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zeke
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2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:03 am

Following recent press reports as discussed in KC-X RFP To Be Released Wed. 24 Feb. (by KC135TopBoom Feb 23 2010 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)#47 the USAF has finally released the 2010 KC-X Tanker Modernization Program RFP.

The draft for the RFP was discussed on this thread 2009 KC-X Tanker Modernization Program (by Zeke Sep 25 2009 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

As usual the RFP is published on the FBO website, it is dated Feb 24, 2010.

https://www.fbo.gov/notices/e65e1ab7f225d6454f5fa8a10556cbfa

for comparison, the DRFP is still available on the FBO website

https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/ASC/FA8625-10-R-6600-SpecialNotice/listing.html

Some obsevations on the changes in the RFP from the DRFP.

The USAF have included the option of purchasing the engines and airframes separately

The USAF will be supplying LAIRCM equipment, the vendors will need to make allowances to install the system.

MILCON

MILCON is now more defined, the bases which will looked out now have airport diagrams depicting which parts of the airports will be included in the MILCON assessment. The number of aircraft at each base has also been given.

Altus (8 A/C)
Grand Forks (12 A/C)
Fairchild (36 A/C)
MacDill (24 A/C)
Seymour-Johnson (12 A/C)
Scott (12 A/C)
Kadena (12 A/C)
Pease (12 A/C)
March (12 A/C)
Mildenhall (12 A/C)
McConnell (12 A/C)

The MILCON analysis is only for 164 aircraft, not the whole contract. They assume that only Altus and McConnell will have remaining KC-135 aircraft. They will only assess runways, taxiways, fuel hydrant features, and parking ramps and hangars (general maintenance and corrosion control only.

Hanger space is only needed for 15% of the aircraft at that base, for example Altus will get 8 KC-X, hanger space is needed for 1.2 aircraft, this is rounded down to 1, Grand Forks would need 1.8, that is rounded up to 2.

The number of parking spaces is calculated at 75% of what aircraft would be on the base that are not in the hanger, e.g. Grand Forks 12 aircraft, 2 in the hanger, number of parking spaces = (12 - 2) x 0.75 = 8 spaces.

Fuel usage

The USAF have listed prices per year for fuel to be used in the fuel usage analysis up to 2040, and will be evaluated, they have also made a small increase in the amount of reserve fuel that needs to be carried.

Will post more when I have had a chance to go through all the documentation.
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Revelation
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:58 am

Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
Pease (12 A/C)

Hurray for the New Hampshire National Guard!  
Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
Will post more when I have had a chance to go through all the documentation.

Thanks, Zeke.

From the now-locked thread:

Quoting cpd (Reply 44):

Quoting Revelation (Reply 39):
Amusing perhaps, but defense procurement rules prevent underbidding so that a company doesn't do what is in essence happening with A400M: have the government invest so much time and money into the program that they have no choice but pay for the inevitable overruns.

Then take the cost overruns and absorb them - just to get a foothold in the USA - which would have Boeing in a cold-sweat.

That's also disallowed.

We know vendors give the USG detailed info on cost to produce. This is not a secret. Also we know this because Airbus complained during the last RFP that Boeing got to look at that data. The reason why this data is gathered is because both the underbidding scenarios you described and many others have been tried in the past. Bottom line is the government wants to assure that the vendor doesn't underbid so that the government doesn't have to bail them out later, and so that the competition is more fair.
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:31 pm

Thanks for posting the RFP, Zeke. Just skimming it, I have not noticed any big changes from the RFP, yet. But, I'll have to go back and recheck the off-load range chart and a few other things. They look different, but may actually be the same info.

As was reported yesterday, the requirement for MLS approach/landing system has been dropped.
 
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zeke
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:09 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
Thanks for posting the RFP, Zeke. Just skimming it, I have not noticed any big changes from the RFP, yet. But, I'll have to go back and recheck the off-load range chart and a few other things. They look different, but may actually be the same info.

230 changes....

BTW at the RFP breifing they said the RFP was complaint with the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act, so the USAF is also now is saying it is relevent.
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:20 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 3):
BTW at the RFP breifing they said the RFP was complaint with the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act, so the USAF is also now is saying it is relevent.

That is a change from what they said about the DRFP, but thanks for the update.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:45 pm

When will Boeing submit its response? Is EADS definitely out of the competition?
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:51 pm

Discussing Milcon Altus should be the cheapest to bed down due to that they had C-5's and now have KC-135R and C-17's and probably have no problem with the huge A330.
Mildenhall and Kadena will defintly need major construction done to bed down the A330 and minor hanger extensions for the vertical stab for the 767. Mildenhall has ramp space for AMC traffic C-5/C-17 but no hanger space , I believe the phase hanger 711 is big enough for a 767.
The rest on that list will major construction for mx or corrision hangers and also for the PCN numbers for the runway thresholds even though B-52's and -135's have and landed heavy.
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:04 pm

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 5):
When will Boeing submit its response? Is EADS definitely out of the competition?

The bids are not due until 1400 EDT on 10May 2010 to Wright Pat. I expect Boeing to submit their bid close to 1300 on that day. No, EADS/NG are not definately out, yet. NG has said there is a 96%-98% chance they will not bid, but that leaves the door open just a crack.

Quoting venus6971 (Reply 6):
The rest on that list will major construction for mx or corrision hangers and also for the PCN numbers for the runway thresholds even though B-52's and -135's have and landed heavy.

The old big "SAC" hanger at PSM is not owned by the NHANG, they have to rent it if they need it. They only have about 4 nose docks for their current KC-135Rs. They do have a lot of ramp space. All bases listed will have to have fuel hydrants moved or new installs, tied to under ramp fuel pipes and the fuel farm. That is expensive to do that type of work. I know the A-330 will need the fuel pits moved, I am not sure if they can attach longer hoses for refueling the B-767s or not. Both the A-330 and B-767 have the SPR about mid point on the right wing. The KC-135R, as you know has the SPR in the right main gear wheel well and the KC-135T has one in both main gear wheel wells.

Both the A-330 and B-767 will need fuel lift trucks to be ground refueled. The RFP does not say how the fuel tanks should be isolated for carrying more than one type of fuel, but it is a mandatroy requirement. This will mean at least two SPRs, like the KC-135Q/T.
 
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zeke
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:49 pm

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 5):
When will Boeing submit its response?

I guess in 75 days like everyone else. At the moment they are not even on the interested vendors list.

Quoting venus6971 (Reply 6):
Mildenhall and Kadena will defintly need major construction done to bed down the A330 and minor hanger extensions for the vertical stab for the 767. Mildenhall has ramp space for AMC traffic C-5/C-17 but no hanger space , I believe the phase hanger 711 is big enough for a 767.

Mildenhall will be a challenge for any aircraft, they have ruled out using the existing pads. The green areas in this chart is the areas where MILCON costs will be looked at, as you can see the existing pads are red (not to be evaluated).



Kadena on the other hand I would not see such a large issue, they should have enough space already for 8 parking spots.



Quoting venus6971 (Reply 6):
The rest on that list will major construction for mx or corrision hangers and also for the PCN numbers for the runway thresholds even though B-52's and -135's have and landed heavy.

The pavement analysis will take a fair bit of work, they have specified that they want the pavement to handle 50,000 passes at weighted average takeoff weight of the three mission profiles specified in the RFP.

The pavement will not be evaluated at the maximum certified TOW of the aircraft, it is being done at a TOW which is the weighted average of the 3 mission profiles, they are :
1) Operational Aerial Refuelling Mission Profile (Weighted: 54.0%)
2) Training Aerial Refuelling Mission Profile. (Weighted: 45.0%)
3) Operational Airlift Mission Profile. (Weighted: 1.0%)

I would expect the KC-767 and KC-30 to be well below the KC-10 for that analysis.
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:05 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 8):
Mildenhall
Quoting Zeke (Reply 8):
Kadena

I agree, both bases have enough room to pave new parking areas.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 8):
I would expect the KC-767 and KC-30 to be well below the KC-10 for that analysis.

Correct. Actually, any base than has a pavement strenght to handle a B-727-200IGW at about 220,000 lbs (most weight on just 4 tires) should be able to handle both the B-767 and A-330 at MTOW.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:07 pm

Changes noticed in Section L, "Instruction to Offerors"

Anticipated contract award date 16 August 2010

They have changed the contract from being a firm fixed price to fixed price.

Subfactor 1.2 systems engineering been expanded in terms of planning and certification planning. Added references to ozone depleting substances, and how much was used to make the aircraft, and how much you will need for future operation and maintenance

Expanded on the project management requirements and oversight.

Expanded on the interim contractor support, and stressed that the bases listed in the RFP may not be where the support will be needed. Also stressed that at the start they will have more aircraft spread around and that the interim contractor support would be needed at many bases in the early years. Also defines a new process called Reliability, Maintainability, and Availability support


Additional technical information sought :

APU exhaust location
Maximum on ground jacking height
On ground jacking maximum bearing loads
On ground jack point locations
Ground refuelling types and locations
Ground refuelling maximum and normal pressures and flow rates
Fuel vent locations
Turn radius at maximum ground weight
Taxi and TOW for FURA mission profiles
Maximum ground operating weight and CG
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:18 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
We know vendors give the USG detailed info on cost to produce. This is not a secret. Also we know this because Airbus complained during the last RFP that Boeing got to look at that data. The reason why this data is gathered is because both the underbidding scenarios you described and many others have been tried in the past. Bottom line is the government wants to assure that the vendor doesn't underbid so that the government doesn't have to bail them out later, and so that the competition is more fair.

Actually since NG is just "buying" the frames from a subcontractor the "cost to produce" can change due to a decreased negotiated cost with any of the vendors. How much does an A330 cost to an airline? How much of a discount can a customer (in this case NG) obtain from Airbus for a large order (164 frames)? I know that the A330 can sell for a lot less than it's "listed" $160million. While there will have to be substantiation of this pricing, the normal reason for the scrutiny is not for fairness but to ensure a supplier can deliver at the price quoted and not go under.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
off-load

The one requirement that Boeing was concerned with is still in there and that is the 1,200gpm fuel transfer rate. The current KC-135 boom does 1,176gpm and for some strange reason Boeing’s fifth-generation refueling boom developed for Japan only offloads at 900gpm. I can't imagine they won't be able to meet the rate though. Apparently the EADS boom in testing for delivery to Australia can meet the rate.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...s%20Some%20Changes&channel=defense
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...nel=defense&id=news/BOOM120809.xml

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 5):
Is EADS definitely out of the competition?

EADS was never in the competition. Or more precisely they weren't an original bidder, no matter how people here and everywhere like to spin it. NG has been talking about not bidding. I suspect that they are in heavy negotiations with Airbus and EADS right now to see if they can come to a price that works.

The one thing to remember is that NG does not need this, it is not a "must win" situation, so they have a lot more flexibility. The way they are structured, they don't own airframe capacity, they don't own tooling and facilities, they partner with or contract out many aspects of the awards they win. Their only criteria is can they make a lot of money on this?

