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seefivein
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Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:45 pm

Not Good for fairness

Northrop may to drop out of tanker competition

By JOSHUA FREED (AP) – 29 minutes ago

Defense company Northrop Grumman says it will drop out of the running for a major Air Force tanker project valued at $35 billion unless the government changes its request for bids.




http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...Vt5RRcS7lEfTMLYUzKcXQyfBQD9CAPACG4





[Edited 2009-12-03 14:50:20 by srbmod]
 
Lumberton
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:56 pm



Quoting Seefivein (Thread starter):
Not Good for fairness

Why is not "not good for fairness"? They can bid if they want. IF they elect not to bid, that is their decision (well, its really airbus' but we must keep up appearances here).

If they don't bid, I fully expect them to sue in U.S. District Court for something.

However, IMO the most likely outcome is that DOD runs after them and kisses their @$$ to stay in--again.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:13 pm

"To ask people to bid fixed prices on things that may not materialize until 18 years in the future is simply absurd," he said. He said Boeing officials saw Northrop's letter as "some sort of a maneuver," but they shared the concerns about the amount of risk the contractors were expected to carry.

It's just as absurd for taxpayers to take on this risk. No airline or business would do it. When they say this stuff, you can tell with almost 100% certainty that the bid prices are not realistic and will be exceeded. How can they sell fleets of aircraft to well run airlines years out at a fixed price, but not to the taxpayer?
 
seefivein
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:16 pm

I do not see that they (Boeing) want a fair bid - the link below from Seattle mentions boeing went to court to keep a maintenance contact for plane that they are suppose to bidding on to replace.

Does this imply that Boeing will not have a Tanker ready for service if they end up with the contract.


http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/185437.asp
 
trex8
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:18 pm



Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 2):
How can they sell fleets of aircraft to well run airlines years out at a fixed price, but not to the taxpayer?

1. no airline is buying stuff out to 18 years
2. the military always change specs
 
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keesje
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:32 pm

I think the rest of the world will think the specs were tuned towards the 767 during the last 18 months, under massive political pressure.



The trick was avoiding rewarding the superior capabilities the A330 offers over the 767.

Protectionism. That is how the world will probably judge the process.

The 767 / Boeing badly needed a boost from above.

The A330 will sell anyway. Airbus will have to look for a new A330F conversion / FAL location.

[Edited 2009-12-01 15:39:28 by keesje]
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Lumberton
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:33 pm



Quoting Seefivein (Reply 3):
I do not see that they (Boeing) want a fair bid

Huh?

Why would Boeing want a fair bid? It is the U.S. Air Force that is the customer.  Yeah sure
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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Devilfish
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:25 am

NG/EADS ploy may have worked the last time, but it could backfire now.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
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Revelation
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:33 am

The current articles are clearer: NG is NOT going to bid if the RFP doesn't change significantly, and the DoD is saying that's not going to happen!

Quote:

Northrop Grumman told the Pentagon Dec. 1 it will not bid for the USAF replacement aerial tanker under the existing request for proposals (RFP).

The decision - reminiscent of an earlier maneuver in the tanker saga - apparently still could be reversed if the Air Force RFP was "substantially" changed, according to comments made in a letter from Northrop President and COO Wes Bush to the top defense acquisition official, USAF secretary and deputy defense secretary.

Defense leaders let it be known recently that changes to the source-selection plan for the U.S. Air Force's $35 billion KC-X program were not likely to be substantial. Northrop executives have complained that the 373 pass/fail requirements outlined for qualification in the competition equally weigh less important items -- such as water flow in sinks and toilets -- with critical capabilities -- such as fuel offload rates.

Ref: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...Tanker%20Bid%20Under%20Draft%20RFP

Quote:

Northrop President and Chief Operating Officer Wes Bush told the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer on Tuesday that Northrop would not submit a bid in the competition unless the Defense Department significantly changed the terms.

Bush told Ashton Carter, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, in a letter dated Dec. 1 that Northrop remained concerned that the current terms showed a preference for an aircraft smaller than the A330-based tanker it had offered previously with Airbus parent EADS.

As written, the terms also imposed a structure that "places contractual and financial burdens on the company that we simply cannot accept," Bush said.

He said the Pentagon had told Northrop it did not plan to issue a second draft, and its responses to Northrop's questions did not appear responsive.

"As a result, I must regrettably inform you that, absent a responsive set of changes in the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it cannot submit a bid to the department for the KC-X program," he said in the letter, which was released by the company.

The Defense Department said it regretted the move and hoped Northrop and EADS would return to the process when the final terms were announced.

Ref: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/reuters/...2-01T224711Z_01_N01513369_RTRIDST_
0_NORTHROP-TANKER-UPDATE-3.html

NG/EADS has already kicked the toys out of the tram once, so it's no big surprise to see them do it again.
The gun is NOT a precious symbol of freedom
It is a deadly cancer on American society
Those who believe otherwise are consumed by an ideology
That is impervious to evidence
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:12 am



Quoting Trex8 (Reply 4):
1. no airline is buying stuff out to 18 years
2. the military always change specs

The initial order is for only 80 tankers. At 12-15 tankers per year as planned, that's only a span of 5-7 years. Some commercial orders are over longer periods than that and some involve more frames, like Ryan Air's order for 200 B737s. EK's order for 53 A380s also comes to mind, etc....I'm sure there are many examples. How about Boeing's 787 sales of over 800 frames and Airbus' sale of 500 A350s.

They can do that but not sell 80 to the taxpayer at fixed costs? There is only one reason I can think of to complain....they will under bid and pass on the true costs to taxpayers. I'm talking about Boeing here too. Both are just as guilty and it's time to represent the true costs of these programs to the Congress so they can make an informed decision and not be fooled into something and then stab taxpayers in the back later.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:32 am

Interesting response by DOD. I wonder what they're really thinking? Go ahead, prove me wrong and tell airbus...I mean Northrop Grumman...to take a long walk off a short pier!
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Northr...sec=topStories&pos=1&asset=&ccode=

Quote:
In a written statement, the Defense Department said it regretted "that Northrop-Grumman and Airbus have taken themselves out of the tanker competition and hope they will return" when the request for proposal is issued, which it expects in January. Northrop's partner, Airbus, is owned by Paris-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.

