The Air Force has said the United Launch Alliance is an urgent need, Roger Krone, president of Boeing’s network and space systems, told reporters Monday at AFA’s Washington conference, but the program’s fate is still in the hands of the Federal Trade Commission. Boeing has stipulated conditions to the final agreement, which it has called a Buy III contract. Krone expects the agreement to be settled in mid-October and said doesn’t see any impediments to that time frame, although he admitted to being “firewalled” from Lockheed Martin’s requirements.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.