An interesting question though is: Is it possible for EADS itself to bid for this contract (EADS/NA I assume)?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The bids are not due until 1400 EDT on 10May 2010 to Wright Pat. I expect Boeing to submit their bid close to 1300 on that day. No, EADS/NG are not definately out, yet. NG has said there is a 96%-98% chance they will not bid, but that leaves the door open just a crack.

  
As I mentioned, I suspect that NG is right now talking with Airbus/EADS about the bid. The possibility of just not bidding if the price is not right is an excellent negotiating tactic. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that discussion.

And of course the Airbus airframe/EADS boom isn't the whole ball of wax. As has been noted before, the support service portion will a huge aspect the NG will have to analyze to see if they can meet at a profit.

Tugg

[Edited 2010-02-25 11:27:30]
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AirRyan
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:59 pm

Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
The USAF have included the option of purchasing the engines and airframes separately

I never liked Boeing's bid because they choose to mount P&W's on the wings, opposite of the earlier KC-767's, as opposed to giving the USAF the option of which engine they wanted; I believe the USAF had more in common with the GE powerplants. Anyways, does this not mean that the possibility of a GEnx powerplant (for either bid) cannot still be in the cards? Seems to me that per the touted savings in fuel efficiency the GEnx would pay for themselves through the lifespan of the aircraft. .

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):

As was reported yesterday, the requirement for MLS approach/landing system has been dropped.

The FAA suspended the MLS in 1994 in favor of GPS WAAS, why would MLS even be an issue?
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:46 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 12):
Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
The USAF have included the option of purchasing the engines and airframes separately

I never liked Boeing's bid because they choose to mount P&W's on the wings, opposite of the earlier KC-767's, as opposed to giving the USAF the option of which engine they wanted; I believe the USAF had more in common with the GE powerplants. Anyways, does this not mean that the possibility of a GEnx powerplant (for either bid) cannot still be in the cards? Seems to me that per the touted savings in fuel efficiency the GEnx would pay for themselves through the lifespan of the aircraft. .

This will require each bidder to submit two full bid packages to the USAF, one with their full airplane offer, and one without engines. This gives the USAF the option of rejecting an engine without rejecting the entire airplane.

I don't know if the KC-30 can be offered without its CF-6 engines, as it uses the bigger fan and some 72,000 lbs of thrust. The GEnx-2B-67 engine only comes with 66,500 lbs of thrust. For the KC-30, can/will GE develope a bleed air version of the GEnx-1B engine used on the B-787? I don't know, but would say they would consider it if that is what the USAF wanted.

The USAF would have to then pay for any FAA certification that would be needed as neither the B-767 or A-330 offer the GEnx engines now. The USAF would also have to accept the costs of these engines, which my guess would be significantly more than the PW-4062A or CF-6-80E.

This is all assuming the OEMs offer the same engines as in 2008.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 12):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):

As was reported yesterday, the requirement for MLS approach/landing system has been dropped.

The FAA suspended the MLS in 1994 in favor of GPS WAAS, why would MLS even be an issue?

MLS was originally in the DRFP as one of the (then) 373 requirements. The USAF does have MLS on some RC-135s as well as the two TC-135s. The systems are used in Alaska by the USAF. A few KC-135As had MLS, too. But IIRC, that has been removed.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:44 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
This will require each bidder to submit two full bid packages to the USAF, one with their full airplane offer, and one without engines. This gives the USAF the option of rejecting an engine without rejecting the entire airplane.

It was my impression that the USAF was turned off when Boeing announced all future KC-767's would only be available with P&W 4062's, so that sounds like a good thing.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
The USAF would also have to accept the costs of these engines, which my guess would be significantly more than the PW-4062A or CF-6-80E.

But with advertised 15% increases in fuel economy, over a 30 or 40 year lifespan, (not to mention less expensive maintenance as well,) that cost could add up real quick. Regardless, I'd like to see the actual math one way or the other.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
MLS was originally in the DRFP as one of the (then) 373 requirements. The USAF does have MLS on some RC-135s as well as the two TC-135s. The systems are used in Alaska by the USAF. A few KC-135As had MLS, too. But IIRC, that has been removed.

Interesting. While I'm glad that the requirement was taken out in the most recent RFP, that's seemingly so bizarre it makes you wonder what other mistakes or rather, "stupid silly stuff" may still be left in the RFP?!

Have you seen yet if there is a requirement for a fixed HUD like that found on modern Boeing aircraft, such as the 737NG and 787? I can't remember if it was in the previous RFP or not, I remember looking but I don't remember what I found. I did an hour and a half in the sim at WN and wow, that is an awfully impressive and useful tool, believe it or not. It would be a shame if either of the bids came without them for the money being spent; a lot of cars nowadays come with a HUD!
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:26 pm

I cannot see either Airbus or Boeing offering an aircraft with an engine other than the current standard options. For Boeing that would be the PW or GE for Airbus the RR could also be offered.

To re-engine the 767 would cost so much Boeing might as well give the order to NG.

At this point I doubt that Boeing has the engineering staff available to undertake a re-engining program.

Maybe in a couple years when the 787 and the -8 are in serial production and things have settled down.

If they did want to offer the GEnsx as a side option then the bleed air capable GEnx from the 747-8 would have to be the basis. I am not saying it would not be a great combination I just don't believe you will ever see a 767 with GEnx engines on it. Doing the winglets would buy you a nice bump in fuel savings and increase TO performance without impacting the program timeline.

For every step Boeing would take away from a proven baseline aircraft that they have now more time and resorces will be required to field that configuration and the risk would be increased.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:19 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
For the KC-30, can/will GE develope a bleed air version of the GEnx-1B engine used on the B-787?



They were willing to for the original Airbus A350 in exchange for the first two years of production exclusivity (helped by RR not committing at the time to a bleed-air Trent 1000). That being said...



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 12):
Anyways, does this not mean that the possibility of a GEnx powerplant (for either bid) cannot still be in the cards?



I tend to doubt it. GE have said the only way they will improve the CF6-80 is if they win the powerplant contract for KC-X because it will guarantee enough sales to make it worth while. At that point, I would expect them to reverse their decision to not offer an engine for the A330-200F since I expect the reason they refused is because they knew everyone would choose the RR Trent 700. And with Airbus Military evidently saying that they are considering pitching the A330-200F, a GE win would by default put them on the commercial platform, as well, and an improved CF6-80 would make it competitive with the Trent 700 on the A330-200HGW. All together, that should be plenty of orders to guarantee a fat RoI and improving the CF6 is going to be a great deal cheaper than resurrecting the GEnx-1BA.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:20 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
This will require each bidder to submit two full bid packages to the USAF, one with their full airplane offer, and one without engines. This gives the USAF the option of rejecting an engine without rejecting the entire airplane.

It was my impression that the USAF was turned off when Boeing announced all future KC-767's would only be available with P&W 4062's, so that sounds like a good thing.

I know the USAF does not have the PW-4062/A in the inventory, but that engine shares a common core with the PW-2040s on the C-17, So I don't see where the USAF would have a problem with either the PW-4062 or the PW-4062A.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
The USAF would also have to accept the costs of these engines, which my guess would be significantly more than the PW-4062A or CF-6-80E.

But with advertised 15% increases in fuel economy, over a 30 or 40 year lifespan, (not to mention less expensive maintenance as well,) that cost could add up real quick. Regardless, I'd like to see the actual math one way or the other.

Correct, and that might be what they are looking at.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
MLS was originally in the DRFP as one of the (then) 373 requirements. The USAF does have MLS on some RC-135s as well as the two TC-135s. The systems are used in Alaska by the USAF. A few KC-135As had MLS, too. But IIRC, that has been removed.

Interesting. While I'm glad that the requirement was taken out in the most recent RFP, that's seemingly so bizarre it makes you wonder what other mistakes or rather, "stupid silly stuff" may still be left in the RFP?!

MLS is used at some USAF bases in Alaska.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Have you seen yet if there is a requirement for a fixed HUD like that found on modern Boeing aircraft, such as the 737NG and 787? I can't remember if it was in the previous RFP or not, I remember looking but I don't remember what I found.

I'm not finished with this RFP, yet. Boeing, or EADS can offer a HUD as an option if it is not in the RFP. The C-17 has a HUD.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 15):
I cannot see either Airbus or Boeing offering an aircraft with an engine other than the current standard options. For Boeing that would be the PW or GE for Airbus the RR could also be offered.

If the USAF wants a contract for the airplanes without engines, the airplane costs for each will go down by about $10M-$12M. Then the USAF can order engines directly from the engine OEMs.

This is a huge problem for EADS/NG, as it reduces the US content, significantly for the KC-30. It does the same for a KC-767, but the KC-767 is a lot more above the 51% content requirement than the KC-30 is.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 15):
To re-engine the 767 would cost so much Boeing might as well give the order to NG.
Quoting CMB56 (Reply 15):
At this point I doubt that Boeing has the engineering staff available to undertake a re-engining program.

This would be for both (all) offers. Boeing would find the engineers for mounting the GEnx engine, if that is what the USAF wants. For NG, this could be a great deal, as they could use NG engineers to do the work on the A-330. The USAF would pay for any certification required by the FAA and EASA. Such a program would enable EADS/Airbus to sell A-330s with the GE nx option, the same would be for Boeing if they wanted to sell additional B-767s. Both Boeing and Airbus would need to pay for certifications on other models of the B-767 and A-330.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 15):
If they did want to offer the GEnsx as a side option then the bleed air capable GEnx from the 747-8 would have to be the basis. I am not saying it would not be a great combination I just don't believe you will ever see a 767 with GEnx engines on it.

That may be what the USAF is looking at, but I am just guessing here.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 15):
Doing the winglets would buy you a nice bump in fuel savings and increase TO performance without impacting the program timeline.

The problem with the winglets (for the A-330 or B-767) is it reduces cross wind capability, which the USAF needs. EADS/NG can eliminate the winglets (they would have to pay for that certification), and Boeing does not have to offer them, or could replace them with the raked wingtips of the B-767-400ER, but this increases the wingspan.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:21 pm

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 15):
for Airbus the RR could also be offered.

CF6, I believe. If they offered a Trent, the whole argument about "U.S. content" would get weaker.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 15):
I cannot see either Airbus or Boeing offering an aircraft with an engine other than the current standard options.

Couldn't agree more.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
cmb56
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:00 am

Whoa!

As much as we would all like to you cannot simply plug wings or engines onto aircraft like picking apart some plastic models. The wing for the 767-200/-300/-400 may all be the same basic span but internally they are probably different. I do know the structural change for adding the winglets goes some 10 or more feet into the wing from the tip. The raked tips would probably be a similar change. Winglets also add over 10 feet to the span. 767 winglets are VERY big. So I question that you could simply take the -400 wing and put a -200 fuselage on top of it.

If a new engine is to be put on any aircraft the OEM will be the one to do it. A partner, like NG, could certainly assist but the certification would come via the OEM.

