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
-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.