Washington state and Kansas are celebrating a decision to award Chicago-based Boeing Co. a $35 billion contract to build nearly 200 airborne refueling tankers.
It's one of the biggest defense contracts ever that will add tens of thousands of jobs to the struggling economy and bolster regional air industries for a generation.
But the announcement Thursday that the Air Force was choosing Boeing over a bid by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. drew deep disappointment from Germany and the European manufacturer, which promised to discuss the decision further with the U.S. military.
It also came as a severe setback to the Gulf Coast and to Alabama, where EADS had planned to assemble its aircraft at a former military base in Mobile.
The announcement came as a surprise to many after defense analysts, politicians, factory workers and even company executives had expected EADS to win the decade-long battle with Boeing.
Published at 10:10 AM CST on Feb 25, 2011 | Updated at 10:15 AM CST on Feb 25, 2011