If the GEnx engine offered enough savings in fuel to pay off the extra cost in say five years then maybe it could be pitched as a side option but I doubt it. Putting the GEnx on the 767 takes away some of the margin for selling 787s. There is a lot more market there than the Air Force can ever fill. The original A350 offering to the market place was an A330 with new engines etc. It never made it out of the blocks. What kind of economics would a 767-300 with winglets and GEnx engines have. Pretty damn good compared to the standard model. But then there would be a lot less reason to build the 787.

The standard selections catalog for the 767 does not list a HUD. So unless it is an under the table option Boeing has not certified it on that airframe. Certification by the OEM whether it is Airbus or Boeing is always longer and more costly than doing it after market. You can do a HUD that way but not engines.

All 767 are delivered CAT IIIb autoland capable so having a HUD is nice but not necessary. It's biggest boost commercially is increased safety and it lowers the allowable takeoff visability. It does nothing for landing minimums.

I agree, the RR option on the 330 would not float in the US.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:19 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 12):
The FAA suspended the MLS in 1994 in favor of GPS WAAS, why would MLS even be an issue?

In addition to what KC135TopBoom said, there is a fair bit of MLS deployment in Europe, especially in the UK.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:42 am

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 19):
The standard selections catalog for the 767 does not list a HUD. So unless it is an under the table option Boeing has not certified it on that airframe. Certification by the OEM whether it is Airbus or Boeing is always longer and more costly than doing it after market. You can do a HUD that way but not engines.

All 767 are delivered CAT IIIb autoland capable so having a HUD is nice but not necessary. It's biggest boost commercially is increased safety and it lowers the allowable takeoff visability. It does nothing for landing minimums.

WN has all of their 737 -300 and -500 series aircraft retrofitted with a HUD similar to that on their -700's, it should be a nominal cost and hell, thrown in for free by Boeing just to get the bid. You can fold it up or down as necessary, and is really nice to have when you need it. Even with CAT IIIb autoland capability, it's still an asset in both the takeoff and approach phases of flight, and all new aircraft a la the 787 for example, will have it come standard.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:57 am

Defense industry daily http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/ is reporting the crash iinvestigation report of AF447 will have major blowback into this contest . A paraphrase of the report is in der spiegel http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,679980,00.html and is being discussed on Anet in this forum The Last Four Minutes Of Air France Flight 447 (by osteogenesis Feb 25 2010 in Civil Aviation)


From my preliminary reading of this RFP I'm wondering why're we pretending there's a competition on at all. this is a farcical charade whose winner has already been decided. Would be best if NG/EADS withdrew, allowing Boeing to screw over the government, and they themselves concentrated on screwing over European governments with the a-400M bringing their respective "minimum domestic content requirements" home to roost.
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:07 am

SRD changes

3.1.1.13 Aircraft types to be refuel, same as KC-135 either with boom, MPRS, or BDA. Same speed and altitude requirements, and same maximum fuel on flow rates. Essentially this means no Osprey.

3.1.1.18 The tanker must be able to refuel in the event of a single failure .

3.1.1.24.2 drogue refuelling must be 400 gpm @ 55 psi (max) downstream of the receiver.

3.1.1.24.5 centreline hose must be able to be severed and ejected with having to further retract or retract

3.1.3.2 Manual control of fuel transfer overriding automatic CG control

3.2.1.5.2 cargo door to be powered open/close without engines or APU running

3.2.1.5.3 the cargo door shall allow a 463L pallet that is 96" tall to be loaded

3.2.2.4.1 changed to accommodate more types of patient support pallets

3.3.1.1-36 Cat 3a ILS now required

3.3.1.6 uplink local Wx conditions by data link every 10 minutes

3.4.2.6.1 Quick start procedure change

3.4.3.1.2 180 minute ETOPS

3.4.3.9.4 DC power to crew seats so they can work with chem/bio suit on

3.4.3.22 New mandatory requirement regarding a flight observer

3.5.1.4 reworded the ballistic protection paragraphs

Definition changes

Additional aircrew member
Armour coverage
Common atmospheric disturbance
Covert lighting
Flying qualities
Incapacities
LAIRCM systems
level 1 (satisfactory)
level 2 (tolerable)
Mean repair time
Normal lighting
Parking space
Pilot in the loop oscillation ratings
primary aircraft
provides for
Weapons system reliability

Slight changes in the Six-ship Self Deployment Package, no change to weight.
Slight changes to the wording of the various ACARS messages.

Mission profiles changed.

Mission 1 now includes land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 30,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

Mission 2 now includes land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 33,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

Mission 3 now includes land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 24,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

Mission 4 now includes land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 34,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

Mission 4 now includes land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 34,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

Mission 6 with wing pods installed land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 31,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

Mission 7 now includes land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 34,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

Mission 8 now includes land with reserve fuel sufficient for 2 hours at best range speed at optimum altitude and land with 20,000 lbs fuel above reserves.

END SRD changes

Quoting Tugger (Reply 11):

How much does an A330 cost to an airline?

from Airlines Saying Suppliers Overcharging (by Zeke Sep 14 2009 in Civil Aviation)

Quote:
Total cost of an A330-300 being US$93 million.
Airframe : 43 million
Engines ; 30 million
Seats/IFE/Internals : 12 million
Avionics : 3 million
Landing gear : 3 million
APU : 2 million
Quoting Tugger (Reply 11):

EADS was never in the competition. Or more precisely they weren't an original bidder, no matter how people here and everywhere like to spin it. NG has been talking about not bidding. I suspect that they are in heavy negotiations with Airbus and EADS right now to see if they can come to a price that works.

That is correct, the reason being "This competition shall exclude award to a foreign prime contractor based on the required access to restricted information during contract performance."

Quoting Tugger (Reply 11):
An interesting question though is: Is it possible for EADS itself to bid for this contract (EADS/NA I assume)?

I assume so, EADS NA have other secure contracts with the DoD already. What is being overlooked here is the intelligence platform the USAF has asked teh KC-X to also be, NG have the expeience with this, and aready have deveoped the equipmet that is in use with the USAF today.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 11):
As I mentioned, I suspect that NG is right now talking with Airbus/EADS about the bid. The possibility of just not bidding if the price is not right is an excellent negotiating tactic.

I think that is a strong possibility still, the USAF has not connected the IFARA and FURA, it would have been more logical to run the FURA on the IFARA model so the cost/benifit of the capabilty and cost could be measured. As it stands now teh FURA is based upon all aircraft doing the same number of fixed hours a year over a 40 year life cycle, it ignores the capability differances (e.g cruise speed) or IFARA results.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):

If the USAF wants a contract for the airplanes without engines, the airplane costs for each will go down by about $10M-$12M. Then the USAF can order engines directly from the engine OEMs.

This is a huge problem for EADS/NG, as it reduces the US content, significantly for the KC-30. It does the same for a KC-767, but the KC-767 is a lot more above the 51% content requirement than the KC-30 is.

Engines cost more than 10-12 million each, let alone for 2, you would be looking at over 30 million per airframe. The total number of engines to be supplies is 368, 179x2+10 spares (2 spare engines per lot, 5 lots).

The USAF state they will use the same engine as in the proposal, they are not aiming to change the type of engine. What I think they are aiming at is the ability to get a "power by the hour" deal for the 358 engines, and make the engine manufacturer have sufficient spares at all the normal operating bases. The engine manufacturer under the same deal could handle all the ongoing maintenance of the engines for the USAF. If the KC-767 is selected this would avoid them being in the same position they are today with KC-135s, having an engine with no civil equivalent in production (they finished back when 737-300s went out of production), so the USAF gets charged more for engine spares. The 787 has started its flight testing, and the backlog of civil 767 is small, so it is likely that very few additional new 767 would be built.

The potential savings by doing this I think would be around 10-11 billion in up front costs, it would result in slightly higher hourly running costs but that maybe offset by lower cost of spares, and fixing in future maintenance costs, not needing to do in house engine overhauls, and not needing to buy the additional 10 spare engines (another 300 million in savings).

The US content percentage of the final product does not change, as the same engine is going to be used. If the USAF negotiates directly with GE and asks NG to put them on KC-30, the paper asset value would still have the same percentage of US content is they were supplied by NG.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 22):
Defense industry daily http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/ is reporting the crash iinvestigation report of AF447 will have major blowback into this contest . A paraphrase of the report is in der spiegel http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,679980,00.html and is being discussed on Anet in this forum The Last Four Minutes Of Air France Flight 447 (by osteogenesis Feb 25 2010 in Civil Aviation)

This is a red herring, it is not a consideration in the RFP.

I will contribute to the CivAv link in due course, but it does pose a number of factual errors in the original article, which is not uncommon as most people reporting the news would not be qualified on type.

It would be useful to keep AF447 as a CivAv discussion in the link you provided, this thread is going to be long enough without being side tracked on issues not included in the RFP.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:18 pm

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 19):
Whoa!

As much as we would all like to you cannot simply plug wings or engines onto aircraft like picking apart some plastic models. The wing for the 767-200/-300/-400 may all be the same basic span but internally they are probably different. I do know the structural change for adding the winglets goes some 10 or more feet into the wing from the tip. The raked tips would probably be a similar change. Winglets also add over 10 feet to the span. 767 winglets are VERY big. So I question that you could simply take the -400 wing and put a -200 fuselage on top of it.

In the 2008 KC-767AT, IIRC, Boeing was putting the B-767-300ERF wing on the B-767-200LRF, as well as using some of the B-767-400ER trailing edge devices.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 19):
The standard selections catalog for the 767 does not list a HUD. So unless it is an under the table option Boeing has not certified it on that airframe. Certification by the OEM whether it is Airbus or Boeing is always longer and more costly than doing it after market. You can do a HUD that way but not engines.

All 767 are delivered CAT IIIb autoland capable so having a HUD is nice but not necessary. It's biggest boost commercially is increased safety and it lowers the allowable takeoff visability. It does nothing for landing minimums.

Most USAF aircraft (exception for the VC-25, C-32, C-40B/C, and EC/OC/RC-135) do not use Cat IIIb capability, but do fly to Cat IIIa minimums. I agree that a HUD is not needed for that, but is used to fly into runways that have limited or no nav-aids at all.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 19):
If a new engine is to be put on any aircraft the OEM will be the one to do it. A partner, like NG, could certainly assist but the certification would come via the OEM.

If the GEnx engine offered enough savings in fuel to pay off the extra cost in say five years then maybe it could be pitched as a side option but I doubt it. Putting the GEnx on the 767 takes away some of the margin for selling 787s. There is a lot more market there than the Air Force can ever fill. The original A350 offering to the market place was an A330 with new engines etc. It never made it out of the blocks. What kind of economics would a 767-300 with winglets and GEnx engines have. Pretty damn good compared to the standard model. But then there would be a lot less reason to build the 787.

