Waiting Game

Northrop Grumman on Wednesday acknowledged receipt of the Air Force’s KC-X tanker solicitation notice, but shed no light on whether it will remain in the high-stakes tanker competition against Boeing. Northrop spokesman Randy Belote deferred further public comment until the company has completed its review of the document. The company has 75 days until proposals are due. Dissatisfied with the language in the draft request for proposal issued last September, Northrop’s President Wes Bush said in December that the company would not bid unless the final RFP reflected substantial changes. Briefing reporters on the RFP Wednesday in the Pentagon, Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn said he believes that the tanker requirements laid out in the document present Northrop with “a very serious opportunity” to compete and have a fair shot at prevailing. Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Boeing, which is now formulating its bid.