tanker row - So much for that 'special relationship'.

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Tech Sergeant
Apr 6, 2005
Spotted this daft situation today - sensitive yank equipment - prob datalinks etc or nav - is preventing Europeans from using tankers cost-effectively.

"A Government plan to lease out RAF aircraft to the highest bidders has triggered a row that threatens to derail the largest-ever Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, writes Peter Almond, Evening Standard.
American contractors say they cannot now supply crucial hardware to the project because leasing out the Airbus A330s would breach US laws governing the export of sensitive military technology.
The GBP13 billion contract for 20 planes for a mid-air refuelling fleet for the RAF was won by the Air Tanker consortium, comprising Eads, Cobham, Rolls-Royce, hales and VT.
The plan is to cut costs by hiring out the jets to civilian users when they are not wanted by the RAF. Some of the planes would be operated by the RAF but used commercially at weekends. The rest would be in full-time commercial use but available to the RAF when needed.
But US firm Northrop Grumman says it would be a breach of federal laws governing transfer of sensitive defence material to parties that could deliver it into hostile hands. A Ministry of Defence compromise to remove the systems when the aircraft are not in RAF use has been rejected".

So much for that 'special relationship'.
Horse pucky. Northrop Grumman just wants to get the contract themselves. The USAF refuels all sorts of NATO planes already, and vice versa, so I for one don't see the big deal. It's not a super secret squirrel plane that gets to carry fuel anyway.

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