When Will You Know?

The Air Force doesn’t definitively know when Northrop Grumman will indicate formally whether it intends to remain in the KC-X tanker contest once the final request for proposals is out, says Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, military deputy to the Air Force top acquisition executive. “I am not exactly sure whether that’s when they make a declaration or whether or not they show up with a proposal,” he told reporters Tuesday after speaking at an Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Series presentation in Arlington, Va. Shackelford said “there is no defined point” when this has to happen up until the time that proposals are due. But after that point, any mystery would be solved. Dissatisfied with the draft solicitation, Northrop has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the final RPP reflects changes that give it—in its words—a fair shot at winning. (See What to Expect)