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The Boeing Co. agreed to pay the government $11 million to settle accusations that it overcharged the government for KC-135 aerial tanker aircraft, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Boeing's Military Airplanes division in Wichita, Kan., gave inaccurate cost information to the Air Force, the government said following a 21/2 year investigation of contract information supplied by the military contractor on the cost of aluminum raw materials.The aluminum costs were a key part of contracts for work to replace the "skins" on the aircraft. The accusations involved four contracts negotiated with Boeing from 1982 to 1985.

Boeing settled the case to avoid a court battle with the government.

The KC-135 Stratotanker - the military version of the Boeing 707 passenger aircraft - provides aerial refueling of strategic bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. The 136-foot tanker can fly 1,150 miles with 120,000 pounds of fuel to be transferred to other planes.

"This settlement results from the government's statutory and common law claims that inaccurate information provided by Boeing caused the Air Force to pay higher prices than it would have paid had the company accurately reported its costs," said Stuart Schiffer, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's civil division.

The government moved against Boeing under the Truth in Negotiation Act, requiring companies to certify to the government that they provided accurate, complete and current pricing information on contracts.

"The settlement resolves claims that Boeing's certification was false because Boeing gave the Air Force aluminum price quotes that were not current, accurate and complete." the Justice Department said in a statement.