The US Air Force presolicitation notice for KC-X issued yesterday does nothing to address the issues behind the Northrop Grumman/EADS team’s threats to withdraw from round 3 of the competition. (Read my full article about the notice.)
We’ll find out for sure in on February 24. The presolicitation notice says only that the final request for proposals will be released no earlier than February 23, but Boeing’s tanker blog today says the company plans to begin the RFP response process in 15 days.
Here’s Northrop’s full statement in response to the presolicitation notice:
During the previous competition, the tanker final RFP was structured so that both competitors were convinced they could compete and win the contract.
Northrop Grumman feels that the draft RFP, as structured, fails the test of true competition and, without a responsive set of changes, is not an
RFP to which Northrop Grumman can respond.
Northrop Grumman looks forward to the receipt of the new final RFP in the coming weeks and hopes the RFP will be structured so that, again, it allows both competitors to believe they can compete fairly and win.