Zeke is correct below. The USAF could simplt buy the engines offered by the OEMs directly from the engine makers, or select another engine. But essentially if they did that, the engines become government owned and provided equipment, thus reducing the costs of the airplane to just the airframe without engines. This would, however require a second USAF contract just to build, buy, and support the engines and seperate from the airframe.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 23):
SRD changes

3.1.1.13 Aircraft types to be refuel, same as KC-135 either with boom, MPRS, or BDA. Same speed and altitude requirements, and same maximum fuel on flow rates. Essentially this means no Osprey.

No, the MV/CV-22 refueling may be required;

see 3.1.1.13 and 3.1.1.14 (mandatory) the KC-135 can refuel down to 180 KIAS. This tells me the KC-X will be required to match that speed beyond the current KC-135 restrictions (about 75% of MGW). The USAF seems to be relying on STANAG 3447. Also see 3.1.1.13.1, 3.1.1.13.2, and 3.1.1.14.1 (non-mandatrory) which specifies speeds down to 190 KIAS and refueling the MV/CV-22. I agree these to sections on the MV/CV-22 are not one of the mandatory 372 requirements, but clearly the USAF would prefer to have this capability, as without it the only refueling possibilities for the MV/CV-22 would be the USMC KC-130J tanker.

This will not be a requirement the USAF is willing to pay for, unless the bid prices come within the 1% margin.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 23):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):

If the USAF wants a contract for the airplanes without engines, the airplane costs for each will go down by about $10M-$12M. Then the USAF can order engines directly from the engine OEMs.

This is a huge problem for EADS/NG, as it reduces the US content, significantly for the KC-30. It does the same for a KC-767, but the KC-767 is a lot more above the 51% content requirement than the KC-30 is.

Engines cost more than 10-12 million each, let alone for 2, you would be looking at over 30 million per airframe. The total number of engines to be supplies is 368, 179x2+10 spares (2 spare engines per lot, 5 lots).

The USAF state they will use the same engine as in the proposal, they are not aiming to change the type of engine. What I think they are aiming at is the ability to get a "power by the hour" deal for the 358 engines, and make the engine manufacturer have sufficient spares at all the normal operating bases. The engine manufacturer under the same deal could handle all the ongoing maintenance of the engines for the USAF. If the KC-767 is selected this would avoid them being in the same position they are today with KC-135s, having an engine with no civil equivalent in production (they finished back when 737-300s went out of production), so the USAF gets charged more for engine spares. The 787 has started its flight testing, and the backlog of civil 767 is small, so it is likely that very few additional new 767 would be built.

The potential savings by doing this I think would be around 10-11 billion in up front costs, it would result in slightly higher hourly running costs but that maybe offset by lower cost of spares, and fixing in future maintenance costs, not needing to do in house engine overhauls, and not needing to buy the additional 10 spare engines (another 300 million in savings).

The US content percentage of the final product does not change, as the same engine is going to be used. If the USAF negotiates directly with GE and asks NG to put them on KC-30, the paper asset value would still have the same percentage of US content is they were supplied by NG.

Thanks for the price correction. I did not realize it would be that high for engines alone (I assume the price includes engine related equipment like cowlings, struts, plumbing work for fuel lines hydraulics and electrical, inlets, etc.).

But, the way I see it, it would reduce the US content from both airplanes by XX%, at least in costs as the engines would become "government provided equipment". Of course this does not include the OEM's labor for designing and installing the engines and related equipment.

Assuming each KC-767 costs $120M, then a $30M cost reduction would mean a reduced US content of as much as 25%, and assuming each KC-30 costs $150M, then the US content would reduce by as much as 20%. The cost numbers are my guess, and nothing more. This may be an idea of some Boeing political supporters trying to get the KC-30 US content below the majic 51% number. Again, that is just a guess.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 23):
It would be useful to keep AF447 as a CivAv discussion in the link you provided, this thread is going to be long enough without being side tracked on issues not included in the RFP.

I agree here. It has always been my position that we do not have all the facts into the AF-447 tragidy. What we know of the pitiot tube problems has been addressed, but we don't know how much the pitiot tube problem contributed to the accident. Was it the sole cause, a contibuting factor, or no factor? Right now we just don't know and may never know unless the DFDR and DVCR are recovered and the data on them is still useful. They have been sitting in some 12,000' (about 3,693 m) of salt water for close to 9 months now.

If the AF accident is somehow determined to be related to the A-330 airframe, that can be corrected. I am more concerned about the abrupt attitude and altitude problems suffered on the two QF A-330s. Should something like that happen during air refueling, then that could mean the loss of the tanker and all receivers on the boom or drogues.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:14 pm

It is interesting to read the rather bland press releases for both Boeing and NG on receiving the KC-X RFP from the USAF on Wednesday.

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=185093

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1087
 
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par13del
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:24 pm

Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
MILCON is now more defined, the bases which will looked out now have airport diagrams depicting which parts of the airports will be included in the MILCON assessment.
Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
The MILCON analysis is only for 164 aircraft, not the whole contract.
Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
They will only assess runways, taxiways, fuel hydrant features, and parking ramps and hangars (general maintenance and corrosion control only.

MILCON may be more defined but for purposes of the RFP, it has been dummed down to minimize the potential cost for the larger frame if chosen, I think I also read that the bases were selected for "costing" they may not be the final or only bases which will / may receive the a/c.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 22):
From my preliminary reading of this RFP I'm wondering why're we pretending there's a competition on at all. this is a farcical charade whose winner has already been decided. Would be best if NG/EADS withdrew,

I'm confused, I thought the last RFP was adjusted to allow NG / EADS to win the competition and screw over the US government, Boeing protested the failure to follow the rules and the award was scrapped, does that not mean that NG as well as Boeing has a chance as long as some "illegalities" are involved?
 
Ken777
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:43 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Boeing, or EADS can offer a HUD as an option if it is not in the RFP. The C-17 has a HUD.
Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 22):
Would be best if NG/EADS withdrew, allowing Boeing to screw over the government,

Actually it would be best if NG/EADS kept their cards close to their vest until the deadline. No use giving Boeing any help. And there is no telling what may pop up before the deadline.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 23):
The potential savings by doing this I think would be around 10-11 billion in up front costs, it would result in slightly higher hourly running costs

While it sounds good on the near term financial side I would worry about training time sown the road. Anytime the budgets need to be cut (every year these days) the funds for training will also be cut - and the tankers seem to this old sailor to be one area where you have a need for intensive training, regardless of the costs.

Because of that I'd rather take the option that provides for the most long term training time potential to crews.
 
Lumberton
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:03 pm

Quoting ken777 (Reply 27):
Actually it would be best if NG/EADS kept their cards close to their vest until the deadline.

They could do that, but if they're not going to bid what's the point? NG and Boeing collaborate on other projects. Why poison the well further? Also, if Trimble's musings are even remotely relevant here, perhaps its best to get the bad news out up front and let EADS do it via their front in North America?

Who needs Northrop Grumman anyway?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:38 am

NG/EADS does have options;

Defense analyst Loren Thompson, of Lexington Institute, wrote that Northrop has four options:

1. Bid on a contract it would probably loose, spending millions more dollars in the process and undermining the credibility of future pullout threats.
2. Protest to the Government Accountability Office that the request is so skewed that it violates federal acquisition standards. But the GAO usually isn't comfortable questioning the terms of a request, rather than how an agency has applied those terms, and losing a protest could hurt Northrop.
3. Challenge an eventual sole-source award to Boeing as violating federal regulations. "Conversion of solicitations from competitive to sole-source arrangements is a complicated process that requires congressional notification and may even require congressional approval under recently passed reform legislation. So it appears that simply by not bidding, Northrop could delay the tanker program and expose it to a renewed round of congressional scrutiny."
4. Petition Congress, although its allies are in the minority and Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., the most-prominent ally of splitting the contract between the two companies, just died.
Thompson's list leaves off a fifth option: give up. And some think that's just what Northrop will do.

Aviation Week's Ares Defense Technology Blog noted that Aerospace equities analyst Myles Walton, of Oppenheimer & Co., said changes to Northrop Grumman's executive pay structure to emphasize profitability over sales growth make netting the tanker contract less lucrative for the big wigs.

In an Innovation Analysis Group podcast Thursday, Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register Political Editor George Talbot said his bet would be that Northrop won't bid.

"I think I can say with a great deal of certainty that this idea that Northrop may not bid is not a bluff," he said. "The feeling is, they don't think they have a fair shot of winning this thing, and if that's the conclusion, they don't bid."

Talbot also noted Northrop's new focus on profits over growth, saying: "(W)hen you measure it that way and you look at this whole contract, it doesn't look like a winning scenario. It doesn't look like they can win it and, even if they could, it doesn't look like such a great deal as it did in the previous round."


Finally, Defense consultant James Hasik wrote that he would advise Northrop to consider bidding because:


1. Not bidding could really irritate EADS," which might be willing to sell the tankers at cost so that the program would facilitate a coveted A330 production line in the U.S. Irritating EADS could land Northrop on the sidelines of the next tanker contest, which will probably be more friendly to the larger plane.
2. Bidding would please the Air Force, building goodwill for the next two tanker contests.
3. Bidding might not cost that much, given how much work has already been done.
4. Boeing could get greedy" and aim too high in its bid price.
In a similar vein to the last point, I'd note that having Northrop bid could help force Boeing to offer its best-possible price and, therefore, limit its profit. Northrop, and certainly EADS, would have to like that idea, right?


http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/195938.asp?source=pimail
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:29 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
4. Boeing could get greedy" and aim too high in its bid price.
In a similar vein to the last point, I'd note that having Northrop bid could help force Boeing to offer its best-possible price and, therefore, limit its profit. Northrop, and certainly EADS, would have to like that idea, right?

Boeing would look foolish if they were to loose the contract because the overcharged for their smaller less expensive a/c, it would lend credance to the notion that they are the only one out to gouge the tax payor.
If they really want the contract they have to ensure that the cost of their base frame mirrors its civilian counterpart - if 767 based - and their additional cost to add the features that the Air Force requires is priced at industry standard, if they do that there is a slim chance that the A330 cost will be within the 1% "buffer".

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
1. Not bidding could really irritate EADS," which might be willing to sell the tankers at cost so that the program would facilitate a coveted A330 production line in the U.S.

I think the tanker contract is coveted not a US line, or the notion of protection of their currency position with the Euro and the Dollar. Production cost in the US is no cheaper than the EU, and if you listen to EU "experts", efficiency of the US workforce is lower than in the EU so why exactly would you want a line in the US over China, India or some other Asian country? However, if you will open a US line after securing the tanker deal, then that makes sense, cost overruns, new features, requested upgrades, more roles, etc. all have the potential of ensuring that this contract regardless of its fixed price will soar by additional billions over its life time of 170+ a/c, and once in service there are another 200 more KC-135's in need of replacement, then on to the KC-10 replacement, this contract alone has the ability to keep a company afloat for a couple decades.

