The Defense Department is standing, for now, by its timetable to award the KC-X tanker contract later this year, despite the legal protest filed last week by US Aerospace that threatens to derail the process. “We will award this contract in the fall, as we always said we would,” said Geoff Morrell, Pentagon spokesman, during a press briefing last week. Morrell’s comments came three days after US Aerospace lodged its protest with the Government Accountability Office against the Air Force. The company acted after USAF officials declared the company’s KC-X bid ineligible for arriving at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, near Dayton, five minutes after the 2:00 p.m. (East Coast time) filing deadline on July 9. The company disputes being late. It’s even accusing USAF of deliberately torpedoing its bid due to the company’s partnership with Ukrainian aerospace giant Antonov. Morrell called allegations of bias “absolutely absurd.” Continue
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.