Resurrecting the Split

Talk of splitting the KC-X tanker program—half to Boeing and half to Northrop Grumman—died down over the summer amid continued Pentagon resistance. However, the idea resurfaced this week in Mobile, which would be the site of a new tanker production facility should the Northrop-EADS team get the KC-X contract. Northrop wants USAF to make changes to the current approach because it believes the new competition favors Boeing. (Sen. John McCain has said the same.) Short of that, Northrop spokesman Randy Belote said the company would be OK with a split buy, reports the Press-Register. Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) told the newspaper he wouldn’t oppose a split. Per a WKRG report, Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) said he would push the split, “So we can stop the politics; stop the litigation; stop the battles over the [request for proposals] and let’s start building tankers in Mobile.”