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NYC777
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Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:18 pm

Just out on Bloomberg:

Don't have a link but the GAO sides with Boeing...oh boy!
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NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:31 pm

Here is more information:

GAO says review of record led to conclude Air Force made errors
These errors could have effected the outcome.
GAO recommends that the USAF re-open the talks with the competitors. They also recommend that the Air Force reimburse Boeign forthe cost of the protest!

GAO says the Air Force improperly boosted the Boeign cost estimate and they didn't asess the relative merits of the proposals and the the Air Force held misleading and unequal talks with Boeing. The Air Force violated the evaluation provisions.
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jacobin777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:36 pm

The wording from the GAO was a bit scathing.
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TropicBird
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:37 pm

can you please provide a link to your source?
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:40 pm

WHERE IS A REPORT? If its on the wires, it should be on the web!
 
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:46 pm

Ouch. Poor Keesje.

Of course, this is all going to make the whole deal seem tainted, no matter who wins in the end.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
Stratofortress
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:50 pm

Before this goes any further, shall we agree that GAO is a fair organization?!

[Edited 2008-06-18 10:51:56]
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ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:52 pm



Quoting Stratofortress (Reply 7):
Before this goes any further, shall we agree that GAO is a fair?!

No. But they are a Legislative check and balance on the Executive Branch.
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NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:52 pm



Quoting Stratofortress (Reply 7):
shall we agree that GAO is a fair

Hah, depends on who you ask. I agree the report by the GAO was very scathing on the USAF. The Air Force, with the elections coming up will redo this. It's going to get very, VERY political and I expect that a new decision probably won't be made for another year or so. Bad for the pilots who have to conyinue to fly the KC-135s though.
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agill
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:53 pm



Quoting Stratofortress (Reply 7):
Before this goes any further, shall we agree that GAO is a fair?!

A fair? The whole thing seems more like a circus  Wink, but very entertaining.
 
NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:57 pm

Now I have to wonder if Boeing will offer a KC-777 in competition to the KC-30? I bet they will.
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Stratofortress
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:01 pm

The AF is likely to be more explicit in its requirements when it comes to size. The popular mentality during the competition was that AF didn't want a transport plan that also carries fuel, but a true tanker.... They will have to clarify this in the second round (or is it third now?).

This is definitely getting circus(y), but very entertaining.
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MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:03 pm

IIRC, Congress has already fully funded the tanker program, whether it be for Boeing or Northrop Grumman. And the Air Force has been advised by the GAO to redo the competition. If they go against their recommendations, they have to answer to congress.

Wouldn't it be possible for the Air Force to say: "Thank you, but we disagree, and we will buy the KC-30, for the sake of time."
 
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:03 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 11):
Now I have to wonder if Boeing will offer a KC-777 in competition to the KC-30? I bet they will.

What I think Boeing should do is offer a two-part solution to the problem:


  • Offer a limited number of KC-767s (say 50% of the tender) to get production running.
  • Offer as the remaining portion of the tender a future aircraft such as a BWB-based tanker/cargolifter.
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ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:04 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 11):
Now I have to wonder if Boeing will offer a KC-777 in competition to the KC-30? I bet they will.

Because the Air Force chose an over-sized replacement for the 135, Boeing would be smart to propose a dual aircraft package of 767 and 777 based tankers to replace them for greater flexibility. A common cockpit would be a key component.
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EDDB
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:05 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 11):
Now I have to wonder if Boeing will offer a KC-777 in competition to the KC-30? I bet they will.

I bet they would, I doubt they will.... Why? Manpower and time....
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:05 pm

The Air Force does not have to pay Boeing for the protest, unless they WIN!
 
NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:06 pm



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
Because the Air Force chose an over-sized replacement for the 135, Boeing would be smart to propose a dual aircraft package of 767 and 777 based tankers to replace them for greater flexibility. A common cockpit would be a key component.

Dude that was my thought exactly! If the Air Force does re-start the competition. They could offer a mix sale of KC-767 and KC-777 for different missions.

