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EADS will not challenge Boeing tanker contract

A controversial US Air Force aerial tanker deal - which was given to the US giant Boeing last month - is now finally settled. EADS, Boeing's European rival, has said it won't challenge the US decision in court.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer receiving fuel from a KC-135R

EADS put billions into its campaign for the tanker deal

European aerospace giant EADS said Friday it would not seek reversal of a US Air Force decision to award a major tanker contract to US rival Boeing.

"EADS North America has decided not to protest," Ralph Crosby, chairman of the EADS division, said at a news conference in New York.

After a lengthy contest, the US Air Force awarded the over $31.5 billion (22.5 billion euro) contract for aerial refueling tankers to Boeing last month, saying that "Boeing was a clear winner."

Boeing and EADS had been in a fierce competition for years to win the contract, sparring publicly and with expensive advertising campaigns.

EADS, parent of the France-based Airbus aircraft manufacturer, had the right to protest the decision with the Government Accountability Office within 10 days of the contract's award.

Crosby said EADS had offered an "aggressive" price to win the contract for up to 179 tankers that allow jet fighters, supply planes and other aircraft to cover long distances.

"I believe this outcome was ordained by a very, very aggressive price from our competition," he said.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (AFP, dpa)

Editor: Susan Houlton

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