Northrop/EADS Upsets Boeing

Northrop Grumman and Airbus' parent teamed up to beat out the odds-on favorite for a $40 billion contract to supply refueling tankers to the U.S. Air Force
The Northrop-EADS refueling tanker is based on the same frame as the commercial Airbus A330. Northrop Grumman

An alliance of Northrop Grumman (NOC), the No. 3 defense contractor and European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADS), pulled off a major upset on Feb. 29, besting Boeing (BA) to win a $40 billion U.S. Air Force contract for refueling tankers. The decision represents a major coup for a European aviation behemoth—and a major blow for Boeing, considering that the business was firmly in its grasp four years ago but slipped away in a scandal that led to the departure of the company's chief executive.

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