Lawmakers Rally for Air Force Refueling Station Contract


Boeing is teaming up with Pratt & Whitney and several other Connecticut manufacturers that hope to secure the bid to secure the contract to build the next aerial refueling tanker for the U.S. Air Force.

On Friday, the company submitted its bid and, if awarded, it would mean millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs for the state.

“We need jobs in America. We need things that are made by Americans. We need them built in America by the best companies in the world,” U.S. Rep. John Larson said.

Larson and several other Congress members celebrated Boeing’s NewGen Tanker at the Pratt & Whitney Museum in East Hartford on Friday. The multi-mission aircraft is built with a Pratt & Whitney engine.

“This would mean new engines that are built in Connecticut, jobs for Connecticut workers and suppliers and $339 million of annual economic impact,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said.

Boeing has enlisted the help of six Connecticut manufacturers to build critical components for the tanker.

Boeing’s only competition is the European Airbus tanker. Last week, the World Trade Organization ruled that the European Union paid illegal subsidies to the plane maker in its battle with Boeing.

Larson, DeLauro and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney said it’s all the more reason for the Air Force to choose Boeing in the heated competition.

“Now is not the time for the government to make a decision that would cost so many American jobs,” DeLauro said.

The U.S. Air Force is expected to award the refueling contract on Nov. 12.

Rell said the project would have major implications for national defense and the state’s aerospace industry.

“Work for more than 250 Connecticut companies – 253, to be exact – and $339 million in annual economic impact for this state alone depend on the success of this project,” Rell said after a news conference at the National Governors Association Meeting in Boston.

You can see video of the tanker here

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