wolbo
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Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:33 am

The next chapter in the unending saga of the KC-X bid. Due to a "clerical error," the Air Force accidentally provided Boeing with detailed data on the Airbus bid, and vice versa.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...echnology/2013477326_tanker20.html

The last sentence in the report ("But another potential derailment is that the data disclosures could provide the losing bidder with grounds for an appeal.") indicates this act of incompetence may open up a whole new can of worms.
 
titanmiller
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:34 am

Don't worry, nobody really wants to see the KC-135 go away anyway.
 
arluna
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:18 am

UNBELIEVEABLE!! People should be fired for this! The Peter Principle seems to be holding true in the USAF: "A person will rise to the level of his own incompetence." The only problem is that it will be some lower ranking enlisted person who will get the blame and not the leadership who are the ones really rsponsible.

It's time to put an end to this farce and re-engine the E models!! It would be far less expensive and far more cost effective.!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:28 pm

It seems both Boeing and EADS have more integrity here than the USAF. Both OEMs notified the USAF of the "clerical error".

It is time to cancel the KC-X program altogether and reengine/upgrade the KC-135Es. The USAF should also pay both Boeing and EADS for their work, engineering time, and submissions in the bid process.

I'll bet that SecDef Bob Gates is not pleased with this.

The USAF may have just violated the laws reguarding protecting propriroity information from both companies.

The history of the "Tanker Lease", "2008 KC-X", and "2010 KC-X" all lead to failures on the part of the USAF. In the past some even went to jail, and for a short time the program was removed from the USAF. This whole decade of the "new tanker" has been a nighmare for the USAF, Boeing, NG, and EADS, and mostly the American tax payers.

The looser of the 2010 KC-X contract will now surely file a GAO protest.

I am embarrassed to acknowledge I am retired from the USAF, and the tanker force. The USAF became incompetent back in 1992 when General McPeak became the COS, and has been going down hill ever since. He took a USAF that was not broken and "fixed it".
 
arluna
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
I am embarrassed to acknowledge I am retired from the USAF, and the tanker force. The USAF became incompetent back in 1992 when General McPeak became the COS, and has been going down hill ever since. He took a USAF that was not broken and "fixed


Top, you are exactly right! I, too am embarrassed by the current leadership in our Air Force. I'm a retired tanker crew chief and I continue to be proud of my time in the service but the current crop of leaders are an embarrassment.

I plan to contact my congressman and express my concerns about the incompetency and suggest that he urge congress to cancel KC-X and push for upgrading the E models. They are low time airframes and still have a lot of life left in them.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:22 pm

Quoting arluna (Reply 4):
I plan to contact my congressman and express my concerns about the incompetency and suggest that he urge congress to cancel KC-X and push for upgrading the E models. They are low time airframes and still have a lot of life left in them.

Great idea, I will also write to my Congresswoman and the two US Senators from Texas to do the same.
 
Ken777
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:36 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
I'll bet that SecDef Bob Gates is not pleased with this.

Gates doesn't suffer fools and doesn't hesitate to fire them either.

What needs to be done now is to ensure both companies know that those responsible for that FUBAR will leave the service as soon as all papers are processed. And that there will be more than one officer leaving.

I also believe that Gates needs to freeze both proposals so that neither can benefit from illegal knowledge of the other's proposal.

Or he needs to delay the acquisition program and re-engine some KC-135s. We can re-look at new tankers when the economy improves and we have our deficit under control.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
I am embarrassed to acknowledge I am retired from the USAF, and the tanker force.

Never be embarrassed of your service. But it's OK to get pissed. The Tailhook situation really pissed me off, but I'm still glad I served and still proud of the Navy.

Like you, I saw too many outstanding people in the service to let a few really stupid people tarnish my opinion of our services.
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

I have to applaud the two competitors if in fact they did not copy the data before alerting the airforce ... it shows they don't want another round.... and would like the saga to end regardless of who wins...

