The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces panel did not pose a single question to Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, USAF’s KC-46A tanker program executive officer, on the KC-46 during a 90-minute hearing this week to discuss the Air Force’s air mobility capabilities. How the situation has changed since just a few years ago when the volatility of the Air Force’s tanker acquisition efforts made frequent headlines and drew the attention of lawmakers. Instead, at Wednesday’s hearing, lawmakers homed in on the proposed cuts to the airlift fleet that are included in the Air Force’s Fiscal 2013 budget request. The KC-46 did come up in the written testimony of Gen. Raymond Johns, Air Mobility Command boss. Johns noted that the KC-46 program “continues to make excellent progress,” with Boeing a little more than a year into the aircraft’s engineering and manufacturing development. “We continue to execute the program to the cost and schedule baseline we established, along with Boeing. We will deliver a new tanker, ready for war on day one,” he said. (Johns’ prepared testimony)
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.