The Defense Department said both companies suggested changes to its request for proposal that would favor their own planes.

"Both companies can make a good tanker. The department wants competition but cannot compel the two airplane makers to compete," the statement said.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:58 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 5):
The trick was avoiding rewarding the superior capabilities the A330 offers over the 767.

Protectionism. That is how the world will probably judge the process.

Ok, lets see if I got this right.
1. Air Force gives Boeing an illegal lease for 100 tankers, US Congress jumps in, deal is cancelled, Boeing officials go to jail. Protectionism of the highest order.
2. Air Force puts out an RFP, NG / Airbus protest that the RFP favours Boeing's smaller tanker and does not favour their larger a/c, Air Force changes the RFP to favour the larger a/c. Once again protectionism of the highest order, now for the other side of the pond.
3. NG/ Airbus wins the RFP, but the GAO finds that the Air Force violated the rules of its own competition / RFP rules to give the victory to NG / Airbus, protectionism once again to Airbus.
4. New RFP is done, NG / Airbus now starts again at 2 above. Its a circle.

When NG / Airbus won the competition their supporters claimed that the Air Force did a professional jobs and that they were not being protectionist in spite of political pressure. The Air Force wants the NG/Airbus tanker, if they did not they would have followed the rules of their RFP and let the chips fall where they may, instead they put in a fix. The DOD removed then put them back in charge without any personnel adjustment - as fas as I read - so why would the Air Force brass now do a 180 against their favoured vendor, if we claim political pressure then we are disclaiming their proffesionalism which we praised when NG / Airbus won. Just does not sound right.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 5):
The A330 will sell anyway. Airbus will have to look for a new A330F conversion / FAL location.

I thought the A330F was already offered, had customers and was going to be built in France, the US line would be additional, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think customers were told that the product would be delayed if the US did not select an Airbus tanker.

The harsh reality is that they are dissimilar a/c in terms of size, the US unlike any other military already has huge cargo capacity, so the only advantage the larger a/c really has that is of value is the amount of fuel to offload, cargo numbers are less relevant. I'll repeat what I said in another thread, this project should not be put out to bid since there are no off the shelf a/c of similar size by each vendor, and the size will matter as the facilities have to be upgraded for one and not for the other.

The 767 appeared before the A330, the A330 "killed" the 767 market by upsizing and offering more range and payload, that principle has to carry over to the military competition as well, whether it is just as important remains to be seen.
 
skysurfer
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:23 am

So why doesn't the US Government admit that they want a Boeing product and just get it over with? If the NG/Airbus product was ever even considered then there'd be hell to pay from the 'protectionist' people! Hell, whilst we're at it lets put tariffs on Canadian lumber because it hurts the american lumber industry (going against what NAFTA stands for), but wait....we'll still take all the electricity you can send us! The USAF should be free to buy whatever they feel is the right equipment for the mission, it's when the government gets involved that things get inefficient! It's a disgrace and a complete double standard...remember when a certain country objected to the war in (insert here) and all of a sudden french fries became 'freedom fries'?!?! Puhhhleasse! Buy the best investment....it might spur more innovation in the competition instead of buying an inferior product. Industry needs competition otherwise advances are never made and we all end up with garbage.

Cheers

Stu

ps....b4 u flame me, my flag flies the UK which is where i'm from, but i'm living in Canada and i fully support A n B......i don't support Governemnt BS!
In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
 
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cpd
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:30 am

Quoting Par13del (Reply 11):
I thought the A330F was already offered, had customers and was going to be built in France

Isn't it done in Spain? I knew someone who will be serving on the A330 tanker, and he fully expected to be off to Spain this year on one of the early ones.

It's not a big drama if Northrop pulls out of the tanker competition. USAF will just have to deal with having only one vendor (and no competition).

[Edited 2009-12-01 19:51:10 by cpd]
 
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Moose135
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:43 am



Quoting Seefivein (Reply 3):
I do not see that they (Boeing) want a fair bid - the link below from Seattle mentions boeing went to court to keep a maintenance contact for plane that they are suppose to bidding on to replace.

Does this imply that Boeing will not have a Tanker ready for service if they end up with the contract.

No, that's not what the article says. Boeing went to court to keep a maintenance contract for aircraft that the USAF plans to operate for many more years. Regardless of which aircraft is selected in this current tanker program, they will not be replacing the entire KC-135 fleet. There will be many KC-135s in service for years to come.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:43 am



Quoting Skysurfer (Reply 12):
Buy the best investment....it might spur more innovation in the competition instead of buying an inferior product. Industry needs competition otherwise advances are never made and we all end up with garbage.

I have begun to question the reality of this, is it really true? Japan has been building cars in the US for decades, yet all their designs are still Japanese, where are the US designers who learned under their Japanese brethren? Rather than continue to buy US made a/c the Europeans decided to create their own company to produce their own a/c, it worked on the civilian side and they are now on the way to doing it on the military side, I am certain that the result will be the same.
Do we really believe that by the US giving their largest military contract to essentially Airbus that somehow Boeing or NG will learn to design and build better a/c, heck NG is really just the middle man in this venture.

Quoting Skysurfer (Reply 12):
So why doesn't the US Government admit that they want a Boeing product and just get it over with?

As of right now the US govt. has been the peacemaker in this project, they stopped the Air Force from giving an illegal lease to Boeing and stopped the Air Force from violating their own rules to give the contract to NG / Airbus, if anything the US govt. should be commended for being impartial and letting the rules, regulations and laws take its course.
 
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cpd
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:16 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 15):
Do we really believe that by the US giving their largest military contract to essentially Airbus that somehow Boeing or NG will learn to design and build better a/c, heck NG is really just the middle man in this venture.

However, the requirements should be written in a way that is impartial.

And by that, you don't write them in such a way that it discounts the advantages that one side may have - in order to make the playing field level. That's discrimination.

It would be like in an office, setting a policy that is equal for everyone, but still discriminatory or unfair to some people.

If one side has a product that better matches the specs, then so be it. But it shouldn't be because the specs have been rewritten to discount advantages that the other side might have. I would hope this would be about choosing the best product, rather than the most politically correct one.

It may well be that someone decides that it is all to difficult, and that the contract doesn't get awarded to anyone.
 