TopBoom, what upgrades and structural enhancements/life extensions do the KC135's need to be able to deliver a good product with a 25-30 year life?
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:50 pm

Apparently you guys haven't been around too much recently...all the E models are GONE. The ENTIRE 135 fleet is now R models.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:31 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 8):
Apparently you guys haven't been around too much recently...all the E models are GONE. The ENTIRE 135 fleet is now R models.

The USAF is apparently going to take a handful of KC-135R's out of service and have them converted into RC-135's for the UK RAF, apparently some of them have enough lifespan left to justify the mods.

I too am embarrassed for the USAF, I grew up with some good friends whose fathers and even themselves made for a good career out of the USAF, and they all say the same thing today: today's AF is a far cry from that of even the 1980's. It seems as technology has increased, leadership and accountability have decreased.

The USAF should have had the award ready to go the day after the mid-term elections, and now this and the next thing we know we're talking about early 2011 now? One words sums this up: egregious. What a Charlie Fox this has become.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:38 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 9):
I too am embarrassed for the USAF,

In all fairness, this nut roll is courtesy of the acquisition branch, most of whom are career civil service. As we've seen, unless you do something incredibly stupid--and get caught--as Darleen did, there is very little accountability; they can get a pass for incompetence.

Sadly, this reflects on those in uniform.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:43 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 7):
TopBoom, what upgrades and structural enhancements/life extensions do the KC135's need to be able to deliver a good product with a 25-30 year life?

In addition to the engines, the upgrades need to be engine struts, landing gear (for the increase in gross weight), PACER CRAIG, APU, hydraulic and electrical systems, brakes, removal of the thrust reversers (unless the rengining program is attached to the E-8C reengining with JT-8D-219s), cargo flooring (some aircraft), air refueling receptical (some aircraft), rudder and flight controls, etc.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 8):
Apparently you guys haven't been around too much recently...all the E models are GONE. The ENTIRE 135 fleet is now R models.

No, the entire active fleet is the KC-135R/T. There are RC, WC, and C-135s still flying with the TF-33 engines. The OC-135s are in "flyable storage", as are many EC-135s. There are about 108 KC-135Es in "flyable storage" at DM that can be reactivated, and another 6, or so "gate guards", such as the one at DOV that can be reactivated. There are another 25-30 KC-135As that can also be upgraded because they are in "flyable storage", too.

There has not been any C-135 versions that have been torn down to evaluate the remaining life cycles of the fleet (like a C-5 was a few years back), except the one 1962 model KC-135A torn down by Boeing in 1964 and 1965. This can be done to any KC-135A/E that are not flyable, but stored at DM (about 25 aircraft).
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:22 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
In addition to the engines, the upgrades need to be engine struts, landing gear (for the increase in gross weight), PACER CRAIG, APU, hydraulic and electrical systems, brakes, removal of the thrust reversers (unless the rengining program is attached to the E-8C reengining with JT-8D-219s), cargo flooring (some aircraft), air refueling receptical (some aircraft), rudder and flight controls, etc.

thanks, it's that "etc." that is always the high cost center....      
 
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par13del
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:37 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
I'll bet that SecDef Bob Gates is not pleased with this.
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
Gates doesn't suffer fools and doesn't hesitate to fire them either.

Other than those who were criminally prosecuted in the initial tanker lease deal, remind us how Sec. Gates has handled the subsequent foul ups with this bid, I'm not saying in general he does not suffer fools, but for this tanker bid he is just as bad, did he not remove the process from the Air Force only to hand the reins back, did he retire any higher ranking officers after the last two fiasco's, did he fire anyone, if he had allowed the last minute bid we would have one uncompromised bid, but we digress.

Quoting kanban (Reply 7):
I have to applaud the two competitors if in fact they did not copy the data before alerting the airforce ... it shows they don't want another round.... and would like the saga to end regardless of who wins...

I don't really believe that either side did not copy the data for "later" review, unless they were on copy proof cd's which the Air Force may not know ho wto use.

A question going forward, unless all new staff are bought in on the deal, how can anyone vouch for the professionalism of the Air Force in evaluation the bids and reaching a fair outcome, do we really believe that some clerk simplied copied the correct cd's and shipped them top the wrong company with no oversight whatsoever of the sensitivity of the data.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:14 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
It seems both Boeing and EADS have more integrity here than the USAF. Both OEMs notified the USAF of the "clerical error".

