rabenschlag
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FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:36 pm

in the following article it is questioned whether the pentagon delivered (secret) information to boeing on airbus' bids on the airforce tanker deal.

isnt that complete bull? i mean, the bids were discussed here all the time?!? i thought this was an open bid...




http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=030904001048
 
charleslp
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:09 pm

Counterpoint:

Is Airbus and EADS too close friends?


Now to answer your question:

No, Boeing may supply a large amount of equipment to the Airforce, but don't forget that Boeing is not the only company that the USAF buy from. Lockheed-Martin also deals with the USAF as well.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:20 pm

@charles:

my question was whether you all share my view that the FT article is biased against boeing, as the bid was open.

your argument that the pentagon has close relations to other suppliers has little to do with the accusation spelled out in the financial times article, namely that the pentagon handed informaiton to boeing that should not have handed.

finally, airbus is a branch of EADS so your counterpoint is not appropriate.




 
goingboeing
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:34 pm

I dunno...as an American taxpayer, I would be livid if my government paid billions of dollars to a company that was not headquartered (thus paying taxes of their own) in this country. I don't care if Airbus was willing to GIVE planes to the USAF - IMHO, the only companies that should be considered for US government contracts are companies that are based in the US - regardless of the number of US subcontractors that might be used in the production of Airbus aircraft.
 
Shenzhen
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:38 pm

Maybe the Airforce told Airbus that Boeings bid was a few million cheaper. My god, isn't this all about playing one off the other. If it isn't, then the Airforce obviously wanted the 767, and they are the customer.

Wonder when the EU will file their protest.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:57 pm

Re:

"Counterpoint:

Is Airbus and EADS too close friends?"

Airbus IS EADS - EADS is a company, not a Defence agency.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
bucky707
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:00 pm

" I dunno...as an American taxpayer, I would be livid if my government paid billions of dollars to a company that was not headquartered (thus paying taxes of their own) in this country"


I agree. I would have been pissed if my government bought planes from Airbus, when there is an American company that can provide the planes. If we don't buy from Boeing, we may be in situation where there is no large aircraft manufacturer in the U.S. and that starts to become a national security issue. No, I don't care if we pay more, the U.S. Air Force should buy Boeing.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:12 pm

So, Bucky707, you don't mind 27000 of your tax dollars being spent on a toilet seat on a C5 ? Because now that "Buy American" means "Buy Boeing", you can be sure Boeing is going to apply those DOD "cost overruns" (= license to print money ) on every last rivet they sell ! Aaah, shareholder value.

And since there are frequent complaints in these columns about European government "handouts" to Airbus, wouldn't you rather your Air Force tankers were subsidised by EU taxpayers, and not you ? Now there's a win-win situation for you.

(I read Dilbert - can't you tell ?)
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
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scbriml
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:21 pm

Bucky707, So you'll be happy when your tax bill goes up?

Isn't the USAF obligated to procure equipment from the lowest bidder - assuming products X & Y both do the required job, and X costs 30% more than Y, then the contract goes to Y. I don't believe nationality of the supplier has any relevance to the USAF.

The issue in the FT article is that Darleen Druyun, then an AF procurement official, now working at Boeing  Yeah sure, told Boeing officials the prices Airbus had offered to build the tankers for, even as the two companies were still negotiating with the Pentagon. In an email made public by John McCain (chairman of the commerce committee), Boeing execs said they had a meeting with Ms Druyun in which she told them several times that Airbus's price on an A330 was up to $17m cheaper than Boeing's price for a 767.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
Shenzhen
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:28 pm

Nobody has even said that what was disclosed by Ms. Druyun was even factual.

Seems as if the cart is once again before the horse.

Hmm.... Don't recall Boeing, Lockheed being invited to bid on the A400. Geez.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:30 pm

On the other hand, nobody has actually paid for any A400M yet - and the L-100J is well in the running - the RAF bought some already, and is leasing C17's.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
bucky707
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:30 pm

First of all, it was Lockheed who stuck the government for the toilet seats, not Boeing. Either way, the government needs to have good oversight and prevent price gauging. They also need to look in the mirror. Sometimes the government will insist on a brand new design, when an off the shelf component is available.

No, I would not want our tankers subsidized by EU taxpayers. I don't want my government dependent on a foreign supplier. I think its in my countries best interest to keep Boeing in business.
 
cancidas
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:34 pm

i also think that the USAF should buy boeing. it is not right polyticaly for the US government to buy airbus aircraft, that show lack of faith in thier own products. but i also think that $21.5 billion is too high a price to pay.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
keesje
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:34 pm

the Air Force and Boeing assisted each other in structuring the program, promoting it in Washington and setting requirements so that no other competitors could qualify.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/03/business/03BOEI.html?ex=1063166400&en=d29f4b43f63389f4&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE

One of the more revealing memos among the newly released documents showed that Darleen Druyun, then the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition and management, told Boeing to "keep in mind" that an Airbus bid was $5 million to $17 million cheaper per airplane than a basic Boeing 767.


Already under discussion on the military forum ...
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
DoorsToManual
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:46 pm

So much for the 'free-market' principles that the West likes to impose on the rest of the world...

Once again, hypocrisy rules the day...
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:03 pm

Let's not forget EU's OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d'Armement) told EuroProp International (EPI) that their TP400-D6 proposal for the A400M was much more expensive that Pratt & Whitney Canada/MTU's PW800 proposal. In the end, they still awarded the contract to EPI which was more costly and more risky. Was there any government-level investigation of possible impropriety in this award in Europe? This is a big difference between US and European politics.
 
