“We’re close” to launching a new tanker competition, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters Monday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. He said the new draft for proposals would be out “in a couple of weeks,” with the announcement coming not from Donley but from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who will also explain the rules of the new contest. And, Donley said he sees nothing in the recent World Trade Organization ruling that would alter the course of the tanker contest. “We see no immediate impact,” he said, since there are still “months” of process and potential appeals remaining to play out over the WTO ruling.
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.