Monday, December 18, 2006

USAF Releases KC-X Draft Request For Proposals

WASHINGTON - Air Force officials announced December 15, 2006, the release of an updated draft Request for Proposals for the KC-X, the aerial tanker replacement aircraft.

"This continues our open and transparent acquisition process," said Mrs. Sue Payton, the Air Force senior acquisition executive. "We're releasing this document so our partners in Congress, the Department of Defense and industry can continue the dialogue we've established."

Payton said the release of the final RFP is expected in January and that her goal remained to complete the source selection process by the end of the current fiscal year.

The KC-X, the Air Force's number one acquisition priority, is the replacement vehicle for the KC-135 which recently celebrated its 50th year of service with the Air Force.

Officials said the KC-X will have a primary mission of aerial refueling, allowing the Air Force to retain the Global Reach that supports the Global War on Terror.

"The tanker is the number one procurement priority for us right now. In this global Air Force business, the single point failure of an air bridge, the single point failure for global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance or the single point failure for global strike is the tanker," said Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. Additionally, service officials expect the KC-X to have the capability to carry cargo as well as airlifting personnel.

"All three missions of the aircraft are vitally important," said Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman, the Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, "but first and foremost the KC-X is the next generation in aerial refueling."

The draft RFP incorporates changes that respond to concerns expressed by Congress, DOD and potential offerors, to include addressing the litigation concerning large civil aircraft pending before the World Trade Organization.

"The Air Force has revisited its position on the WTO issue concerning the tanker replacement program based upon discussions with the offerors," said Mr. Kenneth Miller, Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. "In the updated draft RFP we've added a clause that makes certain costs associated with the WTO litigation unallowable expenses under the contract."