billreid
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Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:15 am

This is a contentious issue.
But protectionism needs to be addressed as laws and rules conflict.  stirthepot 


Can the $40B USAF deal be awarded to the EADS A330 in the same year that Virgin America is denied entry for foriegn ownership laws established by the DOD and not the DOT or the DOJ?

Can't have it two ways.
The DOD says foreign ownership in an airline cannot exceed 25%.
Can the DOD also buy 100% of fueling aircraft from a foreign entity?

The EU argues that Boeing is subsidized by military contracts.
Would a military contract to EADS actually be subsidizing the A380 fiasco?
Would US taxpayers or the airlines be willing to support this?

So is the USAF and the DOD pushing for support of Virgin America certification to open the door to allow for a viable bid from EADS on the USAF contract?
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
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N328KF
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:19 am

Quoting BillReid (Thread starter):
The DOD says foreign ownership in an airline cannot exceed 25%.
Can the DOD also buy 100% of fueling aircraft from a foreign entity?

Northrop Grumman is prime for the KC-30. They will do final assembly and integration of many of the extra systems.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 am

Well Boeing launched the 767-200LRF (Long-Range Freighter) this morning, and has stated that this will be the platform used for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker proposal they will submit for the USAF's RFP.

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2007/q1/070212b_nr.html
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:52 am

Quoting BillReid (Thread starter):
The EU argues that Boeing is subsidized by military contracts.
Would a military contract to EADS actually be subsidizing the A380 fiasco?
Would US taxpayers or the airlines be willing to support this?

I think we covered some of the more tendentious issues on the 40 or so previous tanker threads. Search?
I'm not sure about the airline connection to a defense procurement?

Quoting BillReid (Thread starter):
So is the USAF and the DOD pushing for support of Virgin America certification to open the door to allow for a viable bid from EADS on the USAF contract?

I can't for the life of me see a relationship between the "USAF and DOD" and "Virgin America" but I'm willing to hear your case....
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:32 am

Too late to edit. For the thread starter, I'm not trying to be rude in my response, but I honestly don't see the connection!
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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keesje
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:56 am

I think it would be more relevant to take us militairy sales to europe in the past decades as a reference.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Thorny
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:21 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 5):
I think it would be more relevant to take us militairy sales to europe in the past decades as a reference.

For what it's worth, today's AvWeek says the USAF is considering A400M purchases.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:36 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):
today's AvWeek says the USAF is considering A400M purchases.

Any link yet, or just the print version?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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keesje
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):
For what it's worth, today's AvWeek says the USAF is considering A400M purchases.

Everybody saw this coming. I except the C-130s and/or C-17s are just perfect.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:35 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 8):
Everybody saw this coming. I except the C-130s and/or C-17s are just perfect.

Rather than hijack this thread, if there is a link to an article citing that the USAF is considering purchasing the A400, then I would suggest a new thread.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Thorny
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:07 am

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 7):
Any link yet, or just the print version?

You need to have a subscription. Here is a fair-use excerpt...

"USAF Planners Try to Stop Decline
Aviation Week & Space Technology
02/12/2007, page 25

The Air Force also proposes a new program with advance procurement in Fiscal 2008 for an HC/MC-130 replacement. An analysis of alternatives for both platforms points to a C-130J or A-400M as possible candidates, though the A400M will not be ready to meet early fielding timelines set by USAF."
 
echster
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:54 am

Anyone have any specs on a B762LRF???
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:45 pm

Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):
For what it's worth, today's AvWeek says the USAF is considering A400M purchases.



Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
The Air Force also proposes a new program with advance procurement in Fiscal 2008 for an HC/MC-130 replacement. An analysis of alternatives for both platforms points to a C-130J or A-400M as possible candidates, though the A400M will not be ready to meet early fielding timelines set by USAF."

If it is not ready when the USAF wants it, why even consider it?

For the Tanker compitition, here is the only part Congress will read. (from the Boeing B-767-200LRF web page)

"This KC-767 Advanced Tanker will support more than 44,000 American jobs and 300 suppliers,"

NG says they will have 1,000 jobs in Mobil, plus the suppliers.

Even our dumb Congressmen/women and Senators don't need to count these numbers on the fingers and toes.

Can I replace the word "dumb" above with "stupid"?
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:07 am

Quoting Echster (Reply 11):
Anyone have any specs on a B762LRF?

I haven't seen anything released yet. All Boeing has said it will haul more fuel more efficiently and use less runway then the original KC-767 proposal.
 
Thorny
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:24 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
If it is not ready when the USAF wants it, why even consider it?

Because timelines can be changed. How long have we been waiting on KC-X now?
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:10 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 3):
can't for the life of me see a relationship between the "USAF and DOD" and "Virgin America" but I'm willing to hear your case....

There isn't one. These are two entirely different matters.
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:14 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
The Air Force also proposes a new program with advance procurement in Fiscal 2008 for an HC/MC-130 replacement. An analysis of alternatives for both platforms points to a C-130J or A-400M as possible candidates, though the A400M will not be ready to meet early fielding timelines set by USAF."

It would seem that the AF views the C-130J as a suitable platform to fill these mission requirements. It isn't clear why they'd consider the A400M unless there's a desire to make sure there's a competition for the final contract. I'm sure Airbus would love to sell A400Ms to the US military but then consider how many airframes this would be. Not too many, as best I can tell.
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:38 pm

Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
The Air Force also proposes a new program with advance procurement in Fiscal 2008 for an HC/MC-130 replacement.

