So Air Force KC-X tanker news is coming pretty fast and furious today. The final request for proposal (RFP) is due out sometime this afternoon; lawmakers are reportedly being briefed on contract details this morning. This is a big one, a $35 billion order for 179 new tankers.
Amy Butler over at Ares, AvWeeks’s blog, reports that Northrop Grumman/EADS officials told lawmakers they predict a 96 to 98 percent chance that they won’t even bid on the RFP because they think it’s so stacked in favor of Boeing. They don't think its worth the cost and effort to put together a proposal. Northrop/EADS has the larger tanker based on the Airbus A330 while Boeing’s offering is based on the smaller 767 airframe. Apparently size doesn’t matter on this one.
Deputy SecDef William Lynn, chief Pentagon weapons buyer Ashton Carter and Air Force chief Gen. Norton Schwartz will brief reporters at 4 p.m. this afternoon on the RFP. We’ll bring you updates as they come in.