KC-X Source Selection Not Tied to Oversight Hearings

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s plan to hold at least one hearing before Feb. 1 to examine the Air Force’s inadvertent disclosure of KC-X tanker data last November won’t affect USAF’s choice, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Wednesday. “I don’t think the hearing issue is connected to our source-selection process,” he told attendees at an Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Series event in Arlington, Va. Donley said Air Force officials are talking with committee staff about “the details for what they might want at the hearing and . . . how our source-selection timing could interfere with the hearing timing.” But he said he doesn’t think anything said there would influence the pick. Donley gave nothing away about when the Air Force will reveal its choice, but did say, “I think our source-selection timing affects what we can provide to [the SASC] in the hearing and under what circumstances.” The Air Force leadership has maintained that the accidental data disclosure to would-be KC-X suppliers Boeing and EADS North America did not impact the fairness of the tanker competition.