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Boeing Response On Their Insult To Alabama  
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3277 times:

Wow Boeing, isn't that what you're doing with the 787? You have to build that factory at some point in time, you may as well wait until you get the contract for the order. Boeing is sweating because they offered the KC-767 ADV on the 762 airframe, when they should have offered the 763 airframe but then they'd have no argument against the KC-30's superior modern technology. I think the only reasons they didn't offer a KC-787 was because A) it would have cost Boeing too much money despite what was best for the USAF and B) they would lose their "Made in the USA" argument that they are trying to undermine the KC-30 bid with. Boeing doesn't deserve the CSAR-X or KC-X bid, and I'm otherwise a rather stout Boeing supporter.

Quote:

"Our competitor plans to manufacture major segments of its tanker at facilities in France and Spain, then ship them to Alabama for final assembly in facilities that do not exist today," Albaugh wrote. "Despite the fact that final assembly would be performed by very capable Alabamians, we believe this overall approach presents increased risk in meeting the Air Force's requirements."


http://www.al.com/news/press-registe...e/news/1191662176102750.xml&coll=3

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

Boeing said something accurate. It's a lower risk proposition to build airplanes in Wichita and Everett than it is to start from scratch in Mobile.

Senator Sessions is making a storm out of it because he has no other choice.

Now...with logic, can you refute the fact that building or fitting out an airplane someplace where they've never done it before is higher risk than it is doing it someplace where they've been doing it for 50 something years?



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9238 posts, RR: 76
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 1):

Now...with logic, can you refute the fact that building or fitting out an airplane someplace where they've never done it before is higher risk than it is doing it someplace where they've been doing it for 50 something years?

See FAA Grant Production Certificate For UH-72A (by Zeke Sep 3 2007 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

The method has been used recently by EADS for the UH-72A, the same production model that is being used for the KC-30, it works, they were able to deliver the aircraft ahead of schedule New Helicopters For US Army Delivered (by Zeke Jul 26 2007 in Military Aviation & Space Flight) . The Australian air force is also saying the A330MRTT is ahead of schedule.

It is not difficult to put up a shed and put tooling in it for aircraft assembly, airlines put up similar sheds all the time for heavy maintenance. The tooling itself could be made in the USA with an issue, a lot more difficult things are made in the US than aircraft tooling for assembly.

Boeing may claim it has a "low risk", but on current form, they are late with the KC-767 tanker with Japan and Italy, and late with the 737 AEW&C for Australia, Turkey, and Korea.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I think the only reasons they didn't offer a KC-787 was because A) it would have cost Boeing too much money despite what was best for the USAF

I venture to say that there would be a time problem with KC-787. First they had move the development of the freighter version forward because a KC-787 would need much of that technology. Second they had to cater for sufficient production capacities, which is a problem already today. And third, yes, I would be more expensive.

No doubt it would be the best product (a KC-350 being far too late and far too much of an airplane)

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
and B) they would lose their "Made in the USA" argument that they are trying to undermine the KC-30 bid with.

Winston Churchill once said: War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.

I consider myself more a KC-767 supporter in this case, but for Airbus this must look like that Boeing has lost its confidence in their actual product qualities entirely and that they are desperate enough to actually refer to such doubtful means as creating public pressure on decision makers. Boeing should not forget that Airbus has nothing to loose here, they can only win.

In the end they don't sell the tanker to ordinary people which may be susceptible for such arguments, but to a group of politicians and civil servants. If these decision-makers become enchanted by such simple motives like patriotism and forget about all facts, figures and numbers, I would say they don't do their job properly.

To say it with Churchill, from the outside it looks as if Boeing has serious problems to even grin, while the Airbus/NG people lean back in their executives chairs and smilingly witnessing Boeing debasing itself. Boeing should, as fast as possible, get back to fighting for the tanker contract based on actual product qualities.I think the KC-767 is the better fit for the requirements, while KC-30 offers features which are not being asked for.


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

Another one....

Boeing will cite the oft-quoted figure of 44000 U.S. workers currently employed, or to be employed, in the current 767, or future KC-767 work. If the Airbus wins, then those workers will have to be re-deployed--to the unemployment line it will be argued. Most of these workers are predominantly in "blue" states, and any gains in employment by selecting the "french" airplane will go to "red" states. What party runs Congress at the moment? What party is likely to win the next election and secure an even greater majority in Congress? In the U.S., who appropriates the money to pay the bills for government procurement? Cynic that I am, IMO the answers to these three questions will ultimately decide which offering will prevail.

Now if someone here could advance an argument that the KC-767 could not do the job, or it would fail to perform, that would be different. It's also nice to have a U.S. company maintain the capability to design/build tankers in the U.S. After all, isn't this part of the rationale for the Europeans to be building Galileo, the A400, aircraft carriers, and fighters?

