To protest or not to protest: KC-135 PDM

Pemco has announced that it has lost the contract to provide depot maintenance on the KC-135.

The winner, oddly enough, hasn’t been announced yet, but since Boeing was the only other known competitor, I think it’s safe to assume that the KC-135′s original manufacturer has won the job. If true, this means Boeing has pulled off a coup, beating the KC-135 program depot maintenance incumbent Pemco for a contract worth billions over the next 10 years.

Although you wouldn’t know it by reading most of the trade press, this is one of a handful of high-profile contracts to be awarded this year.

And you know what that means. So far, the only multi-billion dollar weapon system contract awarded by DOD that hasn’t been legally challenged by the losing party — or parties, a la CSAR-X — was Boeing’s win of the $2 billion A-10 re-winging contract. Even a couple of years ago, it was highly rare for losers to protest a lost contract. Proof: can anyone today imagine Boeing not protesting the Joint Strike Fighter contract decision?

So, the 10-day clock for filing a protest with Government Accountability Office will soon begin. Pemco’s statement says only that it is a requesting a debriefing on the US Air Force’s reasons for rejecting its bid.

“We’re broken, and we can’t get up” (Source: USAF)


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