Conferees on the 2006 defense authorization bill eliminated a House-inspired “Buy America” provision that would have barred EADS from entering its Airbus aircraft in a USAF tanker competition, according to Associated Press news service. We took note, last summer, of the move by EADS to overcome the provision when it teamed with Northrop Grumman for development and production of the KC-30 as a replacement for USAF’s KC-135. Now, it appears that will not be necessary. President Bush is expected to sign the authorization measure soon.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.