In the meantime, go ahead, Boeing, "insult" away! Personally, I don't think they have any trouble "grinning". It's masking the "grin" that they are finding difficult.

[Edited 2007-10-09 02:41:11]


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 4):
After all, isn't this part of the rationale for the Europeans to be building Galileo, the A400, aircraft carriers, and fighters?

 checkmark  The question is how do you as a government professionally cope with foreign bids. I mean even if you know you cannot choose them, they do have the purpose of creating competition. On the other hand you need to issue orders abroad every now and then to keep foreign companies bidding, otherwise the tax payer has pay for the artificially created monopoly. The difficulty really lies with the administration. The defense companies have no other job than creating the best possible product for the requirments.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4376 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3278 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 2):
The method has been used recently by EADS for the UH-72A, the same production model that is being used for the KC-30, it works

Gee, I never realized a small utility helicopter could be compared to a large jet transport.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 2):
Boeing may claim it has a "low risk", but on current form, they are late with the KC-767 tanker with Japan and Italy, and late with the 737 AEW&C for Australia, Turkey, and Korea.

None of which have anything to do with the airframe or powerplants but everything to do with the hardware associated with the military missions they are intended to fly. If I were EADS, I'd be more concerned about the image being portrayed in late deliveries of key projects as a result of the basic airframes and powerplants that are supposed to be delivered.



My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
User currently offlineCurt22 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

I'm still trying to figure out how people in Alabama would know if they were offended?

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2690 times:

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 4):
What party runs Congress at the moment? What party is likely to win the next election and secure an even greater majority in Congress?

To your first question, the Democrats. To your second question, not the Democrats. This Congress hasn't done anything, but bitch about Bush. They have the lowest approval rating of any Congress, ever (currently 11%). They still have all but one government budgets to pass for FY-08, including the Defense Budget.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 2):
The Australian air force is also saying the A330MRTT is ahead of schedule.

Even Airbus/EADS says their advanced boom testing on the KC-310 is way behind schedule, so how can the RAAF say their tanker is ahead of schedule.

Quoting Curt22 (Reply 7):
I'm still trying to figure out how people in Alabama would know if they were offended?

They heared it in Mississippi


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7192 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2662 times:

I still maintain that a major defense item like the main air force tanker should be largely built in the US, even though there is a real argument that the KC-330 would be a superior plane. It is likely to stay in service for the next 50 years, and we do not know who our enemies will be in the future. While most people cannot conceive of the US and Europe being on opposite sides of a conflict, I am not sure enough to say that we should bet our future readiness on it. Just a scenario: Suppose we end up going to war with Iran (not unlikely at all) and because of our support of Israel (who most of the EU wishes would just go away) the EU decides to boycott any military items to the US. Or the same could happen if we go to war with China (less likely but still possible.) I just don't like the situation.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2458 times:

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 5):
The question is how do you as a government professionally cope with foreign bids. I mean even if you know you cannot choose them, they do have the purpose of creating competition.

What's the point of having a competition if the winner has long since been determined? Sounds like nothing more than an expensive dog and pony show, for the benefit of the public. And if it is a dog and pony show, we can only assume Northrop/Grumman is totally out of touch with reality by offering to build a plant in Alabama to configure the A330s to the necessary standard. If they don't stand a chance of winning, why even try?  Sad



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2430 times:

EBJ1248650,
I know my comment is cynic, but the US and the EU are facing both similar same problem. The defense industry is more and more consolidating while at both end of the Atlantic there are justified reasons to choose local products. There is an increasing lack of competition.

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 10):
What's the point of having a competition if the winner has long since been determined?

Keeping up pressure on local industries, keeping prices and products competitive. But of courcse a government cannot act as if all deal done before hand. That's why I said every once in while you need to buy foreign product to keep the local industry under pressure. And yes of course it benefits the local public. Their tax money remains in the local economy.

The US helicopter industry might be a good example. For more than 20 years they have not managed to develop anything significant new (one could argue about the MV-22) and what happens? Eurocopter and AgustaWestland gain sigficant contracts. Such wake-up calls can be quite healthy ...

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 10):
If they don't stand a chance of winning, why even try? Sad

I must admit this matter has been politicalized to an extent that the three parties involved will have problems to keep their face once it comes to an decision. Playing the "nationalistic card" as it happens right now is dangerous, because patriotic arguments escape any objective assessment. It's is like "pulling the emergency break" in a soccer game, when the last defender fouls an attacking striker to prevent him from scoring a safe goal. It earns the defender a red card in most cases ...


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9238 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2419 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
Even Airbus/EADS says their advanced boom testing on the KC-310 is way behind schedule, so how can the RAAF say their tanker is ahead of schedule.

Be nice to get your facts in order, you are deliberately in my view distorting the truth. You first go and say a 767 is faster than a A330 (false), now trying to say the RAAF tankers are behind schedules (false), both of which are false and in my view deliberate false claims.

