Despite continued complaints from one of the two likely competitors for the KC-X tanker program, Gen. Norton Schwartz, USAF Chief of Staff, maintains that the forthcoming request for proposals is on the mark. He told a Washington, D.C., conference Wednesday, “I believe we got the requirements right.” He expects the RFP to hit the street within a month of release of the 2011 defense budget, now slated for the first week in February. The Northrop Grumman-EADS team has said it will pull out of the competition if the final RFP did not reflect major adjustments over the draft version. Most recently, new EADS North American boss, Sean O’Keefe asserted the “replacement program” RFP would not give his team a “fair” chance.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.