Unnamed sources told Reuters news service that Gen. Duncan McNabb, the Air Force vice chief of staff, met with senior executives of Boeing and Northrop Grumman to urge them to curb their public statements over the KC-X tanker program award. Reuters reporter Andrea Shalal-Esa quoted one unnamed source as saying, “There is a lot of unhappiness about how vitriolic the debate has become.” As we’ve reported on numerous occasions, the Air Force awarded the contract to Northrop Grumman, and predictably losing competitor Boeing filed a protest. The award and subsequent protest has drawn intensive Congressional interest, sparking angry debate and comment on and off the floor. And, CongressDaily reports that just last week, a group of lawmakers led a rally of Boeing aerospace workers on Capitol Hill, vowing to overturn the award.
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.