Acheron
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:17 am



Quoting Skysurfer (Reply 12):
So why doesn't the US Government admit that they want a Boeing product and just get it over with?

So they can lecture others regarding fair competition while being total hypocrites about it. Thus why I'm glad the F-18 has no chances of winning in Brazil
 
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zeke
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:53 am



Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 2):
No airline or business would do it.

Rubbish, all long term commercial aircraft contracts are indexed, these clauses are from a real contract.

Quote:

4 PRICE REVISION

[...***...], the Base Price of the Aircraft is subject to revision up to
and including the Delivery Date, in accordance with the Seller Price
Revision Formula.

The formula is taken from published goverment indexes.

Quote:
SELLER PRICE REVISION FORMULA

1 BASE PRICE

The Base Price of the ****** Aircraft is quoted in Clause ****** and of
the ****** Aircraft in clause ****** of the Agreement. Each Base Price is
subject to adjustment for changes in economic conditions as measured by
data obtained from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
and in accordance with the provisions hereof.

2 BASE PERIOD

The Base Price of the Aircraft has been established in accordance with the
average economic conditions prevailing in ******, ******, ******
and corresponding to a theoretical delivery in ******
as defined by [...***...] and [...***...] index values indicated
hereafter.

[...***...] and [...***...] index values indicated herein will not be
subject to any revision.

3 INDEXES

Labor Index: [...***...]

Material Index: [...***...]


4 REVISION FORMULA

[...***...]

5 GENERAL PROVISIONS

5.1 Roundings

The [...***...] average and the [...***...] average will be computed to
the first decimal. If the next succeeding place is five (5) or more, the
preceding decimal place shall be raised to the next higher figure.

Each quotient shall be rounded to the nearest ten-thousandth (4 decimals).
If the next succeeding place is five (5) or more, the preceding decimal
place shall be raised to the next higher figure.

The final factor will be rounded to the nearest ten-thousandth
(4 decimals).

The final price will be rounded to the nearest whole number (0.5 or more
rounded to 1).

5.2 Substitution of Indexes for Aircraft Price Revision Formula

If;

(i) the United States Department of Labor substantially revises the
methodology of calculation of the labor index [...***...] or
material index [...***...] as used in this Exhibit G, or

(ii) the United States Department of Labor discontinues, either
temporarily or permanently, such labor index [...***...] or
material index [...***...] index, or

(iii) the data samples used to calculate such labor index [...***...] or
material index [...***...] are substantially changed;

the Seller will select a substitute index for inclusion in the Seller
Price Revision Formula (the "Substitute Index").

The Substitute Index will reflect as closely as possible the actual
variance of the labor costs or of the material costs used in the
calculation of the original labor index [...***...] or material index
[...***...] as the case may be.

As a result of the selection of the Substitute Index, the Seller will make
an appropriate adjustment to the Seller Price Revision Formula to combine
the successive utilization of the original labor index [...***...] or
material index [...***...] (as the case may be) and of the Substitute
Index.

5.3 Final Index Values

The Index values as defined in Paragraph 4 above will be considered final
and no further adjustment to the basic prices as revised at delivery of
the applicable Aircraft will be made after delivery of the applicable
Aircraft for any subsequent changes in the published index values.

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tommytoyz
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:57 am



Quoting Zeke (Reply 18):
Rubbish, all long term commercial aircraft contracts are indexed, these clauses are from a real contract.

No airline that would enter into a cost plus contract like NG and Boeing want the USAF to enter into with them. It's not rubbish.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:08 am

Zeke, I don't think you quite understand the distinction of what I'm talking about:

What NG and Boeing are complaining about is that the USAF wants them to take on cost over run risks, among other things. Why don't you quote the relevant part that NG and Boeing are complaining about? That would be in context to what I said.

No airline would enter into a contract where the airlines takes on the cost in the event of a cost over run. Show me one. You can't.

[Edited 2009-12-02 00:08:28 by tommytoyz]
 
cargotanker
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:12 am

Call me naive, but is there a chance this is not protectionist and simply a request for what the USAF wants?

Basically, something to replace the KC-135 that is...

Similar in size to the -135
Can do the -135 mission as well or slighlty better than the -135
Cheaper in terms of initial purchase price and long term costs
Better cargo capabilities than the -135, but extra capacity is more of a bonus than a necessity

In these categories the 767 is the better ( or good enough) selection. The extra size, capability, and cost of the A330 are a significant disadvantage when competing in a KC-135 replacement competition.

I'm not arguing that the 767 is the better tanker, but given the criteria and what the USAF wants, I think its the better tanker for this competition.

I think its great that the USAF is looking for a plane that is 'good enough' instead of something that has to be 'next generation/top of the line.' It saves us some money and gets us what we want.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:59 am



Quoting Zeke (Reply 18):
Rubbish, all long term commercial aircraft contracts are indexed, these clauses are from a real contract.



Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 2):
t's just as absurd for taxpayers to take on this risk. No airline or business would do it. When they say this stuff, you can tell with almost 100% certainty that the bid prices are not realistic and will be exceeded. How can they sell fleets of aircraft to well run airlines years out at a fixed price, but not to the taxpayer?

Zeke, in the future, please quote me in context. No commercial airline would take on development and program cost over run risks. It's much more than taking on only index risks. I hope you understand the difference, as it's a distinction *with* a difference.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:24 am



Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 2):
"To ask people to bid fixed prices on things that may not materialize until 18 years in the future is simply absurd," he said. He said Boeing officials saw Northrop's letter as "some sort of a maneuver," but they shared the concerns about the amount of risk the contractors were expected to carry.

You don't know the feature for which the USAF demands fix prices. You assume its for aquisition but that is only your assumption. You can't take that for granted. Therefore your line of reasoning is problematic and likely doesn't hold water.

I won't even enter the discussion about those fix prices...because I don't know the feature for which the USAF demands fix prices too!

Someone who knows the RFP proposal very well may shed light on the fix price clauses, Zeke, TopBoom?
 
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keesje
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:08 am

Alabama is mad.


"All Americans should be outraged that the Obama administration has corrupted the tanker selection process with a blatantly unfair competition," Riley said, in a statement.

Northrop and partner EADS planned to assemble their tanker in Mobile, Ala., should the Air Force select it over Boeing's offering for the $35 billion contest.

