Talking Tanker

After the release of the KC-X tanker request for proposals on Feb. 24, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn, and Pentagon acquisition czar Ash Carter met with senior Boeing officials and then with Northrop Grumman leadership to discuss the document, Donley said Tuesday. “Northrop indicated that they were appreciative of the changes that we had made on the business side of the RFP and that they would take a careful look at the content,” he told reporters in Washington, D.C. He was specifically asked about Northrop’s reaction since the company has threatened to exit the competition if it thinks it has no shot of winning. That would leave Boeing as the sole offeror. Donley said it would be “speculative” to delve into scenarios where only Boeing bids. However, “in every scenario,” he said, the department has options that would “protect the taxpayer’s interest.”