It seems we are only talking about some 30-35 airplanes here.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
I haven't seen anything released yet.

The MTOW of the B-767-200LRF jumps to 412,000lbs from the 395,000lbs for the B-767-200ER. Since Boeing is also saying it will use less runway, I would guess it has higher thrust engines and additional wing refinements.

One thing that concerns me is thie KC-X program is for 179 airplane. Congress has a habit of trimming down the numbers bought. They did it to the FB-111A (from 240 to 76), the F-22A (down to 183 airplanes), and the C-17 program had a low of only 120 airplanes, but now is at 190. I expect the final number of KC-Xs bought will be around 100-110.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:04 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
One thing that concerns me is thie KC-X program is for 179 airplane. Congress has a habit of trimming down the numbers bought.

Mainly because the cost per unit keeps ballooning well beyond what was originally contracted as the USAF keeps adding doo-dads and new missions.  Smile
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:55 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
Mainly because the cost per unit keeps ballooning well beyond what was originally contracted as the USAF keeps adding doo-dads and new missions.

That was not the case with the FB-111A. But, contract change orders (for the doo-dads) require Congressional approval.
 
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Devilfish
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:19 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
Mainly because the cost per unit keeps ballooning well beyond what was originally contracted as the USAF keeps adding doo-dads and new missions.

And given that the B-762LRF would in essence be a new and different platform from what was originally proposed, if it wins, the flyaway costs would in all likelihood also fly.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
If it is not ready when the USAF wants it, why even consider it?



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 16):

It would seem that the AF views the C-130J as a suitable platform to fill these mission requirements. It isn't clear why they'd consider the A400M unless there's a desire to make sure there's a competition for the final contract.

There is also this matter.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ertify-c-130-upgrade-as-costs.html

Flightglobal has a comprehensive summary of the various tanker and cargo platforms available or soon to be so. Makes for an interesting and informative read.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ankers-and-transport-aircraft.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ts-new-look-military-aircraft.html
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
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keesje
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:56 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
"This KC-767 Advanced Tanker will support more than 44,000 American jobs and 300 suppliers,"

I think the trick is in the word "support" (folks spending 10 minutes on every kC767), something different hen creating jobs IMO.

One of the reasons the RAF selected the KC30 was that it was able to use the many shorter RAF AFB runways (appart from Brize and Boscombe) at MTOW in a refueling configuration while the KC767 was not. Has this been changed with the upgraded KC767?

IMO the KC30 is a little bigger bigger, can carry more fuel a little further, has better TO performance, offers superior passenger (without reconfig.) and cargo capability and is technological a generation ahead of its competitor. When production planning is 20 yrs for the first batch, this seems important.

(pls correct me if I said anything incorrect here).

I would not be surpriced if it is not up to the USAF what is selected and on which grounds.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:02 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
For the Tanker compitition, here is the only part Congress will read. (from the Boeing B-767-200LRF web page)



Quoting Keesje (Reply 21):
I would not be surpriced if it is not up to the USAF what is selected and on which grounds.

Large procurement programs always must be approved by Congress. They sign the checks. The tanker program is not different. If it were, the USAF would be flying leased KC-767s. This has been discussed to the point of illness.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
For the Tanker compitition, here is the only part Congress will read. (from the Boeing B-767-200LRF web page)

"This KC-767 Advanced Tanker will support more than 44,000 American jobs and 300 suppliers,"

NG says they will have 1,000 jobs in Mobil, plus the suppliers.

Even our dumb Congressmen/women and Senators don't need to count these numbers on the fingers and toes.

Can I replace the word "dumb" above with "stupid"?

Ah come on! You will have to admit that most of those 44.000 jobs would be there anyhow. Boeing is selling their planes very well at the moment and will continue to do so. And what's also funny, everyone accuses Airbus to be a program to keep Europe employed and now we are seeing the same with this tender!

And my last remark; define support. Are we talking the lady in the local cafeteria as well as she is cooking for the workers in her town?

I say, let the best thing win and especially what is best for you as a taxpayer. Just like we are on the verge on ordering the JSF instead of a European fighter.

Cheers!  wave 
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N328KF
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:48 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 21):

IMO the KC30 is a little bigger bigger, can carry more fuel a little further, has better TO performance, offers superior passenger (without reconfig.) and cargo capability and is technological a generation ahead of its competitor. When production planning is 20 yrs for the first batch, this seems important.

If you would take your Airbus blinders off and look at page 5 of this document, you may begin to fathom why your fabled KC-30 may not work for USAF as well as you think.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:25 am

Quoting N328KF (Reply 24):
If you would take your Airbus blinders off and look at page 5 of this document, you may begin to fathom why your fabled KC-30 may not work for USAF as well as you think.

Wow, suprising! A Boeing PDF-file claiming their product is better than Airbus' product! What is the world of marketing becoming to?

Cheers!   

[Edited 2007-02-16 16:27:01]
Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
 
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N328KF
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:51 am

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 25):
Wow, suprising! A Boeing PDF-file claiming their product is better than Airbus' product! What is the world of marketing becoming to?

Say what you want about most of the rest of the content. You can't fake scale, and the footprint is one of the key criteria.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:29 am

Quoting N328KF (Reply 26):
Say what you want about most of the rest of the content. You can't fake scale, and the footprint is one of the key criteria.

