No Changes

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told House defense appropriators Wednesday that the Pentagon has no plans to amend the Air Force’s KC-X tanker solicitation in the hopes of securing a bid from European aerospace giant EADS, parent of aircraft maker Airbus. EADS has indicated that it is considering re-entering the tanker fray as a prime offeror after Northrop Grumman dropped its plans to lead a team with EADS to bid on the tanker contract (see Exploratory Talks below). But it has also said the Air Force’s requirements are still skewed against the type of A330-based tanker that EADS could offer. Regardless, “We do not intend to change the [tanker] requirements,” said Gates, when asked about EADS during his testimony.