USAF Issues Replacement Aerial Tanker RFI
On March 21, 206, DID first covered the US Air force’s replacement tanker competition and noted that an request for information (RFI) document was expected within a month. We added that it will likely contain few actual requirements, sticking instead to broad goals. A forthcoming capabilities development document (CDD) will add further detail, but a senior official confirmed to Inside Defense that a full RFP wasn’t expected until September 2006. The first phase alone could run as high as $20-30 billion for 100 replacement aircraft, and $100 billion for the entire program is very possible.
The USAF has now released that RFI, just over a month later. The Tanker Systems Modernization Systems Squadron of Wright-Patterson AFB’s Aeronautical Systems Center’s Mobility Systems Wing sent out the RFI for publication in Federal Business Opportunities, and will manage the program. After issuing the RFI, the Air Force’s next steps include refining the operational requirements and developing an acquisition strategy. TSMSS Director Terry Kasten said the squadron is working to complete and coordinate the overall acquisition strategy for the KC-X program as Air Mobility Command formalizes the requirements. The USAF announcement also notes that a draft request for proposal (RFP) is expected to be released by September 2006, with a final RFP to be published by January 2007. The award of the contract is expected in summer 2007.