Now I be twho ever wins next time there will be another protest! This thing could drag on for some time.
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ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:09 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 13):
Wouldn't it be possible for the Air Force to say: "Thank you, but we disagree, and we will buy the KC-30, for the sake of time."

No. If Congress said to redo it, and the AF said no, Congress would then unfund the program, and simply fund a new program that must start from scratch. The AF would then have a few KC-45s to play with from the initial order of a handful.
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NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:14 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 17):
The Air Force does not have to pay Boeing for the protest, unless they WIN!

From the GAO decision:
We also recommended that the Air Force reimburse Boeing the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.
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WINGS
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:18 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Thread starter):
Just out on Bloomberg:

Don't have a link but the GAO sides with Boeing...oh boy!

Well here we go again. Yet another few years that will surely keep the Military forum active and interesting.

I can imagine that despite the GOA pointing out some errors in the contest, I still think that EADS/NG will come out in front in the end. Airbus is well advanced in flight trials with the A332MRTT for the RAAF, and I would imagine that the USAF is watching closely

If I was NG I would go forward and risk assembling the 4 frames destined for the USAF. This would give them even more arguments in terms of capabilities, while the KC-767 remains on the drawing board.

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Stratofortress
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:29 pm

From GAO public release... The actual reasons for their decision and recommendations:

Specifically, we sustained the protest for the following reasons:

1. The Air Force, in making the award decision, did not assess the relative merits of the proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria identified in the solicitation, which provided for a relative order of importance for the various technical requirements. The agency also did not take into account the fact that Boeing offered to satisfy more non-mandatory technical “requirements” than Northrop Grumman, even though the solicitation expressly requested offerors to satisfy as many of these technical “requirements” as possible.

2. The Air Force’s use as a key discriminator that Northrop Grumman proposed to exceed a key performance parameter objective relating to aerial refueling to a greater degree than Boeing violated the solicitation’s evaluation provision that “no consideration will be provided for exceeding [key performance parameter] objectives.”

3. The protest record did not demonstrate the reasonableness of the Air Force’s determination that Northrop Grumman’s proposed aerial refueling tanker could refuel all current Air Force fixed-wing tanker-compatible receiver aircraft in accordance with current Air Force procedures, as required by the solicitation.

4. The Air Force conducted misleading and unequal discussions with Boeing, by informing Boeing that it had fully satisfied a key performance parameter objective relating to operational utility, but later determined that Boeing had only partially met this objective, without advising Boeing of this change in the agency’s assessment and while continuing to conduct discussions with Northrop Grumman relating to its satisfaction of the same key performance parameter objective.

5. The Air Force unreasonably determined that Northrop Grumman’s refusal to agree to a specific solicitation requirement that it plan and support the agency to achieve initial organic depot-level maintenance within 2 years after delivery of the first full-rate production aircraft was an “administrative oversight,” and improperly made award, despite this clear exception to a material solicitation requirement.

6. The Air Force’s evaluation of military construction costs in calculating the offerors’ most probable life cycle costs for their proposed aircraft was unreasonable, where the agency during the protest conceded that it made a number of errors in evaluation that, when corrected, result in Boeing displacing Northrop Grumman as the offeror with the lowest most probable life cycle cost; where the evaluation did not account for the offerors’ specific proposals; and where the calculation of military construction costs based on a notional (hypothetical) plan was not reasonably supported.

7. The Air Force improperly increased Boeing’s estimated non-recurring engineering costs in calculating that firm’s most probable life cycle costs to account for risk associated with Boeing’s failure to satisfactorily explain the basis for how it priced this cost element, where the agency had not found that the proposed costs for that element were unrealistically low. In addition, the Air Force’s use of a simulation model to determine Boeing’s probable non-recurring engineering costs was unreasonable, because the Air Force used as data inputs in the model the percentage of cost growth associated with weapons systems at an overall program level and there was no indication that these inputs would be a reliable predictor of anticipated growth in Boeing’s non-recurring engineering costs.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
We recommended that the Air Force reopen discussions with the offerors, obtain revised proposals, re-evaluate the revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision, consistent with our decision. We further recommended that, if the Air Force believed that the solicitation, as reasonably interpreted, does not adequately state its needs, the agency should amend the solicitation prior to conducting further discussions with the offerors. We also recommended that if Boeing’s proposal is ultimately selected for award, the Air Force should terminate the contract awarded to Northrop Grumman. We also recommended that the Air Force reimburse Boeing the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys’ fees. By statute, the Air Force is given 60 days to inform our Office of the Air Force’s actions in response to our recommendations.
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:35 pm