The footprint of the plane was already shown in reply 21, so your post didn't added anything new. We all know it is one of the main criteria for this tender. What I do mind is that Boeing pressmaterial is being cited as an independent source, just like I won't cite John Leahy as an independent source when making a statement on Airbus.

I just want a fair tender process, and let the best thing win! If it's Boeing, great, if it's Northrop Grumman, also great! It's always a cool thing to see a new plane in a new role!

Cheers!  wave 
Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
 
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N328KF
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:37 am

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 27):
The footprint of the plane was already shown in reply 21, so your post didn't added anything new. We all know it is one of the main criteria for this tender. What I do mind is that Boeing pressmaterial is being cited as an independent source, just like I won't cite John Leahy as an independent source when making a statement on Airbus.

Sour grapes.

I never claimed it was an independent source, but you can't fake drawings. Just because a technical diagram happens to be from Boeing doesn't make it incorrect. Get over it.

And the previous drawing did not show the size relative to the KC-135, which is particularly important. How about getting off my back about these niggling points?

[Edited 2007-02-16 17:51:34]
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:03 am

You KC-30 supporters just don't understand how important the ramp size of the new airplane is to the USAF. With the bigger KC-30, that means fewer shooters in theater. The tanker is not the tip of the spear, but it is just behind the tip.

BTW, I notced that Boeing is now pushing aircraft survivability (in the combat area). The KC-30 has never mentioned this capability. The KC-135 is there every day, and always has been out there with the shooters. Yes, you can add similar capability to the KC-30, but at the cost of fuel. It seems the Advanced KC-767 has taken care of this with an increase of gross weight, thus no loss in fuel.

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 23):
Ah come on! You will have to admit that most of those 44.000 jobs would be there anyhow. Boeing is selling their planes very well at the moment and will continue to do so. And what's also funny, everyone accuses Airbus to be a program to keep Europe employed and now we are seeing the same with this tender!

Those involved in the C-17 and B-767 production cannot be so sure, as you are. What is not funny is Congress will have to answer why they elected to keep Europeans in jobs when C-17 and B-767 workers loose theirs.

But if the KC-767 is selected, every one of those 44,000 workers can expect at least a few more year working.
 
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keesje
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:56 am

Quoting N328KF (Reply 24):
If you would take your Airbus blinders off and look at page 5 of this document, you may begin to fathom why your fabled KC-30 may not work for USAF as well as you think.



Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 25):
Wow, suprising! A Boeing PDF-file claiming their product is better than Airbus' product!

What strikes me is that Boeing is avoiding every direct comparison between the KC30 and KC767. Probably for good reason. This seems to have become part of their sales strategy.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
What is not funny is Congress will have to answer why they elected to keep Europeans in jobs when C-17 and B-767 workers loose theirs.

Nice plane but it just aint good enough?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
You KC-30 supporters just don't understand how important the ramp size of the new airplane is to the USAF. With the bigger KC-30, that means fewer shooters in theater.

I think the RAF concluded the KC30 needs less runway (can operate from shorter runways / more airports) that should compensate a lot. Ramp size issues seems to be dragged in for this sales campaign but not something the USAF came up with..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Acheron
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:06 am

I say Grumman/Airbus pull out of this so we can be done with it, already, instead of letting this show go on and on. And save them some money(that might be more useful in the A350 program) than wasting time and effort in a USAF contract they won't win at all. Heck, why bother biding in any USAF contract, for that matter.
 
TropicBird
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:46 am

The main argument for the KC-X seems to have come down to the number of booms the USAF needs vs. the number of dollars available. The theme that I keep hearing is that with the fixed amount of dollars budgeted, they want to get the most booms (airframes) for those dollars. I believe this is too simplistic a justification so I have these questions:

1) In their worst case scenario, how many booms will they need in total at any one time worldwide?

2) Are the actual number of KC-X needed based on USAF aircraft which can only use the boom to refuel or Navy/Marine aircraft which use the drogue?

If the answers from the questions are for example, 75 tanker aircraft are in the air at any one time for various tanker related mission(s) worldwide, then it is reasonable to conclude that a total fleet of 100 larger (and more expensive) tankers equipped with the same boom/drouge configuration (1 boom, 2 pods and 1 centerline) would meet and/or exceed the USAF's needs.

When considering these questions, keep in mind that the USAF acknowledges that at least 200+ KC-135 will be around for many more years, so those airframes need to be considered in any total number of booms available.
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:59 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
Those involved in the C-17 and B-767 production cannot be so sure, as you are. What is not funny is Congress will have to answer why they elected to keep Europeans in jobs when C-17 and B-767 workers loose theirs.

I think they can. Boeing will increase their B787 production, and if they do it right they can have even more people employed with new products like the B737RS and B747-8. People currently working on the B767 line already knew their day was coming sooner or later and they would move on to other Boeing projects. As for Congress, I think they should pick that what fits most in the budget. The US Defense Budget is already growing and growing and there will be a time when people say that it's enough and that the money needs to be spend on other areas like healthcare or something. Keeping your people employed is one thing, not having a healthcare system which is affordable is another. (Or something like that because I'm not claiming to be the US domestic matters expert here  Wink).

I'm not a KC-30 supporter, I like that plane, I like the other plane. I just like to have a fair contest and that the US picks a plane that suits their operational needs best. If that is the B767, great. If it is the A330 also great.

