The Air Force wants to know whether potential tanker replacement bidders are receiving any government financial contributions, including subsidies—and it wants specifics. Inclusion of this question in the tanker RFI came as welcome news for lawmakers who have long questioned the efficacy of giving Pentagon business to such companies as Airbus maker EADS, which is subsidized by European governments. In a statement, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) says it is “encouraging” to see the RFI issued and “even more encouraging” to see that it addresses the question of “unfair subsidies the European governments have given the [Airbus] consortium.”
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.