The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has eliminated Boeing from its competition to develop a successor to the E-4B Nightwatch, Boeing confirmed, shaking up the battle to build the next version of the aircraft known as the "Doomsday Plane" due to its ability to survive a nuclear war, Valerie Insinna and Mike Stone reported for Reuters.
Boeing - the incumbent manufacturer of the E-4B - and the USAF were unable to come to an agreement on data rights and contract terms. I Photo: Sgt. Ernie Stone U.S. Air Force
The move leaves privately-held defense contractor Sierra Nevada Corp. as the lone company publicly vying for the Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC) contract to eventually replace a fleet that has been in use since the 1970s.
"We cannot discuss an active source selection, and detailed program information is classified," a USAF spokesperson said.
Two sources familiar with the situation said Boeing - the incumbent manufacturer of the E-4B - and the USAF were unable to come to an agreement on data rights and contract terms, with the U.S. planemaker refusing to sign onto any fixed-price agreement that locks it into paying costs above an agreed limit.