"All along, we’ve said the process should be fair and the needs of our warfighters must come first. That definitely isn’t happening," Riley said. "The question is why is this RFP so radically different than the one Northrop Grumman won last year?”


I think that last staement is a big question indeed.

For yrs the USAF communicated they want a multirole logistic platform, no more long lines of unused expesive platform gaining dust.

within a yr they re specified a platform with only tanker capability of just the known fifties KC135 / KC 767 platform with a new procudure to not rewards any additional capabilities unless the price is the same.

A dramatic turn around during a time Boeing really needs support. (IDS no fresh programs / 787 billions / 737 replacement / 777 / 747 replacement).

The US is the biggest weapons Exporter not importer. Hopefully the rest of the world is understanding & doesn't see this as a nationalistic fix.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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EPA001
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:53 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 24):
Hopefully the rest of the world is understanding & doesn't see this as a nationalistic fix.

Sadly enough this will happen. This whole process has become such a mess where the image decides a lot. If it will be Boeing, then it is a nationalistic bid. If it becomes NG-EADS, then the US is giving away 35-40 Billion dollars to the French. If it goes to NG and Alabama, Airbus is being sponsored by the USAF, etc, etc, etc.

All the fuzz which was created by mostly the Boeing supporters, but not only them, was targeted in getting the image so smeared that the politicians would give way sooner or later. And this is exactly what has happened.

Again the RFP is not-rewarding to extra capabilities, which was what NG protested the first time around (with the difference that these extra capabilities can be rewarded under the condition that the price is equal to the competitor which also is at least capable to meat the specified requirements). It is clear that the better plane, which is larger and significantly more modern can hardly meet such conditions.

So this time it is a Boeing RFP again, and if they change the specs to have a fair evaluation, the superiority of the A330 over the B767 will make it an NG-EADS RFP again. There is no way that either decision will be clean. The USAF has to say what it wants, and should not make such irrational comparisons. According to the previous RFP they want the A330 as a platform for the next generation tankers to be based on. Due to the political pressure, which the USAF partly brought upon them selves when they did not compy with the GAO rules, the decision can now only go to Boeing.

Either way the outcome of this would have been/will be always very disappointing. But fair game was only in place when the extra capabilities were rewarded accordingly, and that was only the case in the previous RFP. In this RFP, or the ones from 2002 or so, it was Boeing all the way.

Alabama is right by stating this:

Quote:
"All along, we’ve said the process should be fair and the needs of our warfighters must come first. That definitely isn’t happening,"

.
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:58 am



Quoting Cpd (Reply 16):
However, the requirements should be written in a way that is impartial.



Quoting Cpd (Reply 16):
t would be like in an office, setting a policy that is equal for everyone, but still discriminatory or unfair to some people.

How is that possible and how is that real, there is discrimination in everything that is done, it is one of the reasons why folks the world over are trying to get rid of unions and communism, because they are the only things which want to keep all folks on the same level with things like pay scales, etc. In these tough economic times, if you go looking for a new vehicle are you selecting a green hybrid or a Explorer type SUV, how do you discriminate, in some cases, the government makes it easy for you because they put additional fuel and engine size taxes in place to force your choice, we not only live with discrimination every day on the economic level, we vote for it at the polls also.

Quoting Cpd (Reply 16):
If one side has a product that better matches the specs, then so be it. But it shouldn't be because the specs have been rewritten to discount advantages that the other side might have. I would hope this would be about choosing the best product, rather than the most politically correct one.

If the US Government was involved and were actually selecting the most politically correct product the Lakhota would not have been bought - EADS Product - , the VH71 would have selected an American helicopter rather than a European one, the last tanker bid would not have gone to the NG / Airbus team. Even the LCS Naval designs had one from a European company, BAE did not sell it shares in EADS to concentrate on the US defense industry because they feared protectionism, they did that because the US industry is presently sending the bulk of its new projects overseas, ship designs, planes, helicopters, trucks, armoured vehicles - remember Obama in front of a British built product in an American factory?

As for this project, there are still 767's flying around even though the A330 is "superior" and has killed the 767, why is even one 767 flying since the performance of the A330 was proved?
If there are any economic reasons equate them to this thread when looking at the KC-135 and the KC30. Based on its size alone, the A330 is closer to the KC-10, which is not up for replacement in this RFP, so basing either has to shift from where the a/c being replaced is currently stationed or major construction has to take place, should that factor in to your purchase decision, or do you discard it in favour of the increased range, payload, etc. etc.?
Those are valid economic question's which must be asked and should be answered, the increase size of the "superior" a/c can be a blessing or a curse, as long as it is give due consideration that is all that can be asked.
 
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EPA001
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:11 pm

Quoting Par13del (Reply 26):
As for this project, there are still 767's flying around even though the A330 is "superior" and has killed the 767, why is even one 767 flying since the performance of the A330 was proved?

That is a silly question of course. After the B787 will fly with airlines we can and should expect an increased performance over the A330, though not nearly as much as previously anticipated. Still the A330 is ordered in high numbers, so they will be around for many years after the B787 might have (and should have) proven her better economics. Also the B767 was still sold, though in ever declining numbers, after the A330 was introduced. The A330 will be there for many years to come and still has improvements underway, even though the B787 is out there for sale for already + 5 years.

Nobody will normally get rid of airplanes which have not been written off yet.  

[Edited 2009-12-02 04:12:46]
 
Lumberton
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:11 pm

Quoting Par13del (Reply 26):
If the US Government was involved and were actually selecting the most politically correct product the Lakhota would not have been bought - EADS Product - , the VH71 would have selected an American helicopter rather than a European one, the last tanker bid would not have gone to the NG / Airbus team. Even the LCS Naval designs had one from a European company, BAE did not sell it shares in EADS to concentrate on the US defense industry because they feared protectionism, they did that because the US industry is presently sending the bulk of its new projects overseas, ship designs, planes, helicopters, trucks, armoured vehicles - remember Obama in front of a British built product in an American factory?

   Great remarks, but it won't move the nay sayers out of their comfort zone.

[Edited 2009-12-02 04:11:56]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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autothrust
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:27 pm



Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 21):
Cheaper in terms of initial purchase price and long term costs
Better cargo capabilities than the -135, but extra capacity is more of a bonus than a necessity

In these categories the 767 is the better ( or good enough) selection.

