A bipartisan group of 39 House members sent a letter to President Obama on Monday urging him to factor the “illegal” launch subsidies that Airbus has reportedly received from European governments for its A330 aircraft into deliberations over USAF’s KC-X tanker competition. Otherwise, they warn, Airbus’ parent company EADS, which is paired with Northrop Grumman in bidding for KC-X, would be able to submit “a reduced bid price” for its A330-based tanker that “would not otherwise be economically viable.” Without saying so explicitly, they imply that this would place rival Boeing’s tanker offering at a disadvantage. It would also be “injurious” to the US economy and national security industrial base, they argue. The group is led by Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), in whose states Boeing has a significant presence. Continue
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.