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Build Them Both campaign wants Air Force to split tanker buy

A campaign called Build Them Both wants the U.S. Air Force to split a contract for refueling tankers between Boeing and Northrop Grumman.

“We believe that it is crucial to our nation’s economic recovery,” organizers said.

The campaign is an effort from American Jobs Now, which bills itself as a nonpartisan coalition striving to identify and promote public policy and private sector actions that lead to immediate job creation.

Awarding the tanker contract to both Boeing and Northrop Grumman would create 100,000 long-term jobs, the group says.

It also would shorten the time it would take to replace the current aging fleet of tankers and save taxpayers’ money, it says.

The Air Force last month issued its final request for proposal for a new tanker.

Northrop Grumman is getting closer to a decision on whether to bid. Officials have said it may not enter the competition, because the proposal favors Boeing’s smaller tanker.

Boeing said Thursday it will offer its 767 commercial airliner as a platform; Northrop Grumman would offer an Airbus A330 airliner.