The Netherlands recently did the same with selecting a successor for the F-16. Eventually they picked the JSF for it's more state of the advance features and because the Royal Dutch Air Force thinks it's the best plane. If it was about politics we would have ended up with the Eurofighter of Rafale (which are good planes by the way).

Quoting N328KF (Reply 28):
Sour grapes.

You call them sour grapes, I just pointed out my opinion on this thing. When trying to prove a point, I always search for an independent source, that's my way of working. I didn't attack you, I just said how I was thinking on these things.

Cheers!  wave 
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bigjku
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:03 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 30):
What strikes me is that Boeing is avoiding every direct comparison between the KC30 and KC767. Probably for good reason. This seems to have become part of their sales strategy.

There are a few basic problems with the Lockheed proposal that the USAF is going to point out. I used to do contract work on procurement, mostly on the naval side, but the concepts are largely the same.

First we have to assume that the USAF really wants 200 tankers. The point made earlier about boom saturation is an important one. Additionally one should not underestimate that there is inherent value in being able to have 50 more tankers available at any given time. Without any additional information we have to assume the USAF needs the 200 tankers rather than 150 tankers of equal capability to 200 cheaper tankers.

Moving ahead from this assumption we come to the following problem. Given the ballpark figures for each aircraft (120 for a 767 and 160 for the A330 variant) we come up with a total program cost of 24 Billion for 767’s or 32 Billion for A330 assuming a buy of 200 tankers for the KC-X run.

The above brings us to the first problem that many here have failed to identify. The USAF and US Armed forces in general make decisions in a very different manner from European and other associated forces. While they have comparatively more money to spend the numbers of examples the USAF needs means that relatively small variations, like 40 Million USD, plays out to a very large number when played out over an order of 200 airframes.

Where there seems to be disconnect is in assessing the relative cost and value of these to the various nations involved. When a limited production run, like 5 tankers for Australia, are being considered the value difference between getting 5 A330’s or 5 KC-767’s the choice is obvious. The production run is so small that the savings by going with the Boeing might be enough to get you one C-17. In addition the limited size and budget of your forces means that the additional cargo and fuel that an A330 can carry is far more valuable as it frees your airlift to do other things.

The equation for the US is far different. You are looking at a first run of effectively 200 tankers with a total potential for nearly 600 frames.

The first thing you need to look at is the savings you can achieve by going with the Boeing and just what force structure that would free you to purchase. In just the first run of 200 tankers you could save 8 Billion USD. That would allow you at current purchase prices to get your 200 tankers and still purchase 65 F-22’s, 40 C-17’s or some combination of the above.

The capability problem is also not as critical for the US. The USAF has plenty of cargo haulers. This is not really a problem. The main issue is ability to deploy where needed with enough tankers. While the A330 carries more fuel, about 122 Tons to 72 Tons for the 767, this ability does not play out as well as one might suspect. Essentially a 767 has enough fuel to fully gas up about 11 or so large fighters. The A330 can get about 18 of the same. The problem, other than boom saturation, is there are not enough airframes to justify the A330 anyway.
The current USAF force structure has about 2,000 total fighters, around 200 active bombers and a whole bunch of other planes in various innumerable categories. Considering that with 200 767’s you could tank every fighter in the USAF inventory, which is far more than the active number currently in service, the idea that you need more fuel in the air is really not the reality. Consider that this would leave you with 400 other tankers to handle giving gas to your bombers, transports, electronic aircraft and what not and you see that the extra gas is not really the issue.

So if you buy 600 A330’s over the long term you spend about 96 Billion USD, constant to this year, over the next 10-30 years, depending on how long we drag this program out. If we go with the 767 we spend 72 Billion USD. That leaves us with 24 Billion USD to play with.

That is sufficient savings to get a lot of things done. First lets recapitalize the fighter force. The USAF currently plans to purchase about 183 F-22’s. Lets go ahead and spend our first half of that 24 Billion USD on that. We get another 104 F-22 bringing the USAF total much closer to the F-15’s it will be replacing with 287. If I want to spend the whole savings on fighters I can get my total 391 fighters which would replace the F-15 force and then some.

But say I go with just using half of that money on fighters. I can use the remaining 12 Billion USD on something else useful, like C-17’s. I can probably get around 50 or so with what remains. That would cover my lift requirements for a good while and more than make up for any lost cargo capacity I have in choosing the 787.

There are three things that are against the A330 in this contest. The first is cost, its just not the economical choice. The second is the fact that more fuel is just not really necessary with the dwindling number of airframes currently in the USAF. Finally the USAF does not need the fringe benefits of the larger aircraft like smaller nations do. It simply can make up for the loss with other specialized platforms.

The main problem is that the initial KC-X requirement was written by people who were just trying to figure out what the best tanker for the USAF would be. I think we can all agree the idea tanker is the biggest, fastest thing around that can carry the most cargo, fuel and people the furthest. The problem is that is expensive and it has to be balanced against other needs. If I can save tens of billions of dollars by buying just a tanker and in the process get 50 more C-17’s (which can move things the A-330 could not even consider moving)and 100 more F-22’s then the decision becomes easy.

This is why the initial concepts for a product rarely look like they do in final form. The Army Crusader is a great example of this. Fantastic gun, fantastic system, but just way too expensive and the capability was not worth the price. If you really weight the decision between getting more fighters and transports in the air, and still having plenty of flying gas for them with a slightly more capable tanker its really an easy decision.

