Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a Pentagon briefing July 8, 2010, he is "very optimistic" that the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Air Force will succeed this time around in acquiring the KC-X, the new tanker aircraft to replace the nation's Eisenhower-era KC-135s. His comments came on the eve of the July 9, 2010 deadline for industry teams to turn in their KC-X proposals. The announcement of the winning tanker is anticipated in the fall 2010. Here, six KC-135 tankers, the design that KC-X will replace, move on the taxiway during a training mission at RAF Mildenhall, Britain.
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