Get the Tanker, First

Asked about various things in the new aerial refueling aircraft program request for proposals that may not directly pertain to tanking—such as using the aircraft as communications or data relay nodes—Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told reporters Thursday afternoon that USAF will concentrate on the tanker aspect first. “We’ve been beat up” about adding too many extra requirements on programs like the F-22 and Standoff Jammer, Wynne said. “We’re into ‘A’ models, now,” focused on getting things on the ramp and improving them later. The Air Force may take one of the new tankers and modify it in various ways “to see what it can do” beyond aerial refueling, he said.