I see the USAF buying 767’s for the first two batches of tankers, then they might look for something more suited to replace the KC-10 as a bigger tanker for long range ferry deployments.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:05 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 30):
Ramp size issues seems to be dragged in for this sales campaign but not something the USAF came up with..

Indeed. Even more surprising was that as soon as Boeing mentioned the possibility of a KC777, the ramp size issue suddenly went very quiet! scratchchin 
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norcal
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:47 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 34):

Very good post

One other expense to add to the KC-30 (or the KC-777) is the upgrades required to the infrastructure to handle the plane.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
Indeed. Even more surprising was that as soon as Boeing mentioned the possibility of a KC777, the ramp size issue suddenly went very quiet!

Boeing just wants to offer the USAF whatever it needs. An argument can be made for any model.

KC-737/KC320 - Tactical tanker, lots of tankers could be bought.

KC-767 - Strategic tanker that fits existing infrastructure

KC-777/KC3 - Good KC-10 replacement or a more capable KC-135 replacement if ramp space truly isn't an issue

KC-747/380 - If you really need to haul a lot of cargo and a lot of gas.


This simply isn't about tanker capabilities, there are many more variables. The USAF wants to replace the KC-135 fleet. They want to choose a platform that will give them the most booms for the cheapest price with the fewest upgrades to infrastructure.......there is really only one choice and that is the KC-767. When it comes time to replace the KC-10 then the KC-30 becomes the obvious choice.
 
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USAF336TFS
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:56 am

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
Quoting Keesje (Reply 30):
Ramp size issues seems to be dragged in for this sales campaign but not something the USAF came up with..

Indeed. Even more surprising was that as soon as Boeing mentioned the possibility of a KC777, the ramp size issue suddenly went very quiet!

Silence as in direct comparisons between the KC-30 and KC-777?
336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:08 am

Quoting BillReid (Thread starter):
Can't have it two ways.

Sure you can. You have proposed a strawman; there is no linkage between these issues.

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 16):
It isn't clear why they'd consider the A400M unless there's a desire to make sure there's a competition for the final contract.

They'd consider the A400M because it might be a good fit as it is, and also because the act of considering it aids the case for more C-17's. Practically and/or politics at work - take your pick.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
Even more surprising was that as soon as Boeing mentioned the possibility of a KC777, the ramp size issue suddenly went very quiet

Went quiet only on A.Net. The infrastructure issue has always been a consideration for the USAF.

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 32):
The main argument for the KC-X seems to have come down to the number of booms the USAF needs vs. the number of dollars available. The theme that I keep hearing is that with the fixed amount of dollars budgeted, they want to get the most booms (airframes) for those dollars. I believe this is too simplistic a justification

You're right about the "theme" of USAF thinking, but it's not too simplistic a justification. Very simply, the USAF will select based on the totality of the question - getting the most value for the money spent - and not on which aircraft is "best". The purchase cost of the airplane and the cost of infrastructure to house, maintain and operate the aircraft all play into the final number of airframes you can afford. That number of airframes you can buy and the total capability of the force must be judged against needs. It is entirely possible the choice that provides the greatest total value for the USAF is not head-to-head the better airplane.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 34):
There are three things that are against the A330 in this contest. The first is cost, its just not the economical choice. The second is the fact that more fuel is just not really necessary with the dwindling number of airframes currently in the USAF.

 checkmark  You've hit the point exactly. This is not a head-to-head competition between the two aircraft. It's a total program buy, and being able to buy more aircraft and not have to spend to reconfigure ramps etc. weighs heavily in favor of the Boeing bid.

An impressive first post BigJKU! Welcome to A.Net. thumbsup 
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N328KF
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:18 am

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
Indeed. Even more surprising was that as soon as Boeing mentioned the possibility of a KC777, the ramp size issue suddenly went very quiet!

That's a bunch of poppycock. Boeing's line has always been "We think the KC-767 is the best choice, but if you do want something bigger, we have the KC-777." You are being disingenuous.
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bigjku
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:59 am

It is actually a very common thing to look at the initial thoughts on a program and then look back later and see a much different purchase come out of it. KC-X is a very good example of this. They asked people to think up what they want in a next generation tanker and got basically the list for a dream tanker.

Lets be honest, if the USAF could afford it they would get the biggest tanker that anyone could produce in huge numbers that could also carry a tank in the cargo bay. The problem with the KC-X initial request is the same that it always is in military purchases, particularly programs that are for non-shooters, is that you cannot justify a more expensive tanker that when priced out would allow you to vastly increase your war-fighting forces.
 
TropicBird
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:57 am

The article pasted below says alot. Gen. Moseley always wanted the 767 and is now the Chief of Staff. I found the statement below most telling because he says with certainty that the 767 will in the end, be the aircraft selected. How many generals will go against him? Was this really free and open competition?


"As we look through this, the operational future, the nature of the 767-class airplane will play out in my opinion," Moseley told McCain, adding the AOA would have a role in this process.


Complete article below....



DAILY BRIEFING
March 10, 2004
Senator assails Air Force vice chief over tanker lease remarks
By Amy Klamper, CongressDaily


Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley drew fire Tuesday from Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain for public remarks the general made last week favoring the Air Force's current plan to lease and buy Boeing 767 aerial refueling tankers. McCain asserted Moseley's comments had precluded any option other than the 767.