The 767 will be cheaper or better in long term costs?

The A330 is much more advanced with more maintenance friendly systems and structures like FBW, CFRP, (laser welding = less rivets to inspect) and is THE CASM leader.

Do you care to explain how you came to this conclusion?

Wait until fuel prices go up to a level where it hurts and the USAF (taxpayers)will regret to have a fuel thirsty fleet of tankers.

Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 21):
It saves us some money and gets us what we want.

Rather what you want?

Quoting Par13del (Reply 26):
f the US Government was involved and were actually selecting the most politically correct product the Lakhota would not have been bought - EADS Product - , the VH71

Oh didn't know Agusta/Westland belongs to EADS. I always though Agusta and Bell(a US company) teamed up for this RFP.

That all is new to me.  Yeah sure
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Revelation
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:52 pm



Quoting Cpd (Reply 13):
Isn't it done in Spain? I knew someone who will be serving on the A330 tanker, and he fully expected to be off to Spain this year on one of the early ones.

The airframes are built on the A330 line in France and the militarization and testing is done in Spain.

Quoting Cpd (Reply 16):
However, the requirements should be written in a way that is impartial.

And by that, you don't write them in such a way that it discounts the advantages that one side may have - in order to make the playing field level. That's discrimination.

It would be like in an office, setting a policy that is equal for everyone, but still discriminatory or unfair to some people.

If one side has a product that better matches the specs, then so be it. But it shouldn't be because the specs have been rewritten to discount advantages that the other side might have. I would hope this would be about choosing the best product, rather than the most politically correct one.

It may well be that someone decides that it is all to difficult, and that the contract doesn't get awarded to anyone.

It's next to impossible to write a "fair" competetion, especially when the major contenders are known in advance and have major differences in their offerings.

IMHO the best thing for the USAF to do in this case is to really decide which airplane meets their needs best, and write a competition that ends up selecing that airplane.

And, of course, apply the rules of the competition fairly when judging the winner.

Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 21):
Call me naive, but is there a chance this is not protectionist and simply a request for what the USAF wants?

Basically, something to replace the KC-135 that is...

Similar in size to the -135
Can do the -135 mission as well or slighlty better than the -135
Cheaper in terms of initial purchase price and long term costs
Better cargo capabilities than the -135, but extra capacity is more of a bonus than a necessity

In these categories the 767 is the better ( or good enough) selection. The extra size, capability, and cost of the A330 are a significant disadvantage when competing in a KC-135 replacement competition.

I'm not arguing that the 767 is the better tanker, but given the criteria and what the USAF wants, I think its the better tanker for this competition.

I think its great that the USAF is looking for a plane that is 'good enough' instead of something that has to be 'next generation/top of the line.' It saves us some money and gets us what we want.

I guess that will remain an open question.

I think in the last round, the USAF started out thinking they wanted the 767 but by the end they had been convinced that they really wanted the A330.

Unfortunately they did not apply the rules of their competition fairly. There's no doubt about that.

And now either they've changed their minds back to wanting the 767 or political reality has reared it's ugly head.

Many will claim the later, but it'll be next to impossible to prove that.

Of course, I'm in the "let's re-engine the KC-135" camp, but for whatever reason that option has not seen the light of day in either the Bush or Obama administrations.

I think it's absurd to spend a buttload of money on tankers when we already have the airframes sitting in the desert.

I think the size and shape of the USAF is changing so much that by the end of this we may have a bunch of unneeded tankers.

I think we could easily do the re-engine now and wait another 10 years or so to see what we really need, and then purchase current generation tech instead of 20-30 year old tech.
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zeke
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:29 pm



Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 22):
Zeke, in the future, please quote me in context. No commercial airline would take on development and program cost over run risks. It's much more than taking on only index risks. I hope you understand the difference, as it's a distinction *with* a difference.

I did not take you out of context, you claimed airlines were paying for aircraft at a fixed price.

"How can they sell fleets of aircraft to well run airlines years out at a fixed price, but not to the taxpayer?"

I produced the paragraphs from a real contract that show you are wrong. More than one poster picked you up on that.

The USAF is asking for something that is not done in the commercial arena.

I do not mind them fixing the price and specifications now, but to have a mechanism to adjust the figures for real terms, over the last 18 years inflation in the USA was 58.7%.
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Acheron
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:06 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 26):
As for this project, there are still 767's flying around even though the A330 is "superior" and has killed the 767, why is even one 767 flying since the performance of the A330 was proved?

767 Backlog: Less than 60 planes.

A330 Backlog: Over 350 planes.
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:12 pm



Quoting Acheron (Reply 17):
So they can lecture others regarding fair competition while being total hypocrites about it.



Quoting Keesje (Reply 24):
Alabama is mad.


"All Americans should be outraged that the Obama administration has corrupted the tanker selection process with a blatantly unfair competition," Riley said, in a statement.

Northrop and partner EADS planned to assemble their tanker in Mobile, Ala., should the Air Force select it over Boeing's offering for the $35 billion contest.

"All along, we’ve said the process should be fair and the needs of our warfighters must come first. That definitely isn’t happening," Riley said. "The question is why is this RFP so radically different than the one Northrop Grumman won last year?”

Where was Alabama a couple months ago when the RFP was first released, did they not read it and see the problems or were they waiting for NG to decide their strategy then jump on the bandwagon? The RFP was released even this site could have provided them what the requirements were, why are they this late to register their protest?

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 27):
That is a silly question of course.

As I said for this project it is relevant. The US Air Force presently has in excess of 400 tankers - KC-135's which can be modernized to continue performing their duties up to 2040, that is a cost to consider similar to those airlines which now operate 767's and recognize that the A330 is the better a/c for their route, but economics prevents the immediate switch. Why is that principle silly for the US Air Force, in some case's it is more relevant because they purchase a/c outright rather than finance.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 32):
767 Backlog: Less than 60 planes.

A330 Backlog: Over 350 planes

So if A330 is selected does that mean that Airbus can deliver a/c earlier than Boeing? The initial a/c are going to be built in France, not on any line in the US. The backlog shows which a/c is in demand on the civilian front to carry passengers, this is a military project for an a/c to refuel other a/c.
 
wingman
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:13 pm

With any luck that 767 backlog number will grow to over 200 as the US applies the same level of protectionism that is practiced by France, Germany and Spain in their military procurement processes. If you're going to claim the US is protectionist then please explain its trade balance with the EU and rest of world as well as your own country's involvement in the A400M engine selection process, quite possibly the greatest example of protectionism ever witnessed in military procurement.
 