I wonder if they really returned the info before burning copies of the CD's for themselves.
What the...?
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:23 am

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 14):

I wonder if they really returned the info before burning copies of the CD's for themselves.

whats in your head isn't evidence of a crime. Whats on your desk or in your computer is.
 
Shmertspionem
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:54 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
I am embarrassed to acknowledge I am retired from the USAF, and the tanker force.

look on the bright side of things - we can have another vicious fight like our last one on probe-drogue vs boom and you can have another highly unproductive (but fun) fight with Zeke on A vs B ....cheer up.......

i Have to admit - not being American - and having already decided on our tanker delivery and EIS close to completion - i'm getting a great deal of pleasure watching all this ......... sorry .............. but i'm having a hard time keeping a straight face reading about this.

but don't worry - i'm sure we'll screw up soon - and you can have a laugh at our expense.

Quoting par13del (Reply 13):

I don't really believe that either side did not copy the data for "later" review, unless they were on copy proof cd's which the Air Force may not know ho wto use.

Neither do I - they may have print screened the whole thing OR taken notes OR used a seperate digital camera to capture every frame and analyse it on a computer somewhere outside US investigative jurisdiction. It would be irresponsible to Boeing and Airbus shareholders not to do so. Sure they couldn't sack and employee if he/she refused to do it.... but that employee would know that his/her promotion prospects and future at the company are basically at an end.

It cant be proven - but we all know that it happens.

Quoting par13del (Reply 13):
did he retire any higher ranking officers after the last two fiasco's, did he fire anyone,

Nope - 1st round was outright corruption - second round was not sticking to RFP guidelines - the problem is when you "interpret something" it becomes difficult to prove incompetence in a court of law. This however i think can come under incompetence or a breach of the official secrets act.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 15):
Whats on your desk or in your computer is.

hence the digital camera frame by frame capture.
Vi veri universum vivus vici
 
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scbriml
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:26 pm

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 16):
It would be irresponsible to Boeing and Airbus shareholders not to do so.

That really depends on the respective company's policies.   

The US company I work for has a Code of Ethics which we have to sign each year. Our code specifically forbids us from using proprietary information from our competitors that we might find or have passed to us. We're only allowed to use information that's in the public domain. We consider this a small price to pay for being an honest and ethical company (and yes, we still manage to make a handsome profit!)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:17 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 14):
I wonder if they really returned the info before burning copies of the CD's for themselves.

This is certainly possible. All parties admit that the information was compromised. If the USAF were to say "no harm done", that would be difficult to prove. It is a safe bet that there are employees in both companies that now have 100% certainty of the other's bottom line price. At this point, it is hard to see how the USAF can go out and solicit a "best and final offer".

This blunder may have irreparably tainted this round of competition.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:20 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 14):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
It seems both Boeing and EADS have more integrity here than the USAF. Both OEMs notified the USAF of the "clerical error".

I wonder if they really returned the info before burning copies of the CD's for themselves.

I don't think either Boeing or EADS have returned those CDs to the USAF. At least the story has not indicated that. But the story does indicate the USAF didn't even know they had screwed up until the contracting office got the calls from both OEMs. Whether or not they copied the CDs is another issue.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:05 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 18):
This blunder may have irreparably tainted this round of competition.

Seems I'm not the only one who feels this way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/business/21tanker.html?src=busln

Quote:
Officials said both companies, Boeing and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, promptly returned the information, and the Air Force plans to continue the bidding.

But industry consultants said the mistake could provide the loser with grounds to protest the contract, delaying a decade-long push to replace refueling planes from the Eisenhower era.

“This seals the deal that this contract award will not be the last word,” said Richard L. Aboulafia, an analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, Va.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Ken777
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:32 pm

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 16):
Nope - 1st round was outright corruption

The 1st round had a couple of corrupt folks playing games, but the deal was real and could have been completed. It if had then the USAF would have been flying some of the new tankers today via a lease. The ironic thing is that it would probably be better for the deficit for us to re-look at leasing the tankers on this round.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 16):
second round was not sticking to RFP guidelines

And the second round was McCain sticking his nose in yet again - with a lot of friends associated with the Airbus side.

