Air Force Secretary Michael Donley says the Pentagon intends to stick with the KC-X request for proposal issued on Feb 24 despite the fact that only Boeing appears intent on submitting a bid to build the new tanker aircraft. “The [Defense] Department’s plan going forward is to let this RFP stand” and “to let that process run its course,” Donley told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense oversight panel March 10. Just two days prior, Northrop Grumman abandoned its efforts to compete for the KC-X contract, leaving the field apparently to Boeing. Donley said keeping with the RFP “is the best way … to get a good proposal,” even with a sole offeror. On March 12, Ash Carter, Pentagon acquisition executive told reporters: “We don’t have an indication of any additional bidders.” The standing deadline for proposals is May 10. (See Ball in Pentagon’s Court)
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.