Air Force acquisition executive Sue Payton issued a statement late yesterday saying USAF “will do everything” it can “to rapidly move forward” now that the GAO has recommended that it reopen the KC-X tanker contest to revised bids from Boeing and Northrop Grumman (see above). “As soon as possible, we will provide the Air Force’s way ahead,” she said. “We appreciate the GAO’s professionalism and thoroughness in its assessment of the protest of the KC-45A source selection.” USAF said that it is currently reviewing the GAO’s decision and, once that process is complete, it will be in a position to determine the best course of action. The service has 60 days to respond to GAO’s findings of June 18, which sustained Boeing’s legal complaint. Looking forward, Payton said, the Air Force “will select the best value tanker for our nation’s defense, while being good stewards of the taxpayer dollar.”
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.