Queer that McCain has done more than anyone else in keeping the USAF from having tankers. Is he pissed at them or what?

At least he's no longer the political powerhouse he once was.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 16):
This however i think can come under incompetence

So true. Maybe we should let the Navy handle the rest of this RFP. Get things cleaned up a bit.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 18):
At this point, it is hard to see how the USAF can go out and solicit a "best and final offer".

Because the USAF screwed this up I believe that the USAF should simply take the current proposals and go with them. That would mean that the current offer from both is their best & final. That is how it should have been in the first place.
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:46 pm

I think both companies are so fed up with this endless bidding/rebidding and the related expenses, that they probably ensured that no data was retained. They want this over with as much as the rest of us. they also realize that if any of that data was utilized, they're in for another 24 month rebidding exercise.

On one hand I agree with Top Boom, that upgrading the existing KC-135s is prudent, on the other given how badly the government screws up the bidding process, would we get to the end product any faster or cheaper? I can just see EADS winning the KC-135 rebuild contract with a Russian partner...      
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:33 pm

Is Sean O'Keefe setting the state for a protest here?

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th...ill-eads-north-america-protes.html

Quote:
EADS North America CEO Sean O'Keefe, who today made his first KC-X-related appearance since surviving a plane crash nearly four months ago, did not rule out the possibility of filing a protest over an apparent mistake earlier this month by the US Air Force that sent proprietary data to the wrong bidders.

Recall USAF could have already had this nonsense behind them, but they choose to extend the deadline last May and let EADS back in.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:29 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 21):
Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 16):
This however i think can come under incompetence

So true. Maybe we should let the Navy handle the rest of this RFP. Get things cleaned up a bit.

The USN has its problems, too, with the DDG-1000 Zumwalt class DDGs.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 21):
Quoting Lumberton (Reply 18):
At this point, it is hard to see how the USAF can go out and solicit a "best and final offer".

Because the USAF screwed this up I believe that the USAF should simply take the current proposals and go with them. That would mean that the current offer from both is their best & final.

I doubt that will work now because the USAF gave each OEM the other's proprititory information about the bids and questions, including pricing, submitted on and after 9 July 2010. Whoever the high bidder is, assuming their proposal also meets all 372 requirements, can still file a protest with the GAO. The USAF has said they will, at some future point, will allow each OEM to adjust their "final" offer. That leaves each OEM the ability to say "we were going to adjust our final offer price lower than what our opponents final bid price would have been".

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 23):
Recall USAF could have already had this nonsense behind them, but they choose to extend the deadline last May and let EADS back in.


That was Bob Gates decision, not the USAF's decision. Gates wanted, more than anything, two or more companies bidding on the new tanker, so he could say the compitition was "fair".
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:37 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
The USN has its problems, too, with the DDG-1000 Zumwalt class DDGs.

Not only that but they have lost control of the LCS acquisition to the point where they are now advocating buying BOTH candidates, and Ashton Carter isn't pushing back!

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
That was Bob Gates decision, not the USAF's decision.

You're right. I should have said "DOD".
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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scbriml
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:25 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 23):
Is Sean O'Keefe setting the state for a protest here?

And what do you think Boeing will do if they lose again?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:53 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 27):
And what do you think Boeing will do if they lose again?

I hope that's a rhetorical question as the answer is obvious.

Bottom line: USAF had a tanker. DOD opened the door to EADS. Endless war in the offing. Nice one, Gates.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:56 pm

More on Sean O'Keefe's "vagueness". Happy now, Gates?

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2010/11/22/no-kc-x-protest-for-now/

Quote:
EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe today said that while he trusts that the Air Force’s word that no game changing information was disclosed when the service mistakenly sent data on rival bids to each of the KC-X competitors, he cannot rule out the possibility that EADS may protest this latest round of competition.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
AirRyan
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:52 am

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 10):
In all fairness, this nut roll is courtesy of the acquisition branch, most of whom are career civil service. As we've seen, unless you do something incredibly stupid--and get caught--as Darleen did, there is very little accountability; they can get a pass for incompetence.

