Proprietary Concerns

Northrop Grumman Spokesman Randy Belote on Wednesday reiterated the company’s stance that it is a “significant disadvantage” in the current KC-X tanker contest since the Defense Department released pricing information on Northrop’s tanker bid to rival Boeing during the previous KC-X round. Contrary to the government’s assertion, Belote said these pricing data are not outdated, and federal regulations “expressly preclude” the Pentagon from revealing them. Boeing, Belote asserted, was provided with the actual bid prices for the proposed system development aircraft as well as the production units. He said Northrop is “interested in working with our customer on resolving this” but noted that the company is considering a “number of options,” ranging from a FOIA request for Boeing’s pricing data from the previous round to outright litigation. “Obviously, that would be of great interest to us,” he said when asked if receiving Boeing’s data would resolve the matter.