Northrop Grumman officials told reporters Oct. 29, 2009, in Washington, D.C., that the Air Force’s restarted KC-X tanker competition is “fundamentally different” than the previous round and, based on the description laid out in the draft solicitation, will amount to a “cost shootout” that could sacrifice capability for a race to the bottom line. They also intimated that the company reserves the right to withdraw from the contest if key concerns about proprietary information from the last competition are left unresolved. Here, one of the Royal Australian Air Force’s new tankers that is based on the same Airbus A330 airframe as Northrop’s tanker offering to USAF.
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