Boeing took a hard hit on the Defense budget announced today by Sec. Robert Gates. The C-17 program will be canceled after the current contract is filled. The CSAR-X helicopter procurement is canceled. The Airborne Laser system based on the 747, is reduced to research only. The Next Gen bomber is off the table. There are other programs in which Boeing was involved that are gone, too.
This makes the recompete for the KC-X aerial tanker all that much more important. Gates said this will proceed in the summer.
Update: Defense Industry Daily has this superb recap of the winning and losing programs.
We did a podcast with Addison Schonland of IAG and George Talbot of the Mobile Press-Register about the implications for the tanker procurement.
Here is a link to Gates’ formal statement.