The stake are huge.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:38 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 30):
I think the tanker contract is coveted not a US line, or the notion of protection of their currency position with the Euro and the Dollar. Production cost in the US is no cheaper than the EU, and if you listen to EU "experts", efficiency of the US workforce is lower than in the EU so why exactly would you want a line in the US over China, India or some other Asian country? However, if you will open a US line after securing the tanker deal, then that makes sense, cost overruns, new features, requested upgrades, more roles, etc. all have the potential of ensuring that this contract regardless of its fixed price will soar by additional billions over its life time of 170+ a/c, and once in service there are another 200 more KC-135's in need of replacement, then on to the KC-10 replacement, this contract alone has the ability to keep a company afloat for a couple decades.

I think the issue is that currently, EADS prices its planes in US dollars, but its production costs are in Euro's. As such, how much they earn in commercial sales is heavily affected by the exchange rate. By having a production line in the US, their production costs are now priced in US dollars, which adds stability for EADS as it helps insulate the shocks caused by exchange rate fluctuations.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:41 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
4. Boeing could get greedy" and aim too high in its bid price.
In a similar vein to the last point, I'd note that having Northrop bid could help force Boeing to offer its best-possible price and, therefore, limit its profit. Northrop, and certainly EADS, would have to like that idea, right?
Quoting ken777 (Reply 27):
Actually it would be best if NG/EADS kept their cards close to their vest until the deadline. No use giving Boeing any help. And there is no telling what may pop up before the deadline.

Yep they could play poker - publicly confirm they're not bidding - wait for Boeing to get greedy and give a hefty cost estimate and 1 hour before the deadline submit a cheapo bid. That said i dot think Boeing is anybody's fool and would anticipate such a measure.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
2. Bidding would please the Air Force, building goodwill for the next two tanker contests.

Remember how badly Boeing pissed off the AF with its nasty publicity campaign and appeal to the GAO which according to the AF bordered on libelous. And now the RFP is skewed to make the 767 win. MORAL OF THE STORY - As far as the USAF goes being good is worthless, and being a nasty prick yields dividends. So EADS will win a lot more credibility and respect for being a nasty piece of shit if it goes out of its way to screw the USAF over. The next time the AF high command will be scared shit-less into not rubbing EADS the wrong way.

Quoting par13del (Reply 26):
I'm confused, I thought the last RFP was adjusted to allow NG / EADS to win the competition and screw over the US government, Boeing protested the failure to follow the rules and the award was scrapped, does that not mean that NG as well as Boeing has a chance as long as some "illegalities" are involved

Given how high profile this has become - the scope for illegalities is virtually nil. As for the last two RFP - no they were not adjusted in any way to see that either Boeing or Eads won. Its just that the the first time the AF accepted bribes and the second time they like a bunch of patented morons gave the contract to EADS on an arbitrary criteria (greater fuel offload) which had never been mentioned in the RFP as the deciding factor. In fact according to boeing when AF officers were asked if a KC-777 bid should be submitted as back up they were specifically told not to since so long as fuel load > KC 135 it would not be a deciding factor.
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XT6Wagon
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:49 am

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 32):
Remember how badly Boeing pissed off the AF with its nasty publicity campaign and appeal to the GAO which according to the AF bordered on libelous. And now the RFP is skewed to make the 767 win. MORAL OF THE STORY - As far as the USAF goes being good is worthless, and being a nasty prick yields dividends. So EADS will win a lot more credibility and respect for being a nasty piece of shit if it goes out of its way to screw the USAF over. The next time the AF high command will be scared shit-less into not rubbing EADS the wrong way.

You mean a paid for spokesweasel "leaking" information that was pro-NG before the winner was announced, and turned out to be completely false. You mean the same spokesweasel who recanted everything and fingered NG for providing everything when he found out its actualy not legal to leak that kind of information? You mean the GAO protest that found the USAF cooked the cost numbers, illegaly treated the two companies differently, failed to read plain english correctly, ignored multiple failures to meet manditory specifications, and overall completely failed to properly evaluate the two bids. I imagine most people USAF included would be pissed if they got caught not just with thier thumbs on the scale, but a couple or eight small elephants on said scale.

Yes, some in the USAF were pissed. They are not around this time, having dodged a court martial by god only knows what methods. If thats not enough the NG press pissed off alot of people in the USAF too, dunno if they have anything to do with this RFP, and regardless I doubt it matters.

It boils down to KC-X is a KC135 replacement. The KC30 sucks at it. The KC767 while not a *good* replacement its still far better. The RFP shows this by using... KC135R as the baseline for its spefications. Shocking I know to use the thing you are replacing as a baseline, but there you go. I mean they should have used a C130 or maybe a B52 I guess, but you know how silly the USAF is at times.
 
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zeke
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:49 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):
No, the MV/CV-22 refueling may be required;

The SRD now states that only aircraft that are currently cleared for the KC-135 need to be considered. The Osprey is not cleared on the KC-135 today. The slowest aircraft that the KC-135 is cleared for in the reference that the SRD uses is the C-130 at 200KIAS.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):
But, the way I see it, it would reduce the US content from both airplanes by XX%, at least in costs as the engines would become "government provided equipment". Of course this does not include the OEM's labor for designing and installing the engines and related equipment.

It does not matter if the contractor pays the engine manufacturer 30 million, or the government has another deal, it does not change the value of the aircraft at 120 million (of which 30 million would be the engines). The engines are to be installed by the manufacturer prior to delivery, it is the total value being looked at for the whole system.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):
Thanks for the price correction. I did not realize it would be that high for engines alone (I assume the price includes engine related equipment like cowlings, struts, plumbing work for fuel lines hydraulics and electrical, inlets, etc.).

No, that is normally just for the engine and accessories, some engines also include the cowl where it includes the reverser. Everything in the strut, and the strut itself is part of the airframe.

Quoting ken777 (Reply 27):
While it sounds good on the near term financial side I would worry about training time sown the road. Anytime the budgets need to be cut (every year these days) the funds for training will also be cut - and the tankers seem to this old sailor to be one area where you have a need for intensive training, regardless of the costs.

Actually I see it to be a very prudent move. They could lock in a 40 year power by the hour contract for the engines, where the engine supplier (which may not need to be the engine manufacturer) where the risk of maintaining and repairing the engines could be provided for a fixed price.

Many airlines do this today, companies like GE provide a service for On Wing Support (including diagnostics), Engine Exchange, and Technology Upgrades.

This would negate the need for the USAF replicate engine repair/overhaul facilities which are already built and staffed in the civil world.
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Shmertspionem
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:01 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 33):
You mean a paid for spokesweasel "leaking" information that was pro-NG before the winner was announced, and turned out to be completely false. You mean the same spokesweasel who recanted everything and fingered NG for providing everything when he found out its actualy not legal to leak that kind of information?

First what do partial to NG leaks have to do with this. The point i made was - and reported widely in the defence press was that the AF was pissed off by the Boeing media campaign. Second why wasn't this leak chappy being caught episode reported in the defence press? Whats this chappys name? and can you point me to credible media reports of this episode?

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 33):
illegally treated the two companies differently, failed to read plain english correctly

Pardon my knee jerk anti Americanism but with a president like Dubya whose English is so atrocious I'm not surprised that AF has difficulties navigating the subtleties of the English language. That said if you read my post specifically this part...................................



Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 32):
Its just that the the first time the AF accepted bribes and the second time they like a bunch of patented morons gave the contract to EADS on an arbitrary criteria (greater fuel offload) which had never been mentioned in the RFP as the deciding factor. In fact according to boeing when AF officers were asked if a KC-777 bid should be submitted as back up they were specifically told not to since so long as fuel load > KC 135 it would not be a deciding factor

.........................You'll find that we're in complete agreement on this score.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 33):
ignored multiple failures to meet manditory specifications

As far as i knew both met mandatory requirements, whose parameters when then arbitrarily changed to favour NG. If you have specific knowledge of the KC-30's inability to meet mandatory requirements then i would much appreciate a link to some credible news item to that effect.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 33):
The KC30 sucks at it. The KC767 while not a *good* replacement its still far better.

That's simply a matter of opinion not fact. Personally i don't know which is better for the job but the way i see it 1) the AF has no idea of the job it wants done 2) The selection process will ALWAYS be flawed without a triple matrix evaluation system - proper performance, cost, extra capability - essentially not minimal overall costs but lowest overall cost per litre of fuel offloaded 3) Pissing off the AF especially hurling personal charges of malfeasance and corruption at them yields wonderful results for the accuser every time. NG does and wins the second evaluation. Boeing does it much more viciously and scares them so much that the skew the RFP.

At this rate whoever wins the USAF loses.
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Lumberton
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:36 pm

If this is accurate, it could have a decisive impact on the tanker contest.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs...=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

Quote:
An aerospace equities analyst says recent changes to Northrop Grumman's executive compensation metrics are another sign that the defense giant will not bid on the U.S. Air Force's KC-X tanker contract if it believes it cannot get a good deal.

Oppenheimer & Co.'s Myles Walton notes that Northrop Grumman has adjusted its executive compensation metrics to emphasize profitability over sales growth. The new formula is a "striking" difference from compensation incentives set by General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and "would seem to acknowledge what few will say publicly, which is that organic market growth in defense is limited, and Northrop Grumman will instead focus on what it believes it can control."

Northrop's new incentives reward divesting underperforming businesses, avoiding large acquisitions, focusing on efficiency, returning capital to shareholders -- and turning down "bad contracts," Walton says, asking if that holds "implications for tanker."

As for the various opinions being expressed here about "EADS selling the airbus to NG at cost", can you imagine the political dust up if they were to do that? If press reports are correct, the A330 has been implicated in the forthcoming WTO case. DOD may NOT want to consider the DOD case; in fact, at this point they CAN'T. Guess who can?

Here was my post in response to a suggestion that EADS just "eat the costs" and bid.

Quote:

I would have thought this also. Prior to the GFC, I suspect EADS would have gladly poured money down this hole to garner the market; Northrop Grumman, if they are being "indemnified" by EADS (and by extension, those that back EADS) might even have gone along with it. However, given the A380 has not gone "revenue positive", the A400M is a financial sink hole, and the invoices are piling up for the A350XWB development, they might look at things differently. I emphasize the "might" look at it differently. Some in EADS might still view this as the opportunity of a life time, cost be damned. (The complete bail out for the A400M program by the European governments might be seen as an opportunity to "reload" before the next trip back to the government well?)

NG on the other hand has a lot to consider. Again, if EADS is writing the checks, all the checks, then that would remove only the financial pitfalls. This is going to be political nuclear war if they go head-to-head again. There is still plenty of risk for them to consider. (And if EADS were writing all the checks, that would likely come out. The net effect would be that NG is a "agent" of a foreign corporation, and not the lead partner of a JV. Those would be some fun hearings to watch!).

And even though the RFP kind of, sort of, excludes the WTO (the bidder must still indemnify USAF against any cost increases) anyone out there thinks that this won't eventually factor into any competition down the road is seriously self-deluded.


