Can’t Have It Both Ways

Northrop Grumman attempted to silence the rumblings over its announcement that it would team with EADS to proffer the KC-30—an aircraft based on the EADS Airbus A330—as a KC-135 replacement by pointing out a simple fact: If there is to be a competition, it must include an aircraft with components produced in Europe. Of course, as Northrop officials pointed out to reporters at the AFA conference Monday, Congress could say: No competition. That would not sit well with at least one lawmaker—Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)—who has been dogged in his pursuit of the Air Force and Boeing over their tanker lease deal. (Read “The Tanker Blame Game” here.)