47 cents to $78.54 at 3:13 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Boeing dropped $1.96, or 2.6 percent, to $74.64. The largest U.S. defense companies are Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp., and Boeing.