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EPA001
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:39 pm

Quoting Par13del (Reply 33):
Quoting EPA001 (Reply 27):
That is a silly question of course.

As I said for this project it is relevant. The US Air Force presently has in excess of 400 tankers - KC-135's which can be modernized to continue performing their duties up to 2040, that is a cost to consider similar to those airlines which now operate 767's and recognize that the A330 is the better a/c for their route, but economics prevents the immediate switch. Why is that principle silly for the US Air Force, in some case's it is more relevant because they purchase a/c outright rather than finance.

Maybe this is the case for the US Air Force, I will not comment on that. But the "sillyness" was stated by me upon your original question; which was:

Quoting Par13del (Reply 26):
As for this project, there are still 767's flying around even though the A330 is "superior" and has killed the 767, why is even one 767 flying since the performance of the A330 was proved?

That question only has relevance to the airlines operating the B767 and A330 at present. It has no bearing on the US Air Force and what she might decide to buy for the future. (Or what buy is pressured on them politically). You stated "for this project", I did not miss that. But the every day practice numbers regarding the B767 and the A330 are clearly in favor of the A330. So if it would be based on this, the choice would be clear. You are probably in the same "camp" as Revelation, and you have every right to be there. See below:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 30):
Of course, I'm in the "let's re-engine the KC-135" camp, but for whatever reason that option has not seen the light of day in either the Bush or Obama administrations.

But since that seems no option for the US Air Force and the Bush and Obama administrations, only the "choice" between the B767 or A330 as platform on which to base the next generation of US tankers is left.  

[Edited 2009-12-02 09:41:57]
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:05 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 35):
You are probably in the same "camp" as Revelation, and you have every right to be there. See below:

The re-engine option is also on the table - at the tax payors level - because it is an ongoing project, the question is how many KC-135's will get that option. Let's remember that the US Air Force violated laws / rules three times to get a new a/c, we all accept that is what they want, hence they write their RFP's to exclude the option, but the congress and the US citizens do have the option of proposing it, which I think is where the discussion on this site comes into play.
If this bickering on the home front continues, the easy thing for the congress will be to expand the re-engine program and look at this again in another 10 years or so when most on the hill are no longer there, put off for tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Here's something else that also crossed my mind, the US has only one maker of large commercial a/c, the government knows this, yet they requested a competition? Did NG have a hand in this and is this their way to get back into the commercial aviation industry, if so, I hope Airbus have put guarantee's in place in their special relationship to ensure that they are not simply used and discarded without proper compensation.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:29 pm



Quoting Seefivein (Reply 3):
I do not see that they (Boeing) want a fair bid - the link below from Seattle mentions boeing went to court to keep a maintenance contact for plane that they are suppose to bidding on to replace.

Does this imply that Boeing will not have a Tanker ready for service if they end up with the contract.


http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/...7.asp

Go back and read or review the history here. You will find the Pemco/AAII are the ones crying here, not Boeing, or the USAF.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 5):
I think the rest of the world will think the specs were tuned towards the 767 during the last 18 months, under massive political pressure.

No, trhe specs were turned towards the warfighter, not to Boeing, and not to EADS.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 5):
The trick was avoiding rewarding the superior capabilities the A330 offers over the 767.

Protectionism. That is how the world will probably judge the process.

The 767 / Boeing badly needed a boost from above.

The A330 will sell anyway. Airbus will have to look for a new A330F conversion / FAL location.

Really, then why didn't Boeing stick with the KC-777F? Airbus can still build the A-330F in Alabama. but they won't.

Quoting Cpd (Reply 13):
It's not a big drama if Northrop pulls out of the tanker competition. USAF will just have to deal with having only one vendor (and no competition).

Which will still have to meet all 373 mandatory requirements, or there will be no selection made.

Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 21):
Call me naive, but is there a chance this is not protectionist and simply a request for what the USAF wants?

Basically, something to replace the KC-135 that is...

Similar in size to the -135
Can do the -135 mission as well or slighlty better than the -135
Cheaper in terms of initial purchase price and long term costs
Better cargo capabilities than the -135, but extra capacity is more of a bonus than a necessity

In these categories the 767 is the better ( or good enough) selection. The extra size, capability, and cost of the A330 are a significant disadvantage when competing in a KC-135 replacement competition.

I'm not arguing that the 767 is the better tanker, but given the criteria and what the USAF wants, I think its the better tanker for this competition.

I think its great that the USAF is looking for a plane that is 'good enough' instead of something that has to be 'next generation/top of the line.' It saves us some money and gets us what we want.

Correct. If EADS/NG goes through and does not bid the KC-30, then the compitition will fall to the KC-767, which still must meet all requirements. Then again there is still the KC-135E re-engine option.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 23):
You don't know the feature for which the USAF demands fix prices. You assume its for aquisition but that is only your assumption. You can't take that for granted. Therefore your line of reasoning is problematic and likely doesn't hold water.

I won't even enter the discussion about those fix prices...because I don't know the feature for which the USAF demands fix prices too!

Someone who knows the RFP proposal very well may shed light on the fix price clauses, Zeke, TopBoom?

The fix price is for the completed tanker.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 24):
For yrs the USAF communicated they want a multirole logistic platform, no more long lines of unused expesive platform gaining dust.

within a yr they re specified a platform with only tanker capability of just the known fifties KC135 / KC 767 platform with a new procudure to not rewards any additional capabilities unless the price is the same.

A dramatic turn around during a time Boeing really needs support. (IDS no fresh programs / 787 billions / 737 replacement / 777 / 747 replacement).

The US is the biggest weapons Exporter not importer. Hopefully the rest of the world is understanding & doesn't see this as a nationalistic fix.

No, the only multirole platform they talked about was during the 2007/2008 compititon, then they selected the wrong tanker.

BTW, France is right behind the US for arms exports.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 25):
Quoting Keesje (Reply 24):
Hopefully the rest of the world is understanding & doesn't see this as a nationalistic fix.