During a lively exchange at a Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee hearing, Moseley told McCain he had been asked his own opinion about tanker options during an appearance last week before a House Armed Services subcommittee. McCain said Moseley had not been asked his opinion but had offered it.

"You're supposed to be representing the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force, and you are not doing that in your statement [to the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee]," McCain said.

McCain asked whether Moseley was aware of a Feb. 24 directive to the Air Force from Michael Wynne, the Pentagon's acting undersecretary for acquisition, to conduct an analysis of alternatives (AOA) for refurbishing or replacing the service's aging KC-135 aerial refueling fleet.

"Certainly your statement before the House Armed Services Committee is in direct contradiction to the direction given by the undersecretary of defense," McCain said.

During his March 3 testimony before the House panel, Moseley touted the 767 tanker over other options.

"The plan that we've got for the KC-X and the 767 is valid," Moseley said in his March 3 testimony. "The options of contracting is not operationally viable. The options of re-engining old 707s gives us a re-engined, 50-year-old, Eisenhower air tanker, not viable from my perspective, or the ability to go look at something out there that is outside the boundaries of a 767-class airplane." McCain said the statement conflicted with guidance prescribed by the department.

Moseley told McCain the Air Force is committed to conducting an AOA, adding he had been asked his personal opinion on the tanker requirement during his House testimony, and he had responded as an operational commander.

"As we look through this, the operational future, the nature of the 767-class airplane will play out in my opinion," Moseley told McCain, adding the AOA would have a role in this process.

As the air operations commander of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moseley is arguably suited to assess the service's future tanker needs.

But McCain asserted Moseley had not been called to testify as an operational commander, but as the Air Force vice chief, and it was not the general's place to volunteer an opinion during testimony before Congress.

McCain also took issue with Moseley's prepared statement, in which he said at the beginning of January, 36 percent of the KC-135 fleet was unavailable, including aircraft in depot and those unit-possessed but not mission-capable.

"Of those that are available, mission-capable rates continue trending downward," according to Moseley's prepared statement submitted for the record.

McCain noted mission-capable rates for critical strategic assets, including the B-1 and the newer B-2 bomber, are only half those of the antiquated KC-135. Moseley emphasized that the tanker fleet is a key enabler of other Air Force missions, but McCain asserted information recently received from the Air Force contradicts Moseley's testimony.



This document is located at http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0304/031004cdam1.htm
 
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keesje
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:59 am

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 34):
BigJKU

good post BigJKU, welcome!

I think in this kind of comparisons total life cycle costs of the two models have top be compared. E.g. the live time MRO costs of an aircraft equals it purchasing cost. First hand I know maintenance costs / maintenance intervals / removal rates for new generation aircraft like the 777 & 330 are way better then previous generation aircraft like the 767 / A300.

When the USAF buys 767s now for operation the next 40 yrs they´ll have to support 50-60 yr old technology for 20 yrs from 2030..

I think the point for the KC30 is that can avoid additional cargo capasity investments instead of being able to buy it..

The increased payload range capabilty would mean that you can perhaps use a good percentage less tankers / cargo aircraft / commercial capasity e.g. kc767 refueling each other and C17´s.. and being better able to fill up the bigger ones.



The KC-30 can carry up to 280 passengers/troops on the main deck, with additional volume for accompanying gear and material in lower deck cargo bays. As many as 26 463L pallets can be accommodated on the KC-30's main deck, with loading/unloading facilitated through the 141-in. X 100.6-in cargo door. An additional 6 pallets can be carried in the lower deck. As a Total Air Mobility solution for the Air Force, the KC-30 has the volume and power margins to support add-on C2ISR (Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) systems.

The KC-30's true widebody fuselage cross-section accommodates intensive care systems and approximately 120 litters in medevac applications. A typical mixed configuration would combine 70 litters with six intensive care units and 113 passengers/medical staff on the main deck.

I think most airforces selecting a tanker/transport platform in the near future for the next uncertain next 40 yrs won´t have to think long. However they don´t have to justify less local jobs to politicians.

http://www.northropgrumman.com/kc30/images/media_center/library/4-12-06/KC30_C17_Still_No_Logo_V7.jpg
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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Devilfish
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:59 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
When the USAF buys 767s now for operation the next 40 yrs they´ll have to support 50-60 yr old technology for 20 yrs from 2030..

This "old technology" line is itself getting long in the tooth. What is so advanced about the A330 that is not on the 767 except that it was conceived earlier? The aerodynamics and avionics are basically the same, and even those and the flight systems could be updated in this latest iteration of the KC-767 Advanced Tanker, as demonstrated by the adoption of the latest 777 cockpit. Additionally, Boeing has the best and most extensive track record in aerial refueling and the means to leverage and progress those for the most cutting-edge airborne refueling technology.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
I think most airforces selecting a tanker/transport platform in the near future for the next uncertain next 40 yrs won´t have to think long.

And therein lies the biggest factor. The USAF is not "most air forces" and has its unique and vastly larger and more complex outlook and requirements.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
bigjku
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:34 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
The KC-30 can carry up to 280 passengers/troops on the main deck

This ability is nice but pretty much not really useful the vast majority of the time. During the deployment phase you could use it to avoid having to secure independent transport for the ground support crews for the aircraft but you really probably will not need that many seats. But generally the USAF can rely on the CARF if it needed to move a lot of people.

