Until recently, American bad boy Boeing thought they had finally gotten rid of their opposite number in Northrup Grumman/EADS while going after the fair USAF KC-X tanker bid contract. Northrup said enough of this BS and pulled out on March 8th.
But, from across the north pole on the opposite side of the world. From the land of Vladimir Putin, current Russian Prime Minister; has toss his hat (and shirt to expose his manly chest) into the KC-X Tanker contest.
Speaking with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a recent trip to Russia, the offer was pitched about greater access to the US economy and vice versa.
Reportly, Putin told Clinton, "As far as our economic cooperation is concerned, certainly our major companies are very much interested in such a cooperation and they're expecting us to support them. A message should be sent that they (the Russian companies) are welcome both in the economy of the United States and of Russia."
The Russian-American joint venture known as United Aircraft Corporation would be based in Los Angeles, but the aircraft could be built anywhere in the country.
Secretary of State Clinton respond favoribly to the idea saying, "We would very much like to get into specifics about how to remove barriers and open opportunities."
The Russian/United Aircraft Corporation(UAC) offering would be based upon the Russian Ilyushin II-96, a four-engine commercial airliner.
Well now, hearing that Russia might get into the act somehow EADS, minus its Northrup partner, has asked the Department of Defense to extend the proposal deadline by 90 days. DoD is thinking about doing just that.
Thus concludes this epsiode of the KC-X Tanker soap opera as it turns. Stay tuned for more hijinks to follow.
Ref. CNN.com, March 19, 2010. By Mike Mount.(http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/19/us.russia.refueling.tanker/index.html?eref=rss_latest&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+rss/cnn_latest+(RSS:+Most+Recent))