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Tanker deadline extended; lawmakers still have hope for Mobile

By Staff
Alabama lawmakers on Wednesday hailed the U.S. Department of Defense decision to extend the deadline for bids for a new refueling tanker — fueling hopes that the tankers could be built in Mobile.
EADS, which had earlier won the contract with partner Northrup Grumman, has said it would be interested in submitting a new bid. Complaints from competitor Boeing led the DOD to reopen bids last year, even after Mobile had won the contract.
Escambia County economic development officials have said the tanker project could bring other suppliers and jobs to the Atmore and Brewton areas.
U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, said he hopes if EADS wins the bid, it will locate the tanker construction in Mobile as originally planned. Northrup has dropped out of the proposal.
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said competition better serves taxpayers and the military.