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Airbus misses out on Pentagon deal

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Boeing's NewGen Tanker that it will sell to the US Air Force (AP)

Boeing's NewGen Tanker that it will sell to the US Air Force (AP)

Boeing's NewGen Tanker that it will sell to the US Air Force (AP)

The US Air Force has awarded a 35 billion US dollar contract to build the next generation of air refuelling tankers to Boeing, scuppering the hopes of European bidder Airbus.

The announcement was made at the Pentagon after the financial markets closed.

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co, the Airbus parent, had bid for the contract.

The decision was certain to be welcome news in Washington state and Kansas, where much of the work on the tanker will be done.

The Air Force has tried for nearly a decade to replace its ageing fleet of 1950s-era tankers, the equivalent of a flying petrol station.

PA