They Agree With USAF
Fourteen Senators signed a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne last week, urging the Air Force to stick to its plan to go sole source for the KC-X tanker replacement program. Various news media report that 52 Congressmen sent Wynne a similar letter. In August, the Air Force said that it would not seek a split-buy arrangement that would give some of the 179 aircraft to each of the two bidders. The Senators wrote: "We write to express our strong support for your current acquisition strategy that will result in the selection of one tanker, not two. … A "split-buy" replacement strategy has been well debated … [and] proponents assert that this policy would reduce costs through enhanced competition and expand operational flexibility to the Air Force. We find these assertions to be fundamentally flawed." In their view, a split-buy approach "removes all benefits associated with a competitive process by guaranteeing business to potential manufacturers."