A public/private partnership combining Boeing and the US Air Force's Ogden Air Logistics Center is to perform Boeing KC-135 and Fairchild A-10 depot maintenance and modification. The team beat a private- sector bid led by Lockheed Martin.

The competition was the first to pitch a public/private partnership against a private contractor team. Previous contests have seen industry competing against Government-owned depots.

Award of the nine-year, $1.1 billion contract has been delayed by a protest from Pemco Aerospace, now performing KC-135 depot maintenance, which objected to the bundling of KC-135 work with that for the A-10 as well as repair of "commodities" such as hydraulics and electrics.

The contest was forced by the decision to close Sacramento Air Logistics Center in California. Lockheed Martin had proposed taking over the Sacramento centre for the new undertaking. Its team included AAI and GEC. It was the second major blow for Lockheed Martin, which earlier lost a bid for C-5 depot maintenance to Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. The company later teamed with the USAF depot for the work. Boeing also lost that contest, but elected to take over San Antonio Air Logistics Center, where the C-5 work was being performed, when it was closed. Renamed Boeing Aerospace Support Center, the operation went on to win a $1.5 billion contract for depot maintenance on USAFKC-10s.

Utah-sited Ogden will take over A-10 depot maintenance from November, when the first KC-135 will be inducted by Boeing at San Antonio. The USAF says the contract will cut the maintenance bill by $628 million.

Source: Flight International