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The Pentagon said it plans to push back the decision to award a $40 billion contract to build new aerial refueling tankers until the next administration -- a move that is a significant shift from its earlier decision to move at lightning speed to pick a new winner by the end of the year.
Some analysts said that they had expected the Pentagon to put out its final request for proposals last week but that they believe the administration postponed it because of the Republican convention and worries about bad press. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain had been a harsh critic of an earlier agreement to lease refueling tankers from Boeing after a procurement scandal unfolded and ended the deal.