Sadly enough this will happen. This whole process has become such a mess where the image decides a lot.

But you didn't see the A-400M as a "nationalistic fix"?

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 25):
So this time it is a Boeing RFP again, and if they change the specs to have a fair evaluation, the superiority of the A330 over the B767 will make it an NG-EADS RFP again.

No the A-330MRTT is not superior to the KC-767. The RFP is written for the warfighter, not the OEMs.

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 29):
Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 21):
Cheaper in terms of initial purchase price and long term costs
Better cargo capabilities than the -135, but extra capacity is more of a bonus than a necessity

In these categories the 767 is the better ( or good enough) selection.

The 767 will be cheaper or better in long term costs?

The A330 is much more advanced with more maintenance friendly systems and structures like FBW, CFRP, (laser welding = less rivets to inspect) and is THE CASM leader.

Do you care to explain how you came to this conclusion?

Wait until fuel prices go up to a level where it hurts and the USAF (taxpayers)will regret to have a fuel thirsty fleet of tankers.

Since the A-330-200 burns more fuel than the KC-135R opr B-767-200ER, please explain you logic here.

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 29):
Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 21):
It saves us some money and gets us what we want.

Rather what you want?

What do you know what the USAF wants? In the past they have "selected" both the A-330MRTT and KC-767, but the KC-135 is still flying.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 30):
It's next to impossible to write a "fair" competetion, especially when the major contenders are known in advance and have major differences in their offerings.

IMHO the best thing for the USAF to do in this case is to really decide which airplane meets their needs best, and write a competition that ends up selecing that airplane

No, the best thing for the USAF to do is write an RFP for the warfighter, not the airplane type.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 30):
I'm in the "let's re-engine the KC-135" camp, but for whatever reason that option has not seen the light of day in either the Bush or Obama administrations.

I think it's absurd to spend a buttload of money on tankers when we already have the airframes sitting in the desert.

Me too.  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Zeke (Reply 31):
The USAF is asking for something that is not done in the commercial arena.

Military is grossly different than commerical airplane operations. Airlines have their requirements, which the OEMs accept. The USAF has different requirements. If the OEMs cannot accept those requirments, then simply don't bid on the compitition.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 32):
767 Backlog: Less than 60 planes.

A330 Backlog: Over 350 planes.

Which has to do with what?

Quoting Wingman (Reply 34):
With any luck that 767 backlog number will grow to over 200 as the US applies the same level of protectionism that is practiced by France, Germany and Spain in their military procurement processes. If you're going to claim the US is protectionist then please explain its trade balance with the EU and rest of world as well as your own country's involvement in the A400M engine selection process, quite possibly the greatest example of protectionism ever witnessed in military procurement.

 bigthumbsup 
 
AirRyan
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:30 pm

What a joke. NG is still peeved that the USAF debriefed Boeing and disclosed their pricing numbers, which in a re-bid puts them at a distinct pricing advantage.

This is as unscrupulous as it gets; not only is the USAF incompetent in this award, their impotent as well.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:49 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 31):
I did not take you out of context, you claimed airlines were paying for aircraft at a fixed price.

I was not clear. My bad. Too much wine and fun with the lady..........

Of course the Commercial contracts call for indexed price adjustments, as do military ones.

However, *I believe* that what the contractors for the KC-X are referring to and complaining about is the fact that the USAF is asking the contractors to carry the risk for cost over runs - should they occur - and they will, imho.

Without seeing a contract or DRFP, I believe this, because the comments by the contractors I read were couched in examples of the risks of possible unforeseen technical problems that could crop up and that the contractors should not bear.......basically, they should not bear the cost of possible problems. This is a diplomatic way of saying, the USAF should pay for any cost over runs, not them. It's a cost plus contract they want, without saying so out loud.

I could be wrong..............perhaps someone could dig up the relevant section in the DRFP as to who is responsible for cost over runs, beyond the indexed items......

[Edited 2009-12-02 10:51:48 by tommytoyz]
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:59 pm



Quoting Autothrust (Reply 29):
The A330 is much more advanced with more maintenance friendly systems and structures like FBW, CFRP, (laser welding = less rivets to inspect) and is THE CASM leader.

Exactly how old is the 767 versus the 330, compared to current a/c they are both old, and since Boeing still does not use the superior flight stick, even their current offering's could be said to be older technology  Smile. These a/c will be new build, their designs are old but the electronics and engines will be as modern as they can be, no vacuum tubes on either one  Smile

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 29):
Oh didn't know Agusta/Westland belongs to EADS. I always though Agusta and Bell(a US company) teamed up for this RFP.

I was wrong, next time I'll say European and hopefully offend no one, thanks for the correction.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 37):
No, trhe specs were turned towards the warfighter, not to Boeing, and not to EADS.

I have seen you list this before and just never asked this question, now is as good a time as any. The US Air Force main focus in this project is to select an off the shelf a/c rather than a new design, so some parameters are already set, so how much can they really fudge their requirements before forcing the OEM to "almost" build a whole new frame?
Or to ask it another way, don't thay have to fit a lot of their requirements into the frames that are actually on the shelf?
 
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keesje
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:53 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 37):
No, the best thing for the USAF to do is write an RFP for the warfighter, not the airplane type.

I think congress forced the Dod to change the spec & home state jobs / re election / campaign funding were more important then the war fighter.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
bhill
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:39 pm

Sheesh...it's a TANKER for heavens sake...for carrying AIRPLANE GAS!!! As long as it can carry enough for the mission detailed to it, who cares how new, or fancy bells an whistles it has...you go up, orbit/loiter around waiting for your customers to gas up, then you land, autopilot on most of the time to make life easier for the pilot. Look at the B-52; perfect case in point; that airplane is 'prolly gonna be 100 years old before something better comes along FOR IT'S MISSION PROFILE. As an American taxpayer, I would hope I could get the most cost effcient product for the price to do the job. Also, I don't mean to sound like a nationalistic boob, but not having it built by company not under US control makes me "uneasy".
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EPA001
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:41 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 37):
Quoting EPA001 (Reply 25):
So this time it is a Boeing RFP again, and if they change the specs to have a fair evaluation, the superiority of the A330 over the B767 will make it an NG-EADS RFP again.