Quoting WINGS (Reply 21):
If I was NG I would go forward and risk assembling the 4 frames destined for the USAF. This would give them even more arguments in terms of capabilities, while the KC-767 remains on the drawing board.

The KC-767 isn't exactly on the drawing board. It's not exactly that much of an advancement from KC-767s that are being produced for other air services. In the case of both the KC-330 and KC-767, they both are derived from currently-flying aircraft.
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NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:40 pm



Quoting WINGS (Reply 21):
I still think that EADS/NG will come out in front in the end.

No one can say who will come out in the end. When the Air Force re-bids this they are going to have make sure that preogram requirements are strict and measurable, that communications is open and honest, and that there is complete trasparency. A lot of these things were missing when the Air Force made it's decision. In other word the Air Force has to make the next bid "protest-proof." If they had done that this last time around Boeing would have won he contract.
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scbriml
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:43 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 13):
Wouldn't it be possible for the Air Force to say: "Thank you, but we disagree, and we will buy the KC-30, for the sake of time."

Yes they can, the GAO's ruling is advisory.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 19):
No.

Yes they can.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 19):
If Congress said to redo it, and the AF said no, Congress would then unfund the program

It's the AF's call as to whether to rebid and evaluate, not that of congress. If they want to pursue the KC-30 without a new contest, they would obviously have to convince congress to fund it. In light of the GAO's ruling, that would be an interesting "challenge".

Here's the GAO PR
http://www.gao.gov/press/press-boeing2008jun18_3.pdf
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Tancrede
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:46 pm

It is what we call a free market country! Oh boy!
And what will happen if Boeing loose again. There will be another competition until at last Boeing win the contract!?!?!  Confused
I really think that we should do the same in Europe, as we have a rather good defence industry.
 
NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:57 pm



Quoting Tancrede (Reply 26):
It is what we call a free market country! Oh boy!
And what will happen if Boeing loose again. There will be another competition until at last Boeing win the contract!?!?!
I really think that we should do the same in Europe, as we have a rather good defence industry.

Ok you don't get it. This was a result of the Air Force's ineptness in conducting the bid process. The fact that the GAO was so scathing of the way the Air Force condcuted this process shows that it was was pretty bad. The GAO is not saying anyting about the KC-30 or the KC-767.

It's now up to the Air Force to make the re-bidding contest (and they would have to as this can be very politically charged during an election year) "protest-proof."
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Venus6971
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:08 pm

I think the USAF hiechary just got another slap to the face, it is no secert that flag officers who retire usally find gainful employment with NG or Boeing are thinking how they are losing control now that the CSAF is a C-130 guy with his vice being a B-52 guy. What is next, the USAF flying F-18E/F's and Block 60 F-16's and GE powered F-15's with a F-18 cockpit suite, I'm sure Boeing and LM would love that. The winds are a changing. Maybe all the infrastucture costs that the KC-30 would have incurred got some DC bureaucrats thinking how many billions this is going to cost just to base the beast. Maybe the USAF will finally get off their F-22 myopic vision and get around to reengining E-3's and B-52's and finally say adieu to the TF-33. As USAF retired vet I have a glimmer of hope for my country's AF.
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redflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:15 pm

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 11):
Now I have to wonder if Boeing will offer a KC-777 in competition to the KC-30? I bet they will.

It will depend on whether the next competition is geared towards a smaller airframe or a larger one. It appears from the GAO ruling that the Air Force was clearly communicating one set of intentions to one competitor and another set of intentions to the other.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 13):
Wouldn't it be possible for the Air Force to say: "Thank you, but we disagree, and we will buy the KC-30, for the sake of time."

