“T” Minus One

Despite press reports that the newly announced US Aerospace-Antonov team has asked the Pentagon for a 60-day extension to file its proposal for the Air Force’s KC-X tanker, there is no indication that the Defense Department is ready to extend Friday’s proposal deadline. “Bids are due Friday,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told the Daily Report late Tuesday when contacted about this. The US Aerospace-Antonov team became official only on Tuesday with the signing of an agreement to jointly pursue the KC-X contract. It enters a playing field already occupied by aerospace heavyweights Boeing and EADS North America, both of which are poised to turn in their bids on Friday, reports The Hill. The proposal deadline was already extended once by 60 days after EADS declared its intent to compete on its own following the withdrawal of its former KC-X partner Northrop Grumman. (See Wednesday’s Dew Line blog entry.)