No the A-330MRTT is not superior to the KC-767. The RFP is written for the warfighter, not the OEMs.

The RFP might be written for the war-fighter, it better should be, and the previous one was. But as the representatives of state of Alabama already pointed out earlier correctly: NG-EADS not in the bidding is not in the best interest of the war-fighter.  Sad

As to the two baseline platforms: Every new built A330 is always superior to the much outdated B767, even if also that is newly built. The A330 is aerodynamically superior, has way more modern electronics, uses much more composites in its construction ( Wink) and is constructed in a much more modern way which also reduces maintenance, can carry more fuel and cargo load at a relative very low extra usage of fuel (which makes it much more capable in the end). All this compared to the B767-200 which will be the base platform Boeing will be offering.

The whole world acknowledges this as an undisputed fact, except the ones who do not want an Airbus involvement in a process which in their eyes should go to Boeing because it is a Boeing. The market and the actual sold numbers speak for themselves, as do the programs which will keep the A330 competitive against the B787 on the shorter stretches, but you already know this and still are always in denial. That is of course the good right of anybody out here, but it does not give you credits for objectiveness or honesty to the issue.  Wink
 
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EPA001
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:49 pm



Quoting Bhill (Reply 42):
but not having it built by company not under US control makes me "uneasy".

But it will be built by a US company (NG) under US control (>62% will be US content). EADS will deliver the baseline platform and the boom, both to be built in the US (Alabama & Virginia). The B767 will reach about 80-85% US built components IIRC  Wink). (A B787 would not even come close to 40% or so, talk about Boeing for the American perspective comes in a new light if you see these numbers.  Smile Which makes these comments by Boeing totally laughable.
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:23 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 43):
The A330 is aerodynamically superior, has way more modern electronics, uses much more composites in its construction

Boeing may be trying to take the Airbus line on this one when recommending the 767, recall Airbus comment with the composite 787 a/c.  Smile

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 43):
The whole world acknowledges this as an undisputed fact, except the ones who do not want an Airbus involvement in a process which in their eyes should go to Boeing because it is a Boeing.

Well Boeing is all that the US has, just like the EU, the only large commercial builder in the EU is Airbus, so both sides are now in the same boat, since Douglas and Boeing merged.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 43):
The market and the actual sold numbers speak for themselves, as do the programs which will keep the A330 competitive against the B787 on the shorter stretches, but you already know this and still are always in denial.

Well the current 767 which is lighter and burns less fuel is more efficient than the A330 on shorter routes, the principle is the same, isn't science a great thing.

This has been stated before by myself and others, the US of all industrial developed nations has the largest trade deficit, even if the world "allows" Boeing to have this one that trade deficit will remain, it won't decline by any percentage points. Whatever protectionist measures that the US government presently uses to protect its industries is not working, has not worked and does not look like it will work in the near future, so this one I think we can let slide, the only loss will be the necessary base improvements if ary for non-US air bases where the a/c may be deployed, and with EU countries using the A330 that number if any will be negligible.  Smile
 
bennett123
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:02 pm

It strikes me as weird that people want to replace the KC135 with another KC135.

Firstly, because neither the KC767 or KC330 has 4 engines and secondly that the USAF has changed somewhat since the days of General LeMay. In which case do you really want a warmed over KC135.

There is also the point that by the time that the KC-X's are delivered, how old will the B767 be.
 
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par13del
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:10 pm



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 46):
It strikes me as weird that people want to replace the KC135 with another KC135.

I would like all economic options on the table, this is an economic situation, they can buy new a/c now, or they can buy them later, if one postpones a purchase it does not mean that they no longer want a new a/c. If they wait until they complete their withdrawal from Iraq and draw down forces in Afghanistan, is that a bad decision, how about the UK currently reducing its buy of new carriers, does that mean they no longer want carriers? Nations and individuals make economic decisions like this all the time, I don't see this as a problem or a reflection of the a/c in the RFP or the failure of their existing equipment.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 44):
But it will be built by a US company (NG) under US control (>62% will be US content). EADS will deliver the baseline platform and the boom, both to be built in the US (Alabama & Virginia). The B767 will reach about 80-85% US built components IIRC ).

I see the main difference in who controls the actual a/c from this point of view, take the pitot tube issue with the A330, if Airbus had issued a directive to ground the a/c until they were replaced, would that apply to a/c built only in France or also those built in the US? If suppliers to Boeing had a bad run on components supplied for the 767, can they issue a directive to ground the a/c or would that have to come from Boeing? The US has decided not to release software for the F-35, will Airbus release its software to the US for the A330?

I have also seen it mentioned that there is US content in the A380 and the current A330, does anyone in the EU give the US suppliers any credit for aiding in the production of these a/c or do they just say that two of the best a/c in the world belong to Airbus, do they even mention where the parts come from, this is no different from the US. When the 787 does take to the skies in numbers, we will see how they are addressed.
I vote for there goes the worlds a/c flying under a Boeing flag.  Smile
 
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Revelation
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:34 pm



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 46):
It strikes me as weird that people want to replace the KC135 with another KC135.

Firstly, because neither the KC767 or KC330 has 4 engines and secondly that the USAF has changed somewhat since the days of General LeMay. In which case do you really want a warmed over KC135.

Actually, many of us want re-engined KC135s!

As per the above, it just hauls gas around for other planes to use.

I'd rather invest in the pointy end of the spear instead of the shaft.

I do agree it's silly to buy into 767 just as it's ending its economically useful life.

I'd much rather see us buy a decade or two by putting CFM56s onto KC-135Es and then decide what should replace the KC-135s and how many do we really need.
The gun is NOT a precious symbol of freedom
It is a deadly cancer on American society
Those who believe otherwise are consumed by an ideology
That is impervious to evidence
 
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Moose135
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RE: Northrop May To Drop Out Of Tanker Competition

Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:43 pm



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 46):
There is also the point that by the time that the KC-X's are delivered, how old will the B767 be.

They will be brand new - Boeing isn't going to take old airliners and give them a freshening up and turn them into tankers, they will be new build airframes. As far as avionics and other equipment, I imagine they will have whatever standards that the USAF orders. This "old airplane" canard is nothing more than a distraction. Just like an A330 tanker, a B767 tanker will come with that "new airplane smell" as standard equipment.  Wink
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
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