Sadly, this reflects on those in uniform.

The civilian corps of the Air Force/DoD are every bit as much part of the Air Force are the uniformed members.

Quoting kanban (Reply 22):
Queer that McCain has done more than anyone else in keeping the USAF from having tankers. Is he pissed at them or what?

Perhaps from the perspective that of Boeing, but in my opinion it has been Boeing screwing this thing up from the beginning, going back to the overpriced and under-spec'd original tanker lease. Had Boeing not divvied up their 787 all around the world as they have, and made the USAF one of their launch customers in all new KC-X tankers, than Boeing would be in the lead. I still have yet to be convinced that the USAF would not be saving money through the life of the aircraft if they hung the more modern, fuel efficient generation of engines under the wings, but that eats into the profits of Boeing. FFP is the way to go - incenticize the contractor to boost their profits by coming in ahead of schedule.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 26):
The USN has its problems, too, with the DDG-1000 Zumwalt class DDGs.

Yeah, we cannot forget the V-22, H-1 upgrade fiasco, LHA(R), and how can we possibly forget the VXX VH-71?!
 
Shmertspionem
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:50 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 17):
That really depends on the respective company's policies
Quoting scbriml (Reply 17):
has a Code of Ethics which we have to sign each year.

well then you should see how these two companies do business in India - i suppose their Indian branches operate in some US-EU legal lacunae. I wouldn't put it past them to have flown in an India branch employee - got him/her to photocopy the whole thing and send him back to analyse.

i'm sorry if this sounds humorous - but no humour intended

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 21):
but the deal was real and could have been completed.

The lease deal - (just like the Uk Airbus lease and UK contractorised training) was not only a very bad financial deal but also a very dangerous precedent.

what it did was shift what should have been capital account expenditure into the current account therefore avoiding a fiscal deficit (but producing a large current account deficit) and at the end of it there would be no Capital assets to show for........ in many ways it runs parallel to the mortgage crisis you guys faced.... because what it is - is basically scientific figure fudging. Airbus in UK or Boeing in US - its downright rotten and I'm glad its not on the cards anymore.

Its also a dangerous precedent because in many was its was reverting to the Feudal Europe in the middle ages in that it was effectively privatising one section of the armed forces.... By itself in this context (tankers) it wasn't dangerous - but it could have been spun into a "lets privatise the armed forces" lunacy.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 23):
Is Sean O'Keefe setting the state for a protest here?

If the final figures are different - how will they protest - especially since they claim they haven't examined the provided documents?

They cant say - "hey these aren't the figures i saw on the leaked document"
also they cant say "Hey my opponent has obviously read the leaked documents cuz he's gone and re-adjusted his bid" because both would imply that the protester had in fact despite his claims of innocence actually read the leaked documents himself.

sorry - did that make sense?

Quoting scbriml (Reply 27):

And what do you think Boeing will do if they lose again?

they wont lose ..... if you read Zeke's detailed explanation of the IFARA which was basically a subtractive composite total - all cumulative performance and carriage advantages were measured against a rigid total and hence subtracted arithmetically........ irrespective of if the advantage conferred was geometric
Vi veri universum vivus vici
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:16 am

The whole KC-X debacle has been good for laughs...and little else. I guess it has also been good for lawyers and PAC's as well.

No military buys foreign when they have an acceptable products home made. Why did they think it was a good idea to start?

I wonder how much this bidding war has cost the US taxpayer?
What the...?
 
TPAJAY
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:16 pm

Wow!!!, actually I can't wait till the HBO movie comes out about this whole process. You know the type of movie they did about the Bradley fighting vehicle. I'm going to get the popcorn ready now, because it's going to be a comedy, lol.....

