Dueling in the Tanker War

It’s Alabama vs. Kansas in USAF’s KC-X tanker replacement program saga. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has introduced an amendment (SA 2610) for the 2010 defense spending bill, currently still under review by the full Senate, that would force the Air Force to release comparable pricing data from the original KC-X competition to both Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Northrop has complained that USAF already provided its data to Boeing when explaining why Boeing lost out to the Northrop-EADS team. In a statement, Sessions said this “goes directly to the fundamental fairness” of the competition, something the Pentagon has emphasized. Minutes later, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) proposed another amendment (SA 2622) that would instead require the Air Force to assign penalties to a tanker bidder found to have benefitted from development subsidies—hark to the recent preliminary findings in the long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute. (From Congressional Record)