The two Republican Senators from Ohio are protesting the Pentagon plan to curtail development of an alternate Joint Strike Fighter engine. According to the Dayton Daily News, Sen. Mike DeWine and Sen. George Voinovich wrote to Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, saying the plan will force General Electric “to exit the fighter engine arena,” leaving the Pentagon with a single source. “This is not sound business,” they wrote. British Prime Minister Tony Blair already had petitioned President Bush directly over the issue and was rebuffed. GE had teamed with Rolls Royce to produce the second F-35 engine.
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.