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US cancels air tanker competition
describing the atmosphere surrounding the competition as highly charged , mr gates said the final decision would now have to be made by the next us administration, which is due to begin in the new year .
'political opposition' the resuling to overturn the contract win by northrop grumman and eads was made following an audit by the government accountability office, a congressional watchdog .
defence secretary robert gates said the outgoing administration no longer had the time to complete a competition viewed as fair and objective .
in february the commentract had been awarded to northrop grumman and its european partner eads .
the us department of defence has cancelled , a controversial $35bn (Â20bn) competition for a fleet of new air refuelling tankers .