Big Blow

By Marcus Weisgerber / December 2, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Northrop Grumman's threat to drop out of the Air Force's next-generation tanker competition is a “blow to the program,” House Appropriations defense subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-PA) told reporters this afternoon during a briefing on Capitol Hill.

Yesterday, Northrop President and COO Wes Bush told Pentagon acquisition executive Ashton Carter that without major modifications to the KC-X draft request for proposals, the company would not submit a bid for the lucrative contract.

The Pennsylvania Democrat is slated to meet with Carter tomorrow to discuss the KC-X competition, Murtha said. During that meeting, Murtha said he would advocate for splitting the tanker buy between Northrop and Boeing, a position he has maintained for several months.