Northrop Grumman,or any US company that partners with EADS, can't afford to be seen as the "front" man, or a mere agent for a foreign company. Although fixed price gives the companies involved the wherewithal to keep their costs private, it would be unrealistic to think this could be hid from an audit given the political visibility. If it were disclosed that NG was "low balling" at the behest of a "french company", the political, legal, and public relations fallout would be catastrophic for the share holders.
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STT757
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:36 pm

Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
Altus (8 A/C)
Grand Forks (12 A/C)
Fairchild (36 A/C)
MacDill (24 A/C)
Seymour-Johnson (12 A/C)
Scott (12 A/C)
Kadena (12 A/C)
Pease (12 A/C)
March (12 A/C)
Mildenhall (12 A/C)
McConnell (12 A/C)

Wow, I thought all would go towards active duty units. March is an Air Force Reserve Base and Pease is New Hampshire Air National Guard. The Seymour Johnson KC-135R unit is a Reserve Unit with an active duty associate , While Scott AFB is an active Duty base, the KC-135R unit there is Air National Guard. Altus keeping KC-135s makes sense as that's where everyone (including ANG and Reserves) goes for KC-135 school. I'm surprised that Hickam and Bangor didn't make the list as they are strategically located.

Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
They assume that only Altus and McConnell will have remaining KC-135 aircraft.

The only remaining "active duty" KC-135 units, there will still be hundreds in the Reserve and Air National Guard.

Here's the current Air National Guard KC-135R/T laydown:

Salt Lake City, UT: 8 KC-135R
Forbes, KS: 12 KC-135R
Phoenix, AZ 8 KC-135R
Scott AFB, IL 8 KC-135R
Lincoln, NE 8 KC-135R
Rickenbacker, OH 18 KC-135R
Selfridge, MI 8 KC-135R
Eielson AFB, AK 8 KC-135R
McGuire AFB, NJ 8 KC-135R
Birmingham, AL 8 KC-135R
Sioux City, IA 8 KC-135R
McGhee-Tyson, TN 12 KC-135R
Pittsburgh ANGS, PA 16 KC-135R
Gen Mitchell Field, WI 12 KC-135R
Hickam, HI 12 KC-135R
Pease ANGB, NH 8 KC-135R
Bangor, ME 10 KC-135R

Total Air National Guard KC-135R/Ts:
172

Air Force Reserve:
Tinker, OK 12 KC-135R
March, CA 12 KC-135R
Seymour-Johnson, NC 16 KC-135R
Grissom, IN 16 KC-135R
Andrews, MD 8 KC-135R

Total Air Force Reserve:
64 KC-135R/T
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kc135topboom
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:28 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 30):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
4. Boeing could get greedy" and aim too high in its bid price.
In a similar vein to the last point, I'd note that having Northrop bid could help force Boeing to offer its best-possible price and, therefore, limit its profit. Northrop, and certainly EADS, would have to like that idea, right?

Boeing would look foolish if they were to loose the contract because the overcharged for their smaller less expensive a/c, it would lend credance to the notion that they are the only one out to gouge the tax payor.
If they really want the contract they have to ensure that the cost of their base frame mirrors its civilian counterpart - if 767 based - and their additional cost to add the features that the Air Force requires is priced at industry standard, if they do that there is a slim chance that the A330 cost will be within the 1% "buffer".

Sorry, I just don't see either Boeing or EADS/NG inflating their new bids, the USAF will see through that right away. The USAF knows what Boeing charged Italy and Japan for their KC-767s, as those were DOD/USAF/FMS sales. The USAF also still has the 2008 bids from both EADS/NG and Boeing. They can compute the additional inflation and equipment costs for each offer since then. Also, this RFP allows up to a 12% profit on airplane blocks 1, 2, and 3. For those blocks, only ther price is a fixed contract, and blocks 4-13 will allow inflation price and other price adjustments.

Quoting par13del (Reply 30):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
1. Not bidding could really irritate EADS," which might be willing to sell the tankers at cost so that the program would facilitate a coveted A330 production line in the U.S.

I think the tanker contract is coveted not a US line, or the notion of protection of their currency position with the Euro and the Dollar. Production cost in the US is no cheaper than the EU, and if you listen to EU "experts", efficiency of the US workforce is lower than in the EU so why exactly would you want a line in the US over China, India or some other Asian country? However, if you will open a US line after securing the tanker deal, then that makes sense, cost overruns, new features, requested upgrades, more roles, etc. all have the potential of ensuring that this contract regardless of its fixed price will soar by additional billions over its life time of 170+ a/c, and once in service there are another 200 more KC-135's in need of replacement, then on to the KC-10 replacement, this contract alone has the ability to keep a company afloat for a couple decades.

The stake are huge.

I don't see where EU workers are more efficient than US workers, they generally work fewer hours per week/month/year. Also, a no bid from NG, in the KC-X program, will not be a considerstion in the KC-Y or KC-Z programs, if they ever come to light. We are talking about contracts 20 + years from now.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 32):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
2. Bidding would please the Air Force, building goodwill for the next two tanker contests.

Remember how badly Boeing pissed off the AF with its nasty publicity campaign and appeal to the GAO which according to the AF bordered on libelous.

No, I don't remember. Boeing exercised its rights by appealing to the GAO, and protecting American rights is what the USAF is all about. It was the GAO that found fault with the USAF, not Boeing.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 32):
So EADS will win a lot more credibility and respect for being a nasty piece of shit if it goes out of its way to screw the USAF over. The next time the AF high command will be scared shit-less into not rubbing EADS the wrong way.

?????, that makes no sense at all.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 34):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):
No, the MV/CV-22 refueling may be required;

The SRD now states that only aircraft that are currently cleared for the KC-135 need to be considered. The Osprey is not cleared on the KC-135 today. The slowest aircraft that the KC-135 is cleared for in the reference that the SRD uses is the C-130 at 200KIAS.

The AC-130 Boom refuels at 185 KIAS, with the KC-135 flying with flaps 20. The 200 KIAS is the minimum airspeed the KC-135 can fly with flaps up, depending on its weight.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):
No, the MV/CV-22 refueling may be required;

see 3.1.1.13 and 3.1.1.14 (mandatory) the KC-135 can refuel down to 180 KIAS. This tells me the KC-X will be required to match that speed beyond the current KC-135 restrictions (about 75% of MGW).

Even though the SRD makes refueling the MV/CV-22 a non-mandatory requirement, the minimum refueling airspeed issue says differently and that is a mandatory requirement, but it could also mean refueling the AC-130.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 34):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):
Thanks for the price correction. I did not realize it would be that high for engines alone (I assume the price includes engine related equipment like cowlings, struts, plumbing work for fuel lines hydraulics and electrical, inlets, etc.).

No, that is normally just for the engine and accessories, some engines also include the cowl where it includes the reverser. Everything in the strut, and the strut itself is part of the airframe.

I agree the engine strut is actually part of the airframe and not the engine, but wouldn't the struts be different for different engine types?

Quoting Zeke (Reply 34):
Quoting ken777 (Reply 27):
While it sounds good on the near term financial side I would worry about training time sown the road. Anytime the budgets need to be cut (every year these days) the funds for training will also be cut - and the tankers seem to this old sailor to be one area where you have a need for intensive training, regardless of the costs.

Actually I see it to be a very prudent move. They could lock in a 40 year power by the hour contract for the engines, where the engine supplier (which may not need to be the engine manufacturer) where the risk of maintaining and repairing the engines could be provided for a fixed price.

Many airlines do this today, companies like GE provide a service for On Wing Support (including diagnostics), Engine Exchange, and Technology Upgrades.

This would negate the need for the USAF replicate engine repair/overhaul facilities which are already built and staffed in the civil world.

Yes, and would be a good move for the USAF, as it reduces the real LCC for the KC-X, no matter which airplane is selected.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 35):
Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 33):
illegally treated the two companies differently, failed to read plain english correctly

Pardon my knee jerk anti Americanism but with a president like Dubya whose English is so atrocious I'm not surprised that AF has difficulties navigating the subtleties of the English language. That said if you read my post specifically this part...................................

?????, WTF? President Bush's abilities to master the English language has nothing to do with the USAF and its lawyers mastering English. I saw nothing wrong with the way President Bush spoke or understood English.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 35):
Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 33):
ignored multiple failures to meet manditory specifications

As far as i knew both met mandatory requirements, whose parameters when then arbitrarily changed to favour NG. If you have specific knowledge of the KC-30's inability to meet mandatory requirements then i would much appreciate a link to some credible news item to that effect.

There were, and still are questions about the ablity of the KC-30 to correctly perform the emergency breakawya manuvers. The GAO even mentioned this. Has then been corrected by EADS? I would hope so. But, the only flyable examples we have of the KC-30s right now are the 2 RAAF birds currently in flight testing.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 36):
As for the various opinions being expressed here about "EADS selling the airbus to NG at cost", can you imagine the political dust up if they were to do that? If press reports are correct, the A330 has been implicated in the forthcoming WTO case.

I just don't see that happening, as I said, the SRD/RFP allows for up to a 12% profit margin. If that is the case, I doubt EADS will sell the unmodified A-330s to NG at costs. Also, I suspect EADS needs the money right now. Their A-32X line cannot support the entire company indefinetly and the A-350 and A-400M programs are going through huge amounts of moneies, the A-380 line is far from profitable. The commericial end of the A-330 does make money, but how much of that money is currently eaten up by current A-330MRTT programs?

Quoting STT757 (Reply 37):
Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
Altus (8 A/C)
Grand Forks (12 A/C)
Fairchild (36 A/C)
MacDill (24 A/C)
Seymour-Johnson (12 A/C)
Scott (12 A/C)
Kadena (12 A/C)
Pease (12 A/C)
March (12 A/C)
Mildenhall (12 A/C)
McConnell (12 A/C)

Wow, I thought all would go towards active duty units. March is an Air Force Reserve Base and Pease is New Hampshire Air National Guard. The Seymour Johnson KC-135R unit is a Reserve Unit with an active duty associate , While Scott AFB is an active Duty base, the KC-135R unit there is Air National Guard. Altus keeping KC-135s makes sense as that's where everyone (including ANG and Reserves) goes for KC-135 school. I'm surprised that Hickam and Bangor didn't make the list as they are strategically located.

Don't forget, as the KC-Xs are delivered, the displaced KC-135R/Ts will not retire, but will go to redistribution to other bases. I can see the HIANG at Hickman AFB, and the MEANG at BGR doubling their KC-135R fleets.It will be the same for other KC-135R/T bases for Active Duty, USAFR, and ANG bases.

I was looking at the SRD some more, and on page A-41, Table A-7, Air Refueling Efficency, SRD 3.1.1.2 I noticed the entire fuel load, before take off will be only about 160,000 lbs plus required fuel reserves. So, assuming a fuel reserve of 20,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs (180,000 lbs-190,000 lbs), that is still not full fuel tanks for either the KC-767AT (202,000 lbs), KC-135R (202,000 lbs) or KC-30A (245,000 lbs). This reserve fuel load will be what is remaining aboard at the beginning of the STAR, or at the High Fix for a High Altitude Penetration, or beginning an Enroute Penetration. For an island base (Hawaii, Guam, or Azores, for example), USAF fuel reserves require 3 hours of fuel, while a CONUS base may be 2 hours or less. A (then) "light weight" KC-135R/T with 20,000-30,000 lbs of fuel remaining can hold or divert easily within that 2-3 hours, but what about a "light weight" KC-767 or KC-30? Can either continue flying for up to 3 hours with only 30,000 lbs of fuel?
 