I don't think that's going to happen. Gen. Moseley, who appears to have been pushing for the larger tanker behind the scenes, is no longer around and I suspect neither are some of his croneys. NG/EADS lost their biggest proponents when SOD Gates sacked Moseley and SOAF Wynne. With this GAO ruling and the loss of Moseley and Wynne, NG/EADS' political clout has been somewhat tempered, although, they still have some powerful members of Congress in their pockets.

Quoting Stratofortress (Reply 22):
1. The Air Force, in making the award decision, did not assess the relative merits of the proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria identified in the solicitation, which provided for a relative order of importance for the various technical requirements. The agency also did not take into account the fact that Boeing offered to satisfy more non-mandatory technical “requirements” than Northrop Grumman, even though the solicitation expressly requested offerors to satisfy as many of these technical “requirements” as possible.

What ever happened to the USAF's claims that NG/EADS beat Boeing in all evaluation criteria???? So much for the "fairness" and "most open evaluation ever conducted" claims by everyone.

Quoting Stratofortress (Reply 22):
4. The Air Force conducted misleading and unequal discussions with Boeing[/u],

I think this is the most damning conclusion of all, bar none. It almost smells of bribery because for what other reason would a professional organization and the professionals within it treat two equally capable suppliers differently by showing favoritism towards one over the other? This almost reads like the 2002 Tanker RFP scandal when the details first started to come to light.

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 24):
When the Air Force re-bids this they are going to have make sure that program requirements are strict and measurable, that communications is open and honest,

I wonder what John McCain is going to have to say now that this flawed process has played out?

[Edited 2008-06-18 12:19:05]
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Venus6971
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:17 pm

The KC-30 is a great replacement for the KC-10 it is just too much plane for the KC-135 replacement, infrastructure cost for the KC-30 at Travis and Maguire would be minimal compared to basing it at Fairchild and Mconnell and all other -135 bases. Maybe everybody can come out of this with a piece of the pie and make all the Euro A-netters happy.
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Venus6971
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:28 pm

Boeing Statement on Tanker Protest Ruling
ST. LOUIS, June 18, 2008 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] was informed today that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found in Boeing's favor on a number of issues related to its protest of the U.S. Air Force's award of a $35 billion contract to supply the service with its next-generation aerial refueling aircraft -- or KC-X tankers -- to begin replacing the current fleet of KC-135 tankers.

In response to the ruling, Boeing released the following statement from Mark McGraw, vice president, Tanker Programs:

"We welcome and support today's ruling by the GAO fully supporting the grounds of our protest.

"We appreciate the professionalism and diligence the GAO showed in its review of the KC-X acquisition process. We look forward to working with the Air Force on next steps in this critical procurement for our warfighters."



Just some more info.
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redflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:28 pm

Northrop has already come out with a public statement:

Quote:
June 18, 2008—The following is a statement from Randy Belote, Vice President of Corporate & International Communications for Northrop Grumman Corporation: "We respect the GAO’s work in analyzing the Air Force's tanker acquisition process. We continue to believe that Northrop Grumman offered the most modern and capable tanker for our men and women in uniform. We will review the GAO findings before commenting further."

http://www.northropgrumman.com/
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nomadd22
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:29 pm

The competition is bogus. You have two different planes. The AF knows the capabilities of each, so the plane that wins will be the one they write the requirements to match. If they write it so they request a KC-135 replacement, Boeing will win. If they write it so they request a considerable capability increase, EADS wins. An RFP can't be "Tell us what you think we need and we'll pick one of you." It's a set of requirements and a decision on who best meets the requirements.
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daedaeg
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:38 pm

Here we are 7 years from the original RFP and still without a Tanker. Hopefully the Air Force ultimately gets what's best for them. First the GAO sustained the CSAR-X protest, now this one. Looks like the Air Force is going to have to get more stringent on their selection process. Although no award this big is going to be protest proof.
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:41 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 27):
The GAO is not saying anyting about the KC-30 or the KC-767.

