The US government filed a claim against Boeing in federal court on Tuesday, saying that the company unlawfully overcharged the Air Force by $7.5 million for the towed decoy systems used on the B-1B bomber. Bloomberg News wire service reported yesterday (via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) that the government contends that Boeing failed to disclose during contract negotiations that it was outsourcing components for the decoy system, which is designed to divert missile threats away from the bomber. Had the Air Force known this, it would have negotiated a lower price, according to the news service. Boeing has denied any wrongdoing. According to a separate Associated Press report (via the International Herald Tribune), the Air Force paid a total of $36 million for 57 decoy kits.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.