US rival Boeing is once again in the running after the Pentagon announced it would reopen the air-tanker contract. Boeing protested the original win by EADS after having supplied the military with tankers for 50 years. The decision followed a damning report by Congress that concurred with Boeing that there were flaws in the selection process.

The decision also calls into question EADS’ US partner Northrop Grumman’s proposed investment in Mobile, Alabama, the location selected for the aircraft refuelling tanker assembly facility.