Correct, they say exactly that in their PR.

Quote:
The GAO decision should not be read to reflect a view as to the merits of the firms'
respective aircraft.

They also say the AF is the best arbitrator of which bid best meets their requirements, provided (this is where it seems to get tricky) the evaluation is in full accordance with the law and the RFP.
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Tancrede
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:43 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 27):
This was a result of the Air Force's ineptness in conducting the bid process.

Will you have talk like this if it would have been Boeing chosen by the USAF, and GAO criticizing it?
 
NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:46 pm



Quoting Tancrede (Reply 35):
Will you have talk like this if it would have been Boeing chosen by the USAF, and GAO criticizing it?

Yes if they said one thing and then did another. That's what this has all come down to. This is not a Boeing thing it's an Air Force incompitence issue. Stop making a Euro vs USA issue.
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:46 pm



Quoting Tancrede (Reply 35):
Will you have talk like this if it would have been Boeing chosen by the USAF, and GAO criticizing it?

Well, USAF ineptly evaluated the first bid during the Druyan days, so yes...
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:48 pm



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 33):
The competition is bogus. You have two different planes. The AF knows the capabilities of each, so the plane that wins will be the one they write the requirements to match. If they write it so they request a KC-135 replacement, Boeing will win. If they write it so they request a considerable capability increase, EADS wins. An RFP can't be "Tell us what you think we need and we'll pick one of you." It's a set of requirements and a decision on who best meets the requirements.

I agree, and it is the crux of the whole problem. If the AF bid requirements call for a plane with the capabilities of the KC-30 then that is the only real alternative. If they call out the smaller size of the 767 then that's what they'll get.

The thing is I can't see the AF writing the next to in a way that will request a more limited airframe. And I can't see them wanting the political fallout of the KC-30 winning again.

Both companies will submit a superior bid to the one submitted this time, both will cover what they were attacked for this time.

Tugg
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SLUAviator
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:49 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 11):
Now I have to wonder if Boeing will offer a KC-777 in competition to the KC-30? I bet they will.

Boeing DID offer the 777 as a tanker and the AF said no. That happened over a year ago. I think there was even a press release on the Boeing website to that effect. I'd have to scrounge around to see if I can find it, but I did find this article on the web: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Arch...mbling.poker/2008-03/msg03981.html

It is an article about McCain and his EADS lobbyists on his staff, but about midway down it mentions the 777 tanker offer.

People keep mentioning different size tanker/cargo aircraft for the USAF. I agree different sizes would be great. However I think we are making things to complex by saying give them a 767 and 777 tanker with a common cockpit. We can give the AF 767-200 AND 300 tankers! We could get all kinds of crazy and say -200/300/ AND 400 tankers if you want! You don't screw around with putting a cockpit in a plane that it was not designed for, your infrastructure works on all planes and your mechanics only need to be trained once. It gives the AF a lot more flexibility with 2-3 sizes of tankers with very little in the way of additional cost beyond the airplane itself.
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redflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:52 pm

Quoting Daedaeg (Reply 34):
Here we are 7 years from the original RFP and still without a Tanker.

I'm not criticizing you, but for all the talk on here by people that this is just going to delay getting to the war fighter what he/she needs, the USAF could simply speed up the number of deliveries once the contract is successfully awarded. In fact, as things currently stand, they plan on spreading the delivery of the 179 tankers over a 10 or 15 year period. Doesn't sound like a heck of an urgency to me if they can already wait that long.

Quoting Tancrede (Reply 35):
Quoting NYC777 (Reply 27):
This was a result of the Air Force's ineptness in conducting the bid process.

Will you have talk like this if it would have been Boeing chosen by the USAF, and GAO criticizing it?

I can't answer for NYC777, but as for myself, I already know the USAF is occasionally inept regardless of the outcome of this award. All I have to do is look at the disastrous 2002 Tanker RFP to know that the USAF isn't manned by the most bright or honorable people (just like any organization isn't). This GAO ruling seems to confirm that there is still a broken decision-making process in place at the USAF. Perhaps that is why SOD Gates has been so frustrated with that branch of the services.