I wonder if your one of these bloggers that Boeing is "paying" to write their PR for them.

EADS has never made any such claim about the A310, it is already in service. The A330-MRTT WITH the boom has already flown, everyone say it at the Paris airshow months back.

http://www.eads.com/web/pressdbdata/en/1024/content/OF00000040950509/5/70/41665705.jpg

"Today's A330 MRTT roll-in ceremony which also marks the inauguration of a very impressive EADS conversion facility represents tangible milestones in a program that has imperatives for schedule and timing," said Air Vice-Marshall Clive Rossiter, who heads Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation's Aerospace Systems Division. "In fact, EADS has delivered ahead of schedule, which is extremely important in a project as ambitious as this one.""

from http://www.northropgrumman.com/kc30/operations/program_update.html

The RAAF have 10 people sitting in Spain with EADS, they are seeing daily progress on the MRTT, if it was behind schedule they would know about it.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7697 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2415 times:

Well there are two sides to every story, take the European Helicopter Industry mentioned, how did that come about, certainely not by continuining to accept bids from US companies when helicopters were needed in Europe. The UK made Sikorsky's helicopters under license, I do not know this for a fact but I do believe that the ability to locally manufacture the product was a part of the purchase price / deal, the technology transfer aided the UK helicopter industry, if the US politicians had done the same for the Lakota deal, the US would be on its way to recovering its industry.

The US needs to follow the European example, ensure that any purchase allows local manufacture under license. So for the Lakota, they should have had as a part of the deal, the first 20 birds built in Europe, shipped to the US for assembly, then the US start building the a/c from scratch, building under license and assembling parts are two different things, if the European's were only assembling US made helicopters they would not have the industry they have today, and yes I know that some of it was "home grown"

Interesting to note, neither Airbus nor Lockheed are talking about building the a/c in the US, if that proposal was on the table - manufacture under license in the US - then Boeing would have a true competitior for a major industrial project, which this tanker buy will be, having all the a/c built in France then flown to the US for fitting out does not aid the US aircraft industry in the least, which is how US politicians should think, this thinking has worked for the Europeans, it could for the US.


User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2407 times:

Quoting Par13del (Reply 13):
Well there are two sides to every story, take the European Helicopter Industry mentioned, how did that come about, certainely not by continuining to accept bids from US companies when helicopters were needed in Europe.

Yes, there was a deficit in the local supply of medium-weight helicopters in the eighties.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 13):
The UK made Sikorsky's helicopters under license, I do not know this for a fact but I do believe that the ability to locally manufacture the product was a part of the purchase price / deal, the technology transfer aided the UK helicopter industry,

Yes, Westland built the Sikorsky S-61 Sea King for some if not all European customers.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 13):
The US needs to follow the European example, ensure that any purchase allows local manufacture under license.

Lot's of things have been and are still produced under license over here but not "any".

Quoting Par13del (Reply 13):
So for the Lakota, they should have had as a part of the deal, the first 20 birds built in Europe, shipped to the US for assembly, then the US start building the a/c from scratch, building under license and assembling parts are two different things, if the European's were only assembling US made helicopters they would not have the industry they have today, and yes I know that some of it was "home grown"

I recall the Sikorsky S-61 being license built, the S-65, the Bell 206 and the Bell 212. But I would not overestimate that influence. Westland, MBB, Aerospatiale and Agusta had lots of product already in 70s which did not resemble any American made model.

I don't think that a licensed built production would be viable option for Airbus, because different from all the models discussed above the A330 is a predominantly civil product. In my humble opinion the most clever move of Airbus would be to announce the production of the entire A332F in the States. That would kill Boeing's patriotic offensive instantly (or render it ridiculous).

Quoting Par13del (Reply 13):
having all the a/c built in France then flown to the US for fitting out does not aid the US aircraft industry in the least

I think this is more about the Frenchophobia of some people. Nobody complains that most of the B787 airframe is made in Italy and Japan, which represents a much greater loss in value to the local economy than French built tanker airframes which are to be completed in the US. Finally the assembly of larger components and aggregates does not pose such a big value. It is the production of those components that represents value. As most of the A330 components are not produced in France, but in the UK, Germany, Spain and the US I would not overly focus the argument on French final assembly.

[Edited 2007-10-14 05:21:02]

User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7697 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2403 times:

Well PADSpot the main difference is the "Defense of the Nation" argument which the politicians will throw up. Not sure of the numbers now, but the US is possibly in the top 5 list of nations flying Airbus equipment, so the French phobia does not seem to exist when it comes to civil aviation, military is something totally different.
Hence my thought that license manufacture could have been a valid strategy, not sure how Airbus would sell the move of the production of the A332F to the US to their constituents, especially when they consider their quality, production, efficiency, cost etc to be "better than the Americans?

