“The Air Force intends to designate its next aerial refueling aircraft the KC-45, regardless of whether Boeing’s KC-767 or Northrop Grumman’s KC-30 wins the KC-X tanker replacement contest,” the Air Force Association reports.
But what about a popular name? The last tanker, the 1980s’ KC-10, got stuck with the pornographic-sounding “Extender.” The earlier KC-135′s space-age “Stratotanker” moniker is clearly a product of the gee-whiz 1950s. So what’s an appropriate name for the $40-billion KC-45 program, which Air Force bosses say is their number-one procurement priority?
Here’s one. Considering the bitter fighting between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman over the tanker contract, how about calling it the KC-45 “Lobbyist”?
Or, in light of the huge ethics scandal that scuttled an earlier effort to buy tankers, perhaps KC-45 “Jail Bait” is better.