[Edited 2008-06-18 13:03:37]
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dl021
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:52 pm

This has turned into a real circus, as previously stated. The USAF is doing itself and us a disservice by screwing around. The GAO report seemingly verifies the complaints made by Boeing, and makes me wonder what the impetus was to get the Airbus within the Air Force.

Maybe Boeing will smarten up and offer a combination deal where the AF can pick from a 767 tanker and a 777 variant. That'll enable them to replace the entire fleet of tankers over the next 10 years or so. Who knows, though, at this point.
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dougbr2006
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:56 pm



Quoting WINGS (Reply 21):
f I was NG I would go forward and risk assembling the 4 frames destined for the USAF. This would give them even more arguments in terms of capabilities, while the KC-767 remains on the drawing board.

Well thats probably a foregone conclusion as they are already being built, well at least three are allocated I believe. The option to pass them on to the civil market is easy when and if they need to, Airbus can't produce enough A330's at the moment, but you can be sure they will continue with production of these as a point in the next bid round as an advantage, or less risk, as Boeings offering is still basically drawing board!! Or they can allocate them to one of the other A330 tanker customers that are not politically controlled.

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 20):
We also recommended that the Air Force reimburse Boeing the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys' fees.

That only happens if Boeing win the rebid I think you will find !

In finishing !

The decision sucks basically for the Air Force as they need these aircraft sooner rather than later, its all political now, election year and all.

I really hope that Northrop/EADS wins through in the end.

Boeing made their nest and selected the wrong materials. Thorns instead of feathers. It became so uncomfortable that they are now trying to lay their eggs in another nest.

CUCKOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:56 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 25):
Yes they can.

Well, I was talking in a practical sense, not an absolute. Sure, they can say NO, but then try to get funding for the project with this congress and the possible Obama administration.

What's so silly is that had the original KC-767 lease deal been maintained, NG/EADS would likely be the shoe in for the KC-10 replacement, and everyone would be winning…

Quoting Tancrede (Reply 26):
It is what we call a free market country! Oh boy!

Yes, the Air Force stacked the deck against Boeing in favor of NG/EADS and didn't get away with it.

In a free market, the Air Force would have conducted an open and equal competition. If what the GAO says is true, they clearly did not do so. They basically went to NG and said "this is how you can beat Boeing based on what they are going to offer" and then fudged the costs to make it sound reasonable.
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:03 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 9):
Bad for the pilots who have to conyinue to fly the KC-135s though.

Why? The KC-135 is still a very safe and effective, combat proven airplane. Even if the KC-45A had been bought, the KC-135R would still be in the USAF inventory, as a front line asset until at least 2045.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 13):
IIRC, Congress has already fully funded the tanker program, whether it be for Boeing or Northrop Grumman.

Actually, no they have not funded it. What is actually funded is the four SDD aircraft, and a contract signed for refurbishment of those four airplanes and 65 production airplanes. That contract is not funded.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 13):
Wouldn't it be possible for the Air Force to say: "Thank you, but we disagree, and we will buy the KC-30, for the sake of time."

With all the bad press the USAF has taken letely, from the KC-X selection, and protest,to the CSAR-X compition, and protest, to the firing of the SecAF and AFCOS, they wouldn't dear do that.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 17):
The Air Force does not have to pay Boeing for the protest, unless they WIN!

No, the USAF had better pay Boeing now. They will need to take the funds from the KC-X Compitition Fund and/or the NG KC-45A contract award.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 19):
Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 13):
Wouldn't it be possible for the Air Force to say: "Thank you, but we disagree, and we will buy the KC-30, for the sake of time."

No. If Congress said to redo it, and the AF said no, Congress would then unfund the program, and simply fund a new program that must start from scratch. The AF would then have a few KC-45s to play with from the initial order of a handful.

The USAF has 60 days to respond to this GAO report. If they are smart, the first thing they should do today is issue a "stop all work order" on the KC-45A contract. That means EADS will need to do something else with the A-330s now in storage for the USAF, and NG cannot begin their factory construction in Mobil, AL.

