On the Other Hand

In the EADS North America camp, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), quickly released a statement supporting the decision by EADS to bid in the KC-X competition. He said: “The objective should be to acquire the best new tanker for the US Air Force. A sole-sourced contract would have served only Boeing’s interest. The presence of a competitor better serves the interest of our warfighters and American taxpayers.” Shelby acknowledged continuing concern that “this competition is already skewed towards a smaller, less capable airframe,” a belief that ultimately drove Northrop Grumman to opt out as EADS teammate. However, Shelby added, “It is my hope that the Air Force will recognize that EADS brings the most modern, versatile, and cost-effective tanker currently available to this competition.”