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Tanker War Déjà vu All Over Again: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) pulled no punches last week in an impromptu Senate floor speech in which he said Defense Secretary Robert Gates had put "politics and business interests" first when he cancelled a planned revival of USAF's KC-X tanker program late last year. Shelby, an ardent supporter of the Northrop Grumman tanker, asserted that Gates "sent a clear message that only a Boeing tanker will be acceptable." He elaborated by outlining the ongoing pricing data dispute raised by Northrop that DOD rejected, saying the data is now old so it has no bearing on the new contest. Shelby said: "Northrop Grumman-EADS offered a clearly better plane, at a price that was $3 billion less than Boeing. And now, today, Boeing knows how they did it." Continue