Jay
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:57 pm

More on O'Keefe's remarks the other day. Not only is he stating the bleeding obvious, but his comments leave little doubt in my mind that the USAF just handed him a protest on a silver platter.

http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=46575&dcn=e_gvet

Quote:
But O'Keefe, who returned to EADS less than a month ago after surviving an August 9 plane crash in Alaska that killed that state's former Republican Sen. Ted Stevens and four others, also left the door open that the release of proprietary information to Boeing -- and some of Boeing's own information to EADS -- could lead to a protest of the tanker competition to the Government Accountability Office.

"You never rule out any action," he said.
Quote:
O'Keefe said Monday he believes the Air Force is handling the latest competition "by the book." He added that EADS did not read the information on Boeing that the Air Force mistakenly sent over, and he said he's been told Boeing officials did the same.

The Air Force has assured EADS that neither firm has a "superior understanding" of the competition, said O'Keefe, who added that he is willing to "give them the benefit of the doubt at the moment."

The operative phrase being "...at the moment".
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:37 pm

I thought the CDs contained each OEMs pricing information? If each looked at the other's pricing, that alone should put an end to this BS.

I am getting suspicous as so far, only EADS is talking about this "clerical error". The USAF acknowledged it happened, but that is about all they have said. Boeing has said nothing. Is seems O'Keefe is setting the table for the eventual EADS protest, as they now (could) feel they have bid higher than Boeing did..
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:47 pm

Gen Schwartz is now saying that pricing data wasn't disclosed. Two officials have been removed and "will be held accountable". (I wonder if one is a GS-6 secretary?)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2312370520101123
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XT6Wagon
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:11 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 35):
Two officials have been removed and "will be held accountable". (I wonder if one is a GS-6 secretary?)

They sure weren't a general. Those get retired to very well paid jobs by people they cooked the books for when they still were employed as a general.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:59 pm

Regardless of grade level, if they are civil service employees they won't be "fired" in the sense most people understand it. Reuters reports that these two were "removed from the project". They are still getting paid, probably doing "telework" (i.e., "working" from home). "Being held accountable" can be construed as the bonus won't be as large as usual.

Besides, if its just a case of a simple clerical error, why does the Air Force Chief of Staff need to posture in the media on this? They've already had some O-6 running on about how there was no harm done. Frankly, the damage may be already done.
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Oykie
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:37 pm

It must be frustrating to be involved in this mix up.

According to Flightglobal, the KC-X contest will not be finalized before january 2011. Would buying 90 frames from each manufacturer end this saga?
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BoeEngr
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:46 pm

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 38):
Would buying 90 frames from each manufacturer end this saga?

I think the only thing that can really end this saga is running a clean competition. One that can stand up to any GAO protests. Unfortunately, with this little "clerical error" that may not be possible on this round. Time will tell.
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:52 pm

The press are now saying that the two were fired, no pricing data was included in fact only one page of mission parameters was divulged...
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Air-Fo...ument-apf-1048532762.html?x=0&.v=2

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...rror-schwartz-says.html?cmpid=yhoo

there does appear to be a difference in the wording of what the page contained... however that may just be military semantics
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:38 pm

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 38):

According to Flightglobal, the KC-X contest will not be finalized before january 2011. Would buying 90 frames from each manufacturer end this saga?

No, that would just complicate matters more, and end up costing the taxpayer even more money. Probably the only sensible thing at this point is to just upgrade what we have, and wait until the country is in a better position to buy new planes.

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Devilfish
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:40 pm

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 38):
Would buying 90 frames from each manufacturer end this saga?

To inject some levity into this "frustrating" saga, perhaps the process could have been chugging along its merry way had they accepted U.S. Aerospace's proposal at the outset.....  http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a357/thezeke/2010-KC-X/9e7d5f14.jpg

Alas, even that may be too late - as venture capital that might have come in on the strength of entry into KC-X - weren't forthcoming to save even the base aircraft.....

http://www.airforcesmonthly.com/view_news.asp?ID=2768

Quote:
"November 18: The Ukrainian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports that the Ukrainian Defence Ministry is to pull funding for the Antonov An-70 transport aircraft project jointly underway with Russia.

[.....]

