Cease and Desist?

Northrop Grumman will no longer be able to refer to its KC-30 tanker as the KC-45A in advertisements and press releases, an Air Force spokeswoman told the Daily Report yesterday. USAF created the nomenclature KC-45A to refer to its next tanker aircraft, but now that the KC-X competition is back up for grabs, neither Boeing nor Northrop Grumman can claim the KC-45A designation—not yet, at least. The Air Force has not yet notified Northrop Grumman to quit calling its airplane the KC-45A, “but the Air Force will do so and we expect that they will [comply],” the spokeswoman said. Randy Belote, Northrop’s VP for communications, told the Daily Report from London yesterday that he was not aware of any directive from the Air Force to stop using the KC-45 designation. He said Northrop remains “under contract with the Air Force on the KC-45 program,” albeit under the stop-work order that was imposed after Boeing’s legal protest in March. “As winner of the KC-X program and while under contract for the KC-45, we have no plans to change the name or nomenclature of our tanker,” he said.