Not Before its Time:

Accounts of a delay until next month on the Air Force issuance of a final request for proposals on the KC-X tanker replacement competition are “wrong,” reports Rebecca Christie of Dow Jones newswires. That word, from usually knowledgeable defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, refutes an earlier Reuters news service report. In a statement, the Air Force officials told Christie that it has no firm target date for the RFP, but intends to “take the extra steps needed to prepare the final RFP” to ensure the competition is above reproach. The Northrop Grumman-EADS team has expressed concern that the RFP favored Boeing. Talking with defense reporters in Washington last week, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), new chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the Air Force has “to persuade” Congress that the KC-X program is a “real competition.”