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STT757
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:40 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
Don't forget, as the KC-Xs are delivered, the displaced KC-135R/Ts will not retire, but will go to redistribution to other bases. I can see the HIANG at Hickman AFB, and the MEANG at BGR doubling their KC-135R fleets.It will be the same for other KC-135R/T bases for Active Duty, USAFR, and ANG bases.

The 108th NJANG at McGuire AFB lost a squadron when they retired the KC-135E's a year or two ago, they went from 16 KC-135E's to 8 KC-135R's. They want the second squadron back but it's more difficult now that they will have to share their ramp with the Navy who is coming over from Willow Grove in September, the construction of the new Navy hangars is well under way next to the 108th's ramp.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2637
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:01 pm

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 35):
As far as i knew both met mandatory requirements, whose parameters when then arbitrarily changed to favour NG. If you have specific knowledge of the KC-30's inability to meet mandatory requirements then i would much appreciate a link to some credible news item to that effect.

They INTENTIONALY failed a manditory requirement to transition MX services from NG to USAF within 2 years. They were told multiple times they failed to include even basic planning for it, and they refused to put it in. This is also a point the GAO had issues with since the USAF shouldn't have communicated the failure at points that they did.

The KC30 can't comply with current breakaway guidelines. Contrary to a few trying to paint this up as something else, you don't ask the USAF to allow the KC30 to perform the breakaway procedure in a dive instead of a climb unless you NEED the dive to perform the manuver. I think anyone with a basic grasp of momentum will understand why in a breakaway situation the tanker needs to climb and the reciever needs to dive.

The KC30 also failed to meet the requirement to refuel all aircraft. This may have been a paperwork error, but its.. suspect when asked about it by the GAO neither NG nor the USAF could provide the doccumentation required to show compliance. They had quite a while to find it or make it, this wasn't a suprise at the final hearing, it was asked first thing in the whole long process of the GAO protest.
 
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zeke
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:13 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):

The AC-130 Boom refuels at 185 KIAS, with the KC-135 flying with flaps 20. The 200 KIAS is the minimum airspeed the KC-135 can fly with flaps up, depending on its weight.

ATP-56(B) (Feb 2010 edition) now stipulates 210KIAS as the flaps up/down cross over speed, it also places a limit of 190KIAS as the minimum speed for C-130 boom operations, normal is 200 KIAS, optimum depends on type of C-130.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
Even though the SRD makes refueling the MV/CV-22 a non-mandatory requirement, the minimum refueling airspeed issue says differently and that is a mandatory requirement, but it could also mean refueling the AC-130.

I did not see a mandatory minimum speed, BTW the MV/CV-22 non-mandatory speed requirement was raised from 185 KIAS in the DRFP to 190 KIAS in the RFP.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
I was looking at the SRD some more, and on page A-41, Table A-7, Air Refueling Efficency, SRD 3.1.1.2 I noticed the entire fuel load, before take off will be only about 160,000 lbs plus required fuel reserves

The ground rules for 3.1.1.2 are the same as for 3.1.1.1 which is two hours of fuel. The KC-767 and KC-30 easily meet 3.1.1.2 as they are more efficient engine/airframe package over the SRD baseline, i.e. they have better specific ground range.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 40):
They INTENTIONALY failed a manditory requirement to transition MX services from NG to USAF within 2 years.

That was not a mandatory requirement last round, can we move onto the current RFP ? The current RFP now specifies mandatory requirements, which were in line with what NG was offering last time (and similar to what it does for other DoD contracts). This goes to show what the USAF actually wanted last time, not what the GAO could or could not find supporting documentation for.
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kc135topboom
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:21 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):

The AC-130 Boom refuels at 185 KIAS, with the KC-135 flying with flaps 20. The 200 KIAS is the minimum airspeed the KC-135 can fly with flaps up, depending on its weight.

ATP-56(B) (Feb 2010 edition) now stipulates 210KIAS as the flaps up/down cross over speed, it also places a limit of 190KIAS as the minimum speed for C-130 boom operations, normal is 200 KIAS, optimum depends on type of C-130.

I don't have the Feb. 2010 version/change to ATP-56. Increasing the flaps up/down speed does increase the safety and manuvering margin. But, that is only for the KC-135, right? IIRC, the KC-10 used a different minimum speed for flaps up/down, but I do not remember what that is.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
I was looking at the SRD some more, and on page A-41, Table A-7, Air Refueling Efficency, SRD 3.1.1.2 I noticed the entire fuel load, before take off will be only about 160,000 lbs plus required fuel reserves

The ground rules for 3.1.1.2 are the same as for 3.1.1.1 which is two hours of fuel. The KC-767 and KC-30 easily meet 3.1.1.2 as they are more efficient engine/airframe package over the SRD baseline, i.e. they have better specific ground range.
Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
That was not a mandatory requirement last round, can we move onto the current RFP ? The current RFP now specifies mandatory requirements, which were in line with what NG was offering last time (and similar to what it does for other DoD contracts).

I did take that question using the current RFP/SRD.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
This goes to show what the USAF actually wanted last time, not what the GAO could or could not find supporting documentation for.

No it does not. It shows what the senior staff selected, which I guess you can call the USAF, but it did not reflect what the tanker guys I have talked to wanted.

But, that is all water under the bridge now, no use talking about it again.

As for the GAO not finding the supporting documents, that is not up to them. They asked for the documents from the USAF and based their decisions on the documents that were actually provided. The GAO has the necessary security clearances to see all classified documents, so the USAF could not "hide" documents by claiming they were classified.
 
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:06 am

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 35):
Pardon my knee jerk anti Americanism

   Sorry...no. Never.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 35):
with a president like Dubya whose English is so atrocious

He speaks fluent Texan, not English. That's your problem right there.   
And he's not President anymore...so who will you blame if the Air Force chooses Boeing?
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:06 am

Huge props to Zeke and KC135TopBoom for your postings on this thread. Very informative - adding both of you to my RUlist. Thanks!  
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
Shmertspionem
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:03 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
?????, that makes no sense at all.

Its a story called cry wolf - it goes like this - there was little boy in a little village long long ago who was tasked with looking after the village sheep and protecting them from wolves. So the boy thinks - if i cry wolf will the villagers actually come to the rescue. So he yells " wolf" and the whole village descends with sticks and pitchforks. Now he thinks its fun and thinks " they came the first time but will they come again. So he cries "wolf" again and this time fewer and considerably annoyed people come. This happens a few more times with a successively thinning audience. Finally the big bad wolf arrives, kills the sheep and the boy and no one responds to his calls of wolf.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
?????, WTF? President Bush's abilities to master the English language has nothing to do with the USAF and its lawyers mastering English. I saw nothing wrong with the way President Bush spoke or understood English

First stop taking things so seriously - secondly the overwhelming majority of the English speaking world disagree with you on that score. check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushisms

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
protecting American rights is what the USAF is all about

Not unless you've had a military coup in the US that I missed on the news. The Supreme Court protects American rights, The USAF protects the State (I.E. the three branches of government and the people) and key to the concept of US freedoms is the separation of powers.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
There were, and still are questions about the ability of the KC-30 to correctly perform the emergency breakaway manoeuvres. The GAO even mentioned this.
Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 40):
The KC30 can't comply with current breakaway guidelines.

It mentioned inadequate documentation on that score. By the same measure Boeing refuse to provide the long term funding - life cycle costs documents for the competition. does that mean the 767 was obscenely priced and Boeing had something to hide. Inadequate documentation and inadequate performance are two different things. this is not to say the KC-30 can perform these manoeuvres, just that with the lack of documentation it cant be proven either way.

BTW if the 767 is all that its cut out to be they wouldn't have had to resort to bribery the first time round would they? and I suppose "acquiring" the KC-30's pricing details before the second fiasco was perfectly innocent and above reproach? Lets face it there are serious question marks regarding the performance of both aircraft - especially given the fact that the Aeronautica Militar's KC-767s are yet to be delivered. While I'm happy to acknowledge the KC-30 has more than its fair share of problems - you cant live in la-la-land and pretend that Boeing and the 767 are the Virgin Mary. The truth as in most cases lies in the shades of grey.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):
It shows what the senior staff selected, which I guess you can call the USAF, but it did not reflect what the tanker guys I have talked to wanted

Every defence buy needs a macro approach to it which is presumably what the top brass were after. If every requirement was decided at the micro level - the entire western alliance would be in deep deep trouble. If the tanker guys you spoke to feel so strongly about this then they should have the courage of their convictions to stand their ground or quit.... if they don't they obviously don't feel all that strongly about it.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
The current RFP now specifies mandatory requirements, which were in line with what NG was offering last time

230 changes to the RFP is no joke - so what operational requirements, ground realities and strategic vision changed between now and the last solicitation? This entire thing has become such a mess because I don't think even the AF knows what it wants. From what I've read the mission profiles of the KC-135 and KC-10 were tactical high fast under-threat refuelling, and strategic power projection respectively. So wouldn't it have been better to consider a 737-900/321 option for the former and a 777 option for the latter? Has the mission requirement changed dramatically? Were the two roles to be combined in which case that macro vision should have been clearly enunciated and the proposal should have included long term KC-10 replacement as well. Nothing good ever comes of these hermaphrodite "tacto-strategic" compromises....its fine for second tier European and third tier Oceania powers - but no good for a paramount power that wants full spectrum dominance.

That word you used "in line" that's my major gripe. In most head to head combat scenarios western fighters trump their Russian counterparts as a result from what I'm reading the most probable Russian (or Russian built fighter operator's) response is tanker/refuelling denial, a scenario in which they score repeated victories. In that scenario how can more bang per buck not be rewarded???

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 43):
Sorry...no. Never.

Alas! when one comes from a second rate power one must resort to sarcasm to ameliorate ones sense of inferiority!!  

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 43):
He speaks fluent Texan, not English. That's your problem right there.

Me thinks me likes other Texan exports like BBQ ribs and Tex mex food better. Curiously for a Texan speaker he had a far more realistic foreign policy that chaps like Clinton Obama or Chamberlain who actually believe security lies in signing pieces of paper. And no that's not my sarcasm talking - I'm actually serious
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par13del
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:56 pm

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
That word you used "in line" that's my major gripe. In most head to head combat scenarios western fighters trump their Russian counterparts as a result from what I'm reading the most probable Russian (or Russian built fighter operator's) response is tanker/refuelling denial, a scenario in which they score repeated victories. In that scenario how can more bang per buck not be rewarded???

