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U.S. Aerospace's list of complaints about the U.S. Air Force's conduct in receiving its bid -- allegedly late -- for the KC-X competition is getting longer. The company filed its second protest last week, claiming the Air Force intentionally misplaced or lost evidence that would prove its assertion that the U.S. Aerospace bid was late to Wright-Patterson AFB. The deadline for entries was July 9 at 2 p.m. And Air Force officials kicked U.S. Aerospace out for filing its bid 5 minutes late. At issue in the protest is whether the company actually was late in delivering its bid and whether the Air Force accurately described the process for submitting bids. Also, the Air Force's record-keeping of the submission will come into question; the company claims the service lacks entry logs for the gate at Wright-Patterson AFB and also had a computer hard drive containing entry footage from security cameras crash.Air Force officials have consistently declined to comment on the issues at play in the protest.The second protest will be ruled upon by the Government Accountability Office by Nov. 5. This protest was filed after the Air Force provided its response to the first protest from U.S. Aerospace. The first protest was lodged Aug. 2, and GAO expects to rule on it by Oct. 6. Meanwhile, Air Force officials are proceeding with the source selection for KC-X based on two proposals: Boeing's based on the 767 and EADS's based on the A330-200.Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, the military deputy to the Air Force acquisition secretary, says that the Small Diameter Bomb II competition was run cleanly. The lack of a protest from losing bidders Boeing/Lockheed Martin was a "woo hoo victory" for the service, which has lately been beleaguered by some high profile procurement missteps. Raytheon snagged that $450 million contract to build a 250-lb. glide bomb capable of destroying moving targets through weather.Shackelford says that an independent team reviewed the SDB II process five times as it progressed, and this process will be duplicated for the KC-X procurement.
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