The USAF will not get airplanes from this contract.

There best option, right now, is to seriously consider re-bidding the KC-X program. If that means up to a 4 year delay, then they need to reduce the buy of the KC-X and fund reengining of the KC-135Es.

Quoting WINGS (Reply 21):
I can imagine that despite the GOA pointing out some errors in the contest, I still think that EADS/NG will come out in front in the end. Airbus is well advanced in flight trials with the A332MRTT for the RAAF, and I would imagine that the USAF is watching closely

The USAF would be wise not to look at the RAAF or RAF KC-30/A-330MRTT programs right now. In a re-bid, NG/EADS will have no advantage over Boeing.

Quoting WINGS (Reply 21):
If I was NG I would go forward and risk assembling the 4 frames destined for the USAF. This would give them even more arguments in terms of capabilities, while the KC-767 remains on the drawing board.

NG already has a stop work order on these airplanes. The sub, EADS, has chosen to ignor that order and continue to build them. The USAF needs to fine NG for not having control over their sub.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 23):
The KC-767 isn't exactly on the drawing board.

Yes it is.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 23):
It's not exactly that much of an advancement from KC-767s that are being produced for other air services.

Yes it is.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 23):
In the case of both the KC-330 and KC-767, they both are derived from currently-flying aircraft.

That is correct.

In a re-bid, Boeing should look at offering several different airplanes for the KC-X program. They should offer the KC-767AT, a tanker B-737-700C, a tanker B-767-300ERF, a tanker B-777-200LRF, and (possibly) a tanker B-747-8F. On the Airbus side, they should offer the KC-30B, a tanker A-320-200F, a tanker A-330-200F, and a tanker A-340-500.
 
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:08 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
and makes me wonder what the impetus was to get the Airbus within the Air Force.

If it were me, I'd start looking for a money trail or personal favors. There's just no other plausible explanation.

(Note: my comment is directed at the unbelievably unfair manner in which the selection process was conducted, not against Airbus.)
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ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:19 pm



Quoting SLUAviator (Reply 40):
You don't screw around with putting a cockpit in a plane that it was not designed for, your infrastructure works on all planes and your mechanics only need to be trained once.

The 767 and 777 already share a common cockpit structure and the 764 and 777s delivered to CO have very similar cockpits in terms of displays. The idea is to just make the flying experience and training between the two as similar as possible. Putting in as common a cockpit from the input side of things into the two would not be a huge feat.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 46):
If it were me, I'd start looking for a money trail or personal favors. There's just no other plausible explanation.

Usually there's sweetheart deals and kickbacks all around. One wonders if maybe Boeing had to be more careful this time in that regard due to the costs of last time, and it cost them in the decision.

And now that John McCain has to support all Americans equally, he's going to back off of his Boeing destruction plan and stay out of this choice.
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:22 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
Maybe Boeing will smarten up and offer a combination deal where the AF can pick from a 767 tanker and a 777 variant. That'll enable them to replace the entire fleet of tankers over the next 10 years or so. Who knows, though, at this point.

This is exactly what I think will happen. I think both BIDS and NG/EADS will offer multiple bids to give USAF a variety of options to choose.

In Boeing's case, I think it will be:


  • Light - all 767s
  • Medium - 767/777 mixture
  • Heavy - all 777s


Not sure where that leaves Airbus but perhaps they'd offer A321s and A330-200s in concert.
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KennyK
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:31 pm

Thank heavens you Americans weren't responsible for developing the wheel or we would still be waiting for it. You seem so tied up in the legality of everything and contractualising of everything I'm surprised anything ever gets finished.

Seems to me that the USAF, Boeing and NG should just field a team of a thousand lawyers each with maybe a couple of engineers and argue back and forth for the next 50 years. I can't believe the KC-135 replacement is going to take so long. Unfortunately where the US leads the World follows and we have the same ineptness here though at last we might see some light at the end of the tunnel with the FSTA.

Am I cynical?.... Damned right.
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