If I understand your post correctly, in combat scenarios, the Russian tactic has been tanker denial I take that to mean shooting down tankers or causing them to run away, your remedy for that is more bang per buck by selecting the A330 which is larger and can perform the jobs of two KC-135?
The US uses the boom method - the majory of their a/c are US Air Force - your more bang for the buck option would be more a/c not fewer a/c with more offload capability, as each a/c carries only a single boom and can only refuel one a/c at a time. Posters have attempted to bring this fact up with little traction, the A330 is much better dragging fighters across the pond or the Pacific as it can use less frames to accomplish the mission, in war time that ability becomes a major liability as more assets have to be deployed to protect the fewer tankers which are much more valuable. The Chinese and Russians had numerous fighters which by western standards are obsolete and are no match for current fighters, they do however have volume / numbers which is an assest all by itself, they cannot be ignored. This is a purchase for a weapon of war, not an ailine purchasing the most efficient and new toy to get customers on board.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
230 changes to the RFP is no joke - so what operational requirements, ground realities and strategic vision changed between now and the last solicitation?

The major change for which I am glad is the MILCON costing which was not dealt with in totality in the last RFP. One a/c the A330 if selected will be one of the largest a/c in the inventory, how can anyone downplay or ignore the massive "extra" cost associated with that? The A380 is an example, airports can choose to upgrade or loose traffic if airlines purchase the A380 as their primary people mover, the US govt. has the option of using a smaller a/c which can fulfill all its needs or select a larger a/c which can also fullfill its needs with the additional cost of spending millions at home and abroad in modifying bases to accomodate, there was no cost benefit analysis of this last time around, at least I don't think so, not in this much detail, and even with the current RFP, they selected bases which require minimal modification for "costing purposes" the a/c may not actually be based at the listed bases.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
From what I've read the mission profiles of the KC-135 and KC-10 were tactical high fast under-threat refuelling, and strategic power projection respectively. So wouldn't it have been better to consider a 737-900/321 option for the former and a 777 option for the latter? Has the mission requirement changed dramatically? Were the two roles to be combined in which case that macro vision should have been clearly enunciated and the proposal should have included long term KC-10 replacement as well.

The RFP has always stated that the buy was for a replacement of the KC-135 with added capabilities, at no time did any of them state that the buy would be a replacement for the KC-135 and the KC-10 - meaning the added capabilities would not surpass the KC-10 -, if Airbus had offered NG the A310 this discussion point would be moot. Another RFP will be issued in a few years to replace the KC-10, hence the reason why NG is so gung ho on winning this bid, they will not say it publicy now because the RFP does not call for it, but in 10 years time, they will simply push for more buys of the current a/c A330 as it is close to the KC-10, can be modified to offload fuel in the KC-10 range, requires no additional training, no new spares, now new hangers, etc. etc. etc. all the negatives of its size as a KC-135 replacement become benefits for a KC-10 replacement, the reverse of the Boeing offer. Boeing should simplify the whole argument and bidding process by offering the 777 frame, then both would have the same size issue, popular a/c in demand and both could use the same economics to lower the price to be competitive.  
Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
Nothing good ever comes of these hermaphrodite "tacto-strategic" compromises....its fine for second tier European and third tier Oceania powers - but no good for a paramount power that wants full spectrum dominance.

Now you get into the realm of some US posters on the tanker being from EADS/Airbus versus an American controlled product, Europe has routinely denied overflight flights for US combat missions they do not support, an AD by Airbus on some computer software on an A330 would have the same effect if it grounds the tankers, we can be sure that no evidence will ever be found to say it was not a co-incidence. This from an X-Files conspiracy nut, take it as such  
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:57 pm

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
Shmertspionem

For some reason, I cannot get the IM function to work this morning. But to answer you, it is no big deal to me. I enjoy the debate.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
First stop taking things so seriously - secondly the overwhelming majority of the English speaking world disagree with you on that score. check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushisms

Actually, Americans do not speak true "English" like most of the rest of the English speaking countries of the world. We have own own dialect, just as you do in Oz.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
protecting American rights is what the USAF is all about

Not unless you've had a military coup in the US that I missed on the news. The Supreme Court protects American rights, The USAF protects the State (I.E. the three branches of government and the people) and key to the concept of US freedoms is the separation of powers.

In a very broad sense you are right, however, in a practical sense, the SCOTUS rules on rights issues and the US Military protects those rights for foriegn interests in combat. While police forces protect rights domesticly.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 44):
Huge props to Zeke and KC135TopBoom for your postings on this thread. Very informative -

Thank you

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
I suppose "acquiring" the KC-30's pricing details before the second fiasco was perfectly innocent and above reproach?

Actually, Boeing got the pricing info on the NG bid after the award of the 2008 contract, from the USAF, not before.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
If the tanker guys you spoke to feel so strongly about this then they should have the courage of their convictions to stand their ground or quit....

Many have spoken to Commanders about their concerns, but this is not an issue worth them ending their careers over. They are still Soldiers.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 45):
Quoting Zeke (Reply 41):
The current RFP now specifies mandatory requirements, which were in line with what NG was offering last time

230 changes to the RFP is no joke - so what operational requirements, ground realities and strategic vision changed between now and the last solicitation?
Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
The major change for which I am glad is the MILCON costing which was not dealt with in totality in the last RFP.

Correct, and many others were to clearify points made in the DRFP. All of those 230 changes were made to the Sept. 2009 DRFP and none were made for the concerns of the 2007 RFP as that document is not relevent to this compitition.
 
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zeke
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:27 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):
IIRC, the KC-10 used a different minimum speed for flaps up/down, but I do not remember what that is.

It is not in ATP-56(B).

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):
As for the GAO not finding the supporting documents, that is not up to them. They asked for the documents from the USAF and based their decisions on the documents that were actually provided. The GAO has the necessary security clearances to see all classified documents, so the USAF could not "hide" documents by claiming they were classified.

It is up to the GAA to find supporting documents if a protest is lodged, and for the USAF to provide them. In this case, the USAF could not provide them so the GAO asked for the discussions to be reopened with the vendors, and a source selection decision made that was consistent with the GAO findings.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Correct, and many others were to clearify points made in the DRFP. All of those 230 changes were made to the Sept. 2009 DRFP and none were made for the concerns of the 2007 RFP as that document is not relevent to this compitition.

I would disagree, areas we have seen changes in the SRD are not really technical capabilities of the tanker, they are more in response to the GAO decision.

The 3 main points from the GAO decision were

1) Improper evaluation of mission capability, IFARA, and risk
2) Cost price evaluation was flawed
3) Past performance evaluation unreasonable

The new RFP changes

1) they have increased the number of mandatory items to define the system, and risk is basically no longer a consideration
2) cost price analysis now includes a structure that is known at the time of bidding, include a known fuel usage comparison over the airframe lifecycle, and now a defined MILCON comparison. Non-mandatory items only considered if prices are close.
3) Past performance is not less subjective, again the structure has been broadcast
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
Shmertspionem
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RE: 2010 KC-X Tanker ModernizationRFP Released

Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:33 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
If I understand your post correctly, in combat scenarios, the Russian tactic has been tanker denial I take that to mean shooting down tankers or causing them to run away, your remedy for that is more bang per buck by selecting the A330 which is larger and can perform the jobs of two KC-135?

Nope wrong. if you read the preceding paragraph I wanted to know why 737-9/321 style platforms were not considered since there size and nimbleness would be about the same..... why do you always assume that I'm backing the 330? That's why I said bang per buck, and specifically in a high threat environment wherein capital assets like 777/330 style aircraft would be too expensive to deploy. In my opinion the 767 would also count as a capital asset wasted. the 737 is what 60mil per piece compared to 120 for the 767?

Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
will be one of the largest a/c in the inventory, how can anyone downplay or ignore the massive "extra" cost associated with that?

exactly ONE OF .... remember most airports that can deal with 330s can also deal with 767s. Similarly base expansion will allow a whole range of basing option increases. For example longer runways and bigger hangars could also accommodate the KC-10, B-52, B2 B1 a future KC-777 c-5s etc etc etc. and so the cost of base expansion being made tanker specific is just plain daft. Such costs have to be amortised over the entire set of new aircraft basing options that such upgrades bring with them. For example you mentioned the A-380 and Changi airport was one of the first to undergo the repairs required correct? but haven't all the aircraft landing at changi benefited from the safety of a longer runway, the safety of it being able to take a harder than usual landing, the advantage of having C-5's or An-124's ferry their cargo directly in. the increased efficiency and reduced workload and fuel consumption of having one big bird do the job of two smaller birds? Similarly at the dawn of the jet age when cement runways were erected didnt the props which had till then taken off from grass strips also reap the benefits?

That's why I'm saying this req is stupid. What the AF is saying is even though base modifications will increase base versatility, its cost will only be offset against one aircraft type.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Actually, Americans do not speak true "English" like most of the rest of the English speaking countries of the world. We have own own dialect, just as you do in Oz.

Ah but my friend, most of the jokes directed against dubya come from your fellow Americans themselves. run a google search for bush-isms and the entire first page were US folks taking the mickey outta him. nobody makes fun of you for driving on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD   or spelling defence as defense or modernisation as modernization or labour as labor and litre as liter or programme as program. But consider this latest gem

"I'm going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there's an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened." --George W. Bush, on what he hopes to accomplish with his memoir, as reported by the Associated Press, Calgary, Canada, March 17, 2009

I'm sure the difference between authoritative and authoritarian is the same in the states as it is in Canada or Australia isn't it? No child left behind indeed!!!!!!

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Actually, Boeing got the pricing info on the NG bid after the award of the 2008 contract, from the USAF, not before

Sorry that's just not accurate - they got the pricing details well before - during the last round of trials in fact. and here's a link from an independent news source http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...s-new-kc-x-competition-unfair.html

Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
the A310 this discussion point would be moot.

exactly - I've always wondered why they didn't do that especially given that they've no effective competitor against the 777 in the big category and the A-310MRTT is such a mature plane. true its outta production but transferring the obsolescent building blocks to America would have reduced line relocation costing as well! Ah but they're French - who can predict their mysterious ways.

Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
The Chinese and Russians had numerous fighters which by western standards are obsolete and are no match for current fighters,

Don't ever underestimate the enemy. remember the Cope India 2004 bilateral air excercises when Indian MiG-21s slaughtered the F-15's? remember Stalin's famous dictum " QUANTITY HAS A QUALITY ALL OF ITS OWN" ... remember the T-34's vs the Tiger's? that was the equivalent of a lada thrashing the living daylights outtta a Mercedes S class, a BMW 7 series and A Porsche. Lets not forget it wasn't the Techno Marvel tiger that rolled into Moscow but the basic T-34 even though it lost on a 1-7 basis every head on engagement with the Tiger that rolled into Berlin. Even now it wasnt the much vaunted republican guard that caused maximum allied casualties but the poorly armed, poorly trained, but highly intelligent and motivated insurgent thats caused 3000+ deaths of US soldiers in Iraq and costed the US taxpayer over 1 trillion dollars since 2003.

It doesn't matter what you fight with , just how you fight with what you have. to quote Darth Vader in Star Wars " You put too much stock in this technological marvel......... its power is insignificant compared to the power of the force"

may the force be with you all!!!!!!  
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