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Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - Page updated at 12:50 PM

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Northrop posts bid to compete with Boeing in $40 billion tanker deal

The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Fla. — Northrop Grumman today submitted its bid for a $40 billion Air Force contract to replace 179 aerial refueling planes.

The tanker program, which Boeing is also expected to bid on, has been hold on for three years. Boeing had won and then lost the contract amid an ethics scandal that resulted in prison terms for a former senior Boeing executive and a former high-ranking Air Force official.

Northrop's latest bid, which comes ahead of an April 12 deadline, includes partnering with European Aeronautic Defense and Space, the parent company of Airbus, Boeing's main rival.

The Air Force will make its decision in late October after a six-month review.

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