The Pentagon has torn up the US Air Force (USAF) defence deal which had been awarded to Airbus and partner company Northrop Grumman, putting 11,000 British jobs at risk.
The decision was made after angered campaigning by failed bidder Boeing (the US defence giant and Airbus rival) and politicians such as Barack Obama, with the Pentagon citing irregularities in the bidding procedure.
Unions have condemned the move, with general secretary of the Confederation of Ship Building and Engineering Unions John Wall describing the US politicians as having “wrapped themselves in the flag and backed Boeing, which is very frustrating.”
He continued: “Airbus beat Boeing in every single major feature in this competition and I don’t see that changing, but what has changed is the political pressure to buy American… This win was very, very important for the UK as it ensured we would stay right at the top of the world aerospace league and was critical to securing jobs and our industrial capability.”
The bidding process will now be repeated, allowing Boeing a second chance at securing the contract.