RickB
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:06 pm

Wow,

Obviously you guys wont want the US to buy the JSF then as its powered by a foreign engine !!! Think of all those tax dollars leaving the country !!!

As for the article - I dont have any complaints if the airforce and Boeing did collude as suggested. I just wish we did that more here - rather than sending shipbuilders to the unemployment office it would be nice if we built more of our own ships rather than farming it out to other countries. Its strange to think that a lower bid in a foreign country can win the business - since if the money is kept within the original country - a good percentage of it will eventually find its way back into governmental coffers through taxation generating more revenue for the government.

RickB

 
N79969
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:09 pm

Notwithstanding the chicanery that is the norm in Europe (especially with Airbus), I think Boeing is clearly complicit in a ripoff of the taxpayer and that Pentagon has been asleep at the wheel. The Pentagon has become far too close with Boeing.

Congress needs to belly up and pay for these airplanes outright.
 
RickB
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:18 pm

N79969,

Do you honestly believe the whole of Europe is corrupt whilst the US is a paragon of honesty?

Its xenophobic attitudes like that that dont do anyone any favours - as Jack Nicholson once said 'why cant we all, just get along'.

RickB



 
N79969
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:24 pm

Rickb,

I don't think Europe is particularly corrupt. However, the continuing support of Airbus with sham loans, exemption from taxes, slot-trading at CDG, A400, is an outright scam and is incredibly corrupt. I hold the French mostly responsible.

Now I am xenophobe? Ok, RickB whatever.
 
RickB
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:29 pm

N79969,

No im not saying your a xenophobe - relax dude !! Just saying that the sweeping statement you made was a little  Wink/being sarcastic xenophobic.

How does the Airbus sham loans differ from overpriced 767's, public funded R&D, theft of proprietary information from competitors etc? Its swings and roundabouts - pot calling the kettle etc. Everyone is as bad as everyone else.

RickB

[Edited 2003-09-04 15:29:46]
 
goingboeing
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:33 pm

Yes indeedy do, some of the engines may well be foreign made. But the prime contractor is based in America and pays corporate taxes to the US government and employees Americans who also pay their taxes to the US government. In other words, despite the "globalization" in the construction of an aircraft, the country that the manufacturer calls home benefits from the location of that company. IMHO, the competition should be between Lockheed or Boeing. My stance isn't anti Europe/Asia - but rather if my tax dollars are going to have to be spent on purchases such as this, I would prefer that the bulk of those tax dollars are spent in this country and not "offshored" to foreign governments.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:37 pm

RE: "but rather if my tax dollars are going to have to be spent on purchases such as this, I would prefer that the bulk of those tax dollars are spent in this country and not "offshored" to foreign governments. "

Hmmm - State-sponsored job-creation ? Protectionism ? Trade barriers ? How very European.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
RickB
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:38 pm

Guys,

So would you be more supportive of an Airbus bid for the tanker contract if Airbus set up a subsidiary based in the US that built the aircraft ? and obviously paid taxes in the US ?

RickB
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:41 pm

And so is the French Airforce using American equipment? Don't worry about it! If the US government wants to buy Boeing then let them. I agree with GoingBoeing, why should the U.S. government support the French company, when the French Government wouldn't support us last winter? As a tax payer I hope we are buying American equipment too!
 
RickB
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:46 pm

Actually the french government do operate US aircraft. They have a number of E3's purchased only a few years ago.

RickB
 
MD-11 forever
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:52 pm

@Goingboeing

...wasn't the Japanese aerospace industry also a significant part in the 767 program? So your tax money is also going there......

Cheers, Thomas
 
Shenzhen
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:54 pm

Why are the Europeans building a GPS system? Slip a little more money to EADS failing space business?

Why not open that up for bids. If Boeing snapped these together in .. say Italy.. would you go for it?

Boeing is going to lease the US Airforce 100 tankers at a cost of 11.4 billion dollars. They can purchase these planes for an additional 2.6 billion at the end of the lease. For a grand total of ............... 14 billion dollars. What a rip off. All the other numbers reported are in years.... 2012 thru 2017. The numbers I quoted are FY2002 when the contract was negotiated.

What did Airbus offer.... nothing, cause they don't yet have a design. The first Itialian 767 tanker has already left the Boeing factory. Next come the Japanese tankers. Wonder if the Itilian and Japanese Airforces are in bed with Boeing also.



 
JGPH1A
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:55 pm

The French AF uses B707 AWACs and Lockheed C130's (I think) - and used to use DC-8's as VIP transports. The French Navy used Crusaders (a while back though). So its not entirely a one-way street.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Staffan
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:57 pm

"I agree with GoingBoeing, why should the U.S. government support the French company, when the French Government wouldn't support us last winter?"

Don't think you'd want the rest of the world (except coalition of the willing..!) saying "why should we support the US aircraft manufacturers when the US govt. went to war against our will and against the votes in the UNSC"?

I'm sorry, but I don't think that would be very good for business...

Staffan
 
keesje
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:01 pm

"the Air Force and Boeing assisted each other in .....and setting requirements so that no other competitors could qualify"

Boeing apparently thought so to ..

Airbus aircraft were cheaper and perhaps less 330´s (more range/capasity) could have done the same job.

At least it is clear now that it was mostly politics, the rest was window dressing as many thought .. simply Buy American.

Tomorrow Boeing will blame Airbus again for receiving state support...
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
rabenschlag
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:