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Air Force ends Boeing launch ban
Posted: Sat, Mar 5, 2005, 10:15 AM ET (1515 GMT)
Delta 4 launch of DSCS 3-A3 (Boeing) The US Air Force announced late Friday that it has lifted a contracting ban on Boeing for launch services, satisfied that the ethical lapses that led to the suspension have been corrected. Under terms of an "interim" agreement between Boeing and the Air Force, Boeing will pay the Air Force $1.9 million to cover the Air Force's costs of investigating the matter; Boeing's own costs related to the investigation, including defending a lawsuit filed by Lockheed Martin, have been deemed "unallowable" and hence cannot be reimbursed by the government. Boeing must also submit to outside verification of their ethics policies. The 20-month ban, the longest ever for a major contractor, was imposed by the Air Force in mid-2003 after it found that Boeing employees gained improper access to proprietary Lockheed Martin documents during the initial EELV contracting phase in the late 1990s. The removal of the ban clears the way for the Air Force to proceed with a new round of EELV contracts, called "Buy 3", although officials said Friday that it will take the better part of a year for the Air Force to award those launch contracts.
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