The Air Force is seeking possibilities for a “bridge tanker” to fill the hole in tanker potential expected among the conclusion of KC-46 Pegasus output and growth of a future refueler.
USAF’s Daily life Cycle Management Centre on June 16 issued a Resources Sought Announcement looking for certified, fascinated corporations to deliver a business derivative plane “based on present and emerging” technologies. Although distinct demands are not completely defined, the Air Force claimed the tanker can be crewed or uncrewed and does not require to be a minimal-observable plane.
The Air Pressure will launch a last request for proposals by the close of 2022 at the time demands are locked in.
“The KC-135 will be 70 many years old when the Air Power expects to get its very last KC-46 shipping in 2029, and changing these essential aircraft continues to be significant to the Air Power mission to venture Immediate International Mobility in today’s strategically competitive environment,” the Air Drive said in a release.
USAF officials initial outlined the bridge tanker venture in late 2020, promising a “full and open up levels of competition.”
“The Secretary of the Air Force has committed to a continuous recapitalization of tanker plane,” Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost reported at the Airlift/Tanker Association’s Oct meeting. “We’re likely to have a bridge tanker—we’ll have a total and open up competition—on an plane to continue on to recapitalize … the KC-135.”
When the sources sought notice is seeking intrigued companies, just two plane are mature ample for the competition: the KC-46 and the Airbus A330 Multi-Function Tanker Transport, which missing to the Pegasus in the prior competition.
The announcement comes amid ongoing community criticism of the KC-46 application on Capitol Hill. All through a June 16 hearing, many customers of the Property Armed Products and services Committee reported the Air Pressure must take into consideration re-competing the KC-46 plan simply because of in depth delays and effectiveness difficulties with the Boeing plane.
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) accused the Air Pressure of spending $226 million for a “lemon.” He claimed “it is time that one thing improvements.”
Acting Air Power Secretary John P. Roth defended the plan and claimed re-competing the tanker program will make no “economic or organization perception.” The finest way ahead, he mentioned, is to perform inside of latest contracts to enhance the plane to make it “hopefully ready” by 2023 or 2024.