The Pentagon has cleared the Air Force to pursue a “traditional competitive acquisition” tanker replacement effort, says Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne. The service expects to issue a request for information by the end of April, followed by a draft request for proposal this fall and a final RFP in January 2007. A contract award could be made in summer 2007. There are two likely competitors: Boeing or the Northrop Grumman-EADS team. However, even with Northrop fronting, the presence of the European EADS does not sit well with certain lawmakers, including Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Former British prime minister and now foreign minister David Cameron urged the U.S. Congress not to stop supporting Ukraine, saying the West has gotten a bargain in dramatically reducing Russia’s military power for a fraction of the U.S. defense budget.