Air Force acquisition leader Sue Payton told reporter Tony Capaccio of Bloomberg News that the service wants to get a fixed price for 80 aircraft out of a planned initial buy of 179 for its KC-X tanker replacement program. And, Payton says the Air Force is taking a very deliberate, document-every-step approach to ensure it can show the losing contractor “exactly why they lost.” Earlier this month the Air Force revealed to Congress that the contract award probably would not be made until late December. The service plans subsequent buys of new tankers, in two more increments spanning a 40-year replacement plan—there’s no money to work more quickly. (Bloomberg article via Seattle Post-Intelligencer.)
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.