Once in theater this ability is a complete non-factor. Tankers will base about as far away from the front lines as possible.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
As many as 26 463L pallets can be accommodated on the KC-30's main deck, with loading/unloading facilitated through the 141-in. X 100.6-in cargo door. An additional 6 pallets can be carried in the lower deck. As a Total Air Mobility solution for the Air Force, the KC-30 has the volume and power margins to support add-on C2ISR (Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) systems.

While this is true it misses the point. Is that ability needed so badly as to justify the extra cost but in purchase price and in other things that must be upgraded. While there may be a margin there to add many other systems there is just no real point in doing so. It might possibly be useful in the AWACS role but it will never be as good at it as a dedicated aircraft. Not to mention the very practical problem of lighting off a huge radar on an asset you would rather the enemy not know was out there at all.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
The KC-30's true widebody fuselage cross-section accommodates intensive care systems and approximately 120 litters in medevac applications. A typical mixed configuration would combine 70 litters with six intensive care units and 113 passengers/medical staff on the main deck.

This is probably the biggest load of junk about the KC-30 that you see with regularity. Two major problems come up when you stop to think this through.

1. Tankers are not typically deployed anywhere near where you would find large numbers of casualties. In fact they are deployed about as far from those areas as is possible. In fact if you take a look around you will see that no tankers are deployed into Iraq proper. So you are not going to evacuate casualties on a tanker. First they will be pulled out of the combat zone by helicopter or humvee or whatever. They will then be taken to a medical station and stabilized near to the combat zone. At this point they are more likely than not hundreds if not thousands of miles from the nearest tanker. So either you are going to evacuate them by C-130 to the tanker base then use the tanker to take them out, or you are could just take them straight out without stopping at a tanker base at all.

2. Why, and I fail to see why no one every points this out. Would I want to take a tanker off of the duty that makes it effective, ie refueling planes, and use it as a very expensive medical flight and send it out of the theater of combat where I needed it? Are we going to load it up and fuel planes near a combat zone with casualties on board? It just does not make any sense.

3. I know I said just two but this is for other air forces and not really the USAF. Why in the world, if I have like 6-10 of these things around, would I take one and cut my abilities down so much for a mission like evacuation? It just does not make sense. There are cheaper and more disposable platforms for this mission than tankers.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):

I think most airforces selecting a tanker/transport platform in the near future for the next uncertain next 40 yrs won´t have to think long. However they don´t have to justify less local jobs to politicians.

I agree with you. If I am buying just a handful of tankers and have limited other platforms the decision is easy. It is when you start buying hundreds that it becomes obvious to go the other way and just get a tanker so you can save your money for other uses. It is just an economy of scale. If I am buying a car for myself and I get a BMW instead of Buick so what? It cost me 10K more or whatever and I got a better car. If I am buying them for a police department and need 5-600 over the next 30 years that 10k suddenly became 6 million dollars difference and is a big deal.

The US military procures weapons in a vastly different manner than European nations, you cannot really equate the best decision for one as being good for the other.
 
TropicBird
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:38 am

The point that seems to be missed here is that the USAF originally promoted the KC-X as a mixed use aircraft, not a dedicated tanker as some now seem to be focused on. It was only in the past month that AF Sec. Wynne started to backpedal and say they want more of a tanker. Why else did Boeing, NG/EADS and others develop a multi-use platform? They were responding to what the USAF stated they wanted.

Now with the 330 still in the running and beating out the 767 when you consider these extra capabilities, they have determined they are no longer necessary. The KC-X is now an air tanker and one with a smaller fuel load needed. I smell Congress behind this about face.

Below is perfect example of what the Secretary was saying in December 2005.


"Competition for the contract to build a new aerial refueling tanker likely won't start until 2007, because the Air Force wants a plane that can carry cargo, reconnaissance sensors and troops as well as fuel, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said Wednesday."


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/250353_tankers01.html

and here...

http://aimpoints.hq.af.mil/display.cfm?id=8109


Now here in January 2007 he gives a far different direction.


USAF Sec. Wynne 1/18/2007)

"We want to buy a tanker. We do not want to by a cargo airplane that tanks, we also do not want to buy a passenger airplane that tanks. We want to buy a tanker," Wynne stated emphatically. "It's primary mission is going to be a tanker. The fact that it can carry cargo or passengers is a benefit, but it is not the primary reason for the procurement."
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:51 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
The KC-30 can carry up to 280 passengers/troops on the main deck, with additional volume for accompanying gear and material in lower deck cargo bays. As many as 26 463L pallets can be accommodated on the KC-30's main deck, with loading/unloading facilitated through the 141-in. X 100.6-in cargo door. An additional 6 pallets can be carried in the lower deck. As a Total Air Mobility solution for the Air Force, the KC-30 has the volume and power margins to support add-on C2ISR (Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) systems.

The KC-30's true widebody fuselage cross-section accommodates intensive care systems and approximately 120 litters in medevac applications. A typical mixed configuration would combine 70 litters with six intensive care units and 113 passengers/medical staff on the main deck.

All this is true, Keesje, but it is a list of capabilities the USAF isn't asking for as the primary mission of the aircraft. If they had, Boeing would have bid with a 777F-derived tanker and the KC-30 would not look so good in comparison.