Now the Ukrainian government says it cannot afford to continue development and is also wanting to pull out of other joint programmes with Russia, such as a modernisation project for Mi-24 Hind helicopters. The Ukrainian Air Force has just two An-70s on order while the Russian Air Force may take up to 40. However, military chiefs in Russia consider the aircraft already outdated and may want to take a refurbished version of the An-124 Condor instead. The intergovernmental Russia-Ukrainian committee is set to decide the An-70's fate in the near future."



It may be faster scrounging in the boneyards and turning the finds over to IAI for conversion?   

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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:19 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 37):
Besides, if its just a case of a simple clerical error, why does the Air Force Chief of Staff need to posture in the media on this? They've already had some O-6 running on about how there was no harm done. Frankly, the damage may be already done.

Correct. Gen. Swartz has to show he is taking some action. But he took the wrong action by removing the two clerks, and not the program chief.

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 38):
Would buying 90 frames from each manufacturer end this saga?

No, that would make things worse.

Quoting BoeEngr (Reply 39):
I think the only thing that can really end this saga is running a clean competition. One that can stand up to any GAO protests.

We are now past that point.

Quoting kanban (Reply 40):
The press are now saying that the two were fired, no pricing data was included in fact only one page of mission parameters was divulged...

For US Government employees, civilian or military, "fired" does not mean they are no umemployed, it means they no longer work on the KC-X project.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 41):
Probably the only sensible thing at this point is to just upgrade what we have, and wait until the country is in a better position to buy new planes.

Correct.
 
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:09 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
Quoting kanban (Reply 40):
The press are now saying that the two were fired, no pricing data was included in fact only one page of mission parameters was divulged...

For US Government employees, civilian or military, "fired" does not mean they are no umemployed, it means they no longer work on the KC-X project.



per http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/bu...24tanker.html?partner=yahoofinance

now they say something different.... now reassigned.... are these dolts members of some idiot protective society ???

read that as civil service employees union  duck 

[Edited 2010-11-23 15:10:24]
 
AirRyan
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:06 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 42):
It may be faster scrounging in the boneyards and turning the finds over to IAI for conversion?

No need to go that far. In what is now L-3 Greenville, Texas (formerly LTV and prior to that, TEMCO) has been happily modifying Boeing military aircraft since 1951, (most notably all of the RC-135 RJ's) they'd be happy to squeeze some new tankers in.

As a matter of fact, it looks like L-3 will get another shot to get the KC-10 avionics upgrade that Boeing narrowly beat them out of last time.

Quote:

U.S. Air Force Re-opens KC-10 CNS/ATM Competition

By Amy Butler, Aviation Week

Nov 19, 2010

U.S. Air Force officials plan to review revised KC-10 CNS/ATM upgrade proposals from bidders because of a problem in the original source selection that awarded Boeing the $216 million contract, says Col. Michael Schmidt, contractor logistics support programs director for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center.

Boeing won the contract to upgrade all 59 KC-10s in June, and a stop-work was issued Oct. 13. Bidders deemed by the Air Force to be “in the competitive range” were notified Nov. 17 that they can submit revised proposals.

This is “based on the need for corrective action associated with the original source selection,” according to Air Force officials. They declined to identify the problem, but one contractor suggests that some bidders misunderstood whether a particular transponder would be government- or contractor-furnished.

Schmidt says the issue is an “internal matter” and declined to clarify what prompted the reopening of the bids despite repeated questions.

Air Force officials say they will still achieve full operational capability in 2015. Aircraft not upgraded by 2015 risk being assigned less efficient and direct routes because they will rely on older navigation and communication equipment.

“We are disappointed that the work on the KC-10 CNS/ATM program we have begun has been stopped,” Boeing said. “We understand the position the AF is in. However, we are confident that the solution we originally provided is superior, fully compliant and is the best value to the customer. Boeing will review the Air Force’s decision before we can make a determination whether or not to re-compete.”




[Edited 2010-11-23 21:09:20]
 
Oykie
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:45 am

Quoting BoeEngr (Reply 39):
I think the only thing that can really end this saga is running a clean competition. One that can stand up to any GAO protests. Unfortunately, with this little "clerical error" that may not be possible on this round. Time will tell.

