Will the Air Force become executive agent for unmanned aerial vehicles and, as some lawmakers would have it, sole proprietor of fixed-wing aircraft? Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley says he’s “happy to let [the discussion] play out” within the Defense Department. Moseley told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that he’s having “cordial discussions” with the other services on the UAV issue and “working our way through on this” with the Joint Requirements Oversight Council. As for the airlift aspect—the Army wants to maintain its own intratheater fixed-wing fleet—Moseley noted that “this is not the first time” in the past few years that lawmakers have suggested a new roles and missions hash-out. Moseley declined to say whether USAF should get the sole duty, but noted that airlift is, among other things, “what we do.”
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.