(Apologies in advance...can't get the following link to format correctly for some reason confused  )

You can read the KC-X System Requirements Document in full at: AF/Synopses/905/FA8625-07-R-6470/SectionJAttachment1R2_1KC-XSRD-20070125.doc+KC-X+System+Requirements+Document+(SRD)&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&lr=lang_en" target=_blank>http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:...l=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&lr=lang_en

The most important point is right up front:
"The primary mission of the KC-X is to provide worldwide, day/night, adverse weather aerial refueling (AR) on the same sortie to receiver capable United States (U.S.), allied, and coalition military aircraft (including unoccupied aircraft). AR aircraft (ARA) provide robust, sustained AR capability to support strategic operations, global attack, air-bridge, deployment, sustainment, employment, redeployment, homeland defense, theater operations, and special operations. Secondary missions for KC-X include emergency aerial refueling, airlift, communications gateway, aeromedical evacuation (AE), forward area refueling point (FARP), combat search and rescue, and treaty compliance. ARA may allow for mixing secondary missions in a manner not to significantly impact the primary AR mission. KC-X will accomplish these missions primarily through the aerial refueling of other aircraft and airlift capability, exploiting its adaptability and expeditionary capabilities."

The USAF clearly wants a tanker first and foremost. The secondary missions are achieved in most cases by the KC-X acting as a tanker in support of other aircraft performing the missions. Only in the last case will the KC-X act as a transport (or search & rescue!) aircraft - and that only when it doesn't impact the primary missions as a tanker.

Read the entire SRD and you'll find there is no requirement that is not met by the KC-767. The capabilities you listed for the KC-30 far exceed what is called for in the SRD, and excess capability at excess cost will not win this contract. no 
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bigjku
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:56 am

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 45):
The point that seems to be missed here is that the USAF originally promoted the KC-X as a mixed use aircraft, not a dedicated tanker as some now seem to be focused on. It was only in the past month that AF Sec. Wynne started to backpedal and say they want more of a tanker. Why else did Boeing, NG/EADS and others develop a multi-use platform? They were responding to what the USAF stated they wanted.

Of course they wanted a multi-role tanker. However the financial realities of the situation pretty much preclude that from happening.

What you write into a RFP and what you end up purchasing are two vastly different things. You could have the tanker you want or you could have tankers that will do the necessary job along with another 12 billion dollars if you buy 200 of each. 12 Billion Dollars can get a lot of stuff done. 12 billion dollars over three runs of tankers can revitalize an entire service.

The USAF and the DOD have tons of needs they need to fill, 36 Billion in flying gas stations will go a long way towards getting needed fighters in the air and you just cannot ignore that.
 
trex8
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:46 pm

one political issue which may play a part is how any supplier may "improve" the aerospace manufacturing base in the US. if Boeing wins with the 767, unless they change plans and have a totally new line somewhere, most of those Boeing workers will still be making something in preexisting Boeing facilities. The proprosed NG plant is a whole new game in a whole new part of the country. Boeing will be around and doing just fine regardless of the tanker deal. NG could do with a shot in the arm when it comes to producing airframes again.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf $40B Tanker

Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:22 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
The KC-30 can carry up to 280 passengers/troops on the main deck, with additional volume for accompanying gear and material in lower deck cargo bays. As many as 26 463L pallets can be accommodated on the KC-30's main deck, with loading/unloading facilitated through the 141-in. X 100.6-in cargo door. An additional 6 pallets can be carried in the lower deck. As a Total Air Mobility solution for the Air Force, the KC-30 has the volume and power margins to support add-on C2ISR (Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) systems.

The KC-30's true widebody fuselage cross-section accommodates intensive care systems and approximately 120 litters in medevac applications. A typical mixed configuration would combine 70 litters with six intensive care units and 113 passengers/medical staff on the main deck.

I think when you look at any multi-role airplane, you will see one mission stands above the others. In other words, the KC-X will be a tanker first, "smart tanker", cargo hauler, troop transport, and medivac are all secondary roles. This is why the KC-135 has been so successful. It can do all of these missions, too, but it is best as a tanker.

BTW, the KC-30 cannot carry 280 combat ready troops. No military airplane can match the passenger hauling capability of that airplane's cilivan cousin. My guess is the KC-30 would carry no more than 140-160 troops, as they take up twice the room a passenger does. Also, forget the underfloor hold capability, the USAF will have fuel tanks there, whether it is the A-330 or B-767.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 44):
2. Why, and I fail to see why no one every points this out. Would I want to take a tanker off of the duty that makes it effective, ie refueling planes, and use it as a very expensive medical flight and send it out of the theater of combat where I needed it? Are we going to load it up and fuel planes near a combat zone with casualties on board? It just does not make any sense.

The only time tankers are used as medivacs are when they are redeploying from the area (for scheduled maintenance, etc). Then it is only when no other aircraft is available, or the wounded need to be evacuated to Europe in a hurray. Here the high speed of the KC-135 will be needed.

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 45):
The point that seems to be missed here is that the USAF originally promoted the KC-X as a mixed use aircraft, not a dedicated tanker as some now seem to be focused on. It was only in the past month that AF Sec. Wynne started to backpedal and say they want more of a tanker.

Both the KC-30 and KC-767 are multi-role proposed airplanes. The question is how much capability do you need in secondary roles?

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 45):
Now with the 330 still in the running and beating out the 767 when you consider these extra capabilities, they have determined they are no longer necessary.

Only the USAF can determine that. Only they know what level of secondary mission capability they want or need. Remember, if you put to much into secondary roles, you decrease the refueling role. The KC-10 has shown us that. You also make your new tanker dependent on another tanker to complete it's mission.

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