But GAO would not have been engaged, if Boeing had not complained. If they buy half and half, no one would be complaining...  
Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 41):
No, that would just complicate matters more, and end up costing the taxpayer even more money. Probably the only sensible thing at this point is to just upgrade what we have, and wait until the country is in a better position to buy new planes.

But it costs even more to continue to fly the 707 for the next 50 years.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
No, that would make things worse.

How so? The reason that the Air Force has these kind of troubles is because this is a hot potato politically. There are forces in the political environment that clouds this purchase. I am not sure how this will continue, but I fear that after the next announcement someone will say foul play, or in another way delay this process further. No matter how good the Air Force has been in the purchase. When there are so many forces in the political environment with different agenda, the best thing could be to divide the order. Then no one will complain. Everyone is a bit disatisified, but the USAF will eventually get a replacement tanker.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:37 am

The other option would be for the USAF to retract the whole thing and openly say they'll just go and buy from Boeing as it is the national manufacturer. They would have to take a lot of flak, diplomatic relations might get tense for a little while, but there's nothing anybody will or could do about it. They'd have to compensate LM with another contract somehow I suppose.

There is no clean and PC way out of this mess now anyway.

I don't understand why they didn't do it in the first place. Most every other country chooses to buy from their local armament manufacturers whenever they can come up with a reasonably competitive product, not necessarily the best.
If they had done it form the word go, not an eyebrow would have twitched...
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Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:07 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 47):
The other option would be for the USAF to retract the whole thing and openly say they'll just go and buy from Boeing as it is the national manufacturer. They would have to take a lot of flak, diplomatic relations might get tense for a little while, but there's nothing anybody will or could do about it. They'd have to compensate LM with another contract somehow I suppose.

   I've been advocating the same since I joined this board in 2005.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 47):
There is no clean and PC way out of this mess now anyway.

To borrow someone else's phrase: war without end.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 47):
Most every other country chooses to buy from their local armament manufacturers whenever they can come up with a reasonably competitive product, not necessarily the best.

It is remarkably self-defeating to say the least. When there are two products that will do the job and one is domestically produced, pick the domestic product. It has gotten to the point where EADS and its supporters now feel entitled to this deal. I still expect the USAF to select the A330 again, since they want the bigger plane. Will it fly in USAF colors? I wouldn't give odds on that. Thus far, DOD has cynically manipulated this process not only to extend the deadline so EADS could compete, but to delay the decision until a few of Boeing's congressional supporters are either not in Congress, or lose their chairmanships.

What will be interesting is to see the reaction of the Obama administration to an EADS selection, after all the talk of creating jobs at home. Even the Republicans will have a field day with this one (other than the AL & MS delegations, of course). Obama will run again in 2012. Can he afford to take Washington State, particularly King County, for granted?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usaf Mixes Up KC-X Tanker Bid Information

Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:45 pm

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 46):
But GAO would not have been engaged, if Boeing had not complained.

Boeing had a right to protest the 2008 award, and as it turned out, uncovered the rules the USAF broke back then.

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 46):
But it costs even more to continue to fly the 707 for the next 50 years.

Actually the KC-135 is not a B-707, and never has been. Boeing's designation for the KC-135 is the B-717-100, even though it predates the B-707. The KC-135 and B-707-100 and B-720s do share some common parts, though.

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 46):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
No, that would make things worse.

How so? The reason that the Air Force has these kind of troubles is because this is a hot potato politically. There are forces in the political environment that clouds this purchase.

That would put four different tanker types in the USAF, 3 of which, the KC-135R/T, KC-767NG, and A-330MRTT all doing the same mission. It increases the costs of maintenance, spares, and training with no apparent increase in mission relability. It also takes money away from other things the USAF needs, like the CSAR-X program, the F-35 program, and others.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 47):
There is no clean and PC way out of this mess now anyway.



Weapons purchases should never be "PC", they should always be what is best for the troops that depend on them.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 47):
The other option would be for the USAF to retract the whole thing and openly say they'll just go and buy from Boeing as it is the national manufacturer.

That may be the only option left to the USAF to buy new build tankers. Other than that, reengining the KC-135E may be the best, and cheapest option.

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