WASHINGTON: Air Force officials have said the KC-X source selection process will continue despite a mistake in November, where a limited amount of identical source selection information was provided to both KC-X offerors concerning their competitor’s offering.
Air Force officials are ensuring a level playing field with regards to the information actually accessed by one of the offerors. The information concerned was limited to a single page of non-proprietary data on a CD that did not include any offeror-proposed prices.
“This clerical error does not affect our source selection schedule,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, the military deputy from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. “There are unrelated aspects of the source selection that will take slightly longer than originally anticipated, which push the award to early in 2011.”
Air Force officials have analyzed the information that was actually accessed by one of the offerors and have taken steps to ensure that both competitors have equal access to this information.
Service acquisition officials have also undertaken a detailed review to determine how this error occurred, and are taking steps to prevent it from happening again.
Both offerors recognized the error and contacted the Air Force Contracting Office responsible for this acquisition program.
The KC-X remains the Air Force’s top acquisition priority, officials said.
The aircraft will be capable of operating day and night, in adverse weather conditions and hostile environments over vast distances to enable rapid, global deployment, employment, sustainment and redeployment of U.S., allied and coalition forces.
“The tanker underwrites our nation’s ability to project power rapidly,” said Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff. “It enables the ‘global’ in global vigilance, global reach, and global power.
“Today, tankers fulfill multiple roles, from aerial refueling to airlift to aeromedical evacuation, not only for our Airmen, but for our joint and coalition partners,” he said.
Officials said the acquisition strategy to field new tankers is grounded to the requirements set forth by the warfighter, and will provide an aircraft capable of performing this important mission, while ensuring the best value to the taxpayer.