Staff Sgt. Jason Robertson/U.S. Air Force

Northrop Grumman prompts debate

While The American Legion does not advocate specific weapon systems or products, it does believe our armed forces should have the best equipment for the missions they are expected to carry out.

 Should we be disappointed that Northrop Grumman has backed away from bidding on the contract to build the next generation of Air Force tankers? When debate last raged over the issue, many reports endorsed the Northrop Grumman Tanker G as the best mission-capable candidate. Boeing remains as sole bidder on the aircraft construction project.

"We are disappointed by Northrop's decision not to submit a bid for the U.S. Air Force tanker replacement program," said Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynne III on March 8. "In the last tanker replacement (KC-X) competition, Northrop Grumman competed well on both price and non-price factors. We strongly believe that the current competition is structured fairly and that both companies could compete effectively."

Is it better for the U.S. economy if a U.S.-based company trumps foreign firms, whose products represent a more global investment of taxpayers' dollars? What would you decide?