I don't think the US citizens think that their industries are in any jepordy, steel has been overlooked some how, you get a lot of "never happen" if someone says a A380 could be in US Airforce service as a Presidential transport, but what exactly is Marine One going to be, really think its because its mostly British and not French that its flown under the radar, in terns of national pride? Just to clarify, I stated this before, if the EH101 is the best a/c around then by all means provide it to the troops, POTUS is an office representing the country and its interest, to me at least, thats a whole different story.


User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2388 times:

Quoting Par13del (Reply 15):
the main difference is the "Defense of the Nation" argument which the politicians will throw up.

Well, ok but then we are at exactly the same point where we have been some posts further up. Why at all consider foreign bids then?

Quoting Par13del (Reply 15):
Hence my thought that license manufacture could have been a valid strategy, not sure how Airbus would sell the move of the production of the A332F to the US to their constituents, especially when they consider their quality, production, efficiency, cost etc to be "better than the Americans?

Selling the idea to the shareholders might not be the big issue, it's more that I see costs not being competitive anymore in case of real license production. Finally license production prevent scale economies in many areas. The A330 is second line technology with the A350 now under way. I don't think any French or European would have an issue with it being licensed-produced in the US.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 15):
POTUS is an office representing the country and its interest, to me at least, thats a whole different story.

The amount of pathos being projected into such things is a very cultural thing. Each country should decide that for its own, but the point where it get insane is where you buy 22 essentially British-Italian helicopters, force them through some sort of "technical Americanization process" which brings unit price to a staggering 130Mil$ and subsequently complain about that the US president should better fly an entirely American helicopter (which is justified IMHO). That's where people start raising their eye brows and wonder what kind of strange drug patriotism can be.

Coming back to the tanker, if foreign companies cannot take part in major defense deal for reasons that solely relate to the fact that they are foreign, why should they be considered at all? My answer above was that they should be considered to create as much competition as possible, but in order to keep them bidding you need to feed them occasionally.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7697 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2381 times:

Agree with everything you just said, regarding the EH-101, I think the politicians agreed to fund the purchase as presented by whoever the backers were, and only after scrutiny was given, they decided on all the "Americanized" items to cover their tracks, which as you state, raised the price and appeared ridiculous to everyone. Reality is that the US has always used foreign products, so why some has this notion that the US must be seen to favour foreign products is beyong me.
Even within the defense industry, the US has loads of foreign products in use, so not accepting or allowing foreign bids on its tanker project in my mind was a non-issue, even if the rejection of the Dubai ports deal was thrown into the mix, there is still enough foreign products being used by the US and its military to dispel the arguments.

I think LM is probably the main culprit in this whole equation, they are probably looking to make a killing on this project without spending much money in the process. Designing and building your own a/c is expensive, your ROI would be limited if for a military project only, and since they have left the civilian market, there would be no secondary market, add to the fact that the US is the only major country using the boom technonlogy and you have this soup thats going on now.

Ultimately - my opinion - the US Airforce is going to get screwed with this deal, they are going to end up with KC-135 tankers, KC-10's, KC-767 and KC-30's, now however you look at it, which ever is best or better, having that many type of a/c for tankers is ( my opinion ) all screwed up. At the end of the day, Airbus will be happy, LM will be happy, Boeing will be happy, politicians will be happy, just hope those maintaining and using these different type's will be happy too, and in time - years down the road - when the GAO advises that the multiple types is a maintenance problem, all those involved now will be long gone, unfortunately, including us.

Cheers


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7697 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2378 times:

Been at this too long, apologies to LM, sorry for my confusion, goes to show how lost I can get.

?????????


User currently offlineCurt22 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 14):
I don't think that a licensed built production would be viable option for Airbus, because different from all the models discussed above the A330 is a predominantly civil product. In my humble opinion the most clever move of Airbus would be to announce the production of the entire A332F in the States. That would kill Boeing's patriotic offensive instantly (or render it ridiculous).

Two Words: Data Rights...

Patriotism is as important to the vendor as it is to the buyer...if not, the buyer will walk away.

The plan to simply ship parts to Moblie Alabama for $10 per hour non union workers with little to no aviation expereince to bolt together an Airbus doesn't impress many people.

I know little of this program, but there is a fear of losing support from foreign nations who may decide to withhold vital spares for these aircraft because of future disagreements with American foreign policy.

This fear could be eliminated by providing full data rights to the US Govt for potential manufacturing of spares should the need arise. Proper protections to secure this data with heavy fines for violations could be put in place to protect EADS interests...after all, in the end...the "interest" of all companies is MONEY.

Airplane makers aren't dumb, they know the REAL money to be made extends way beyond initial sales and its a very good reason to keep close hold of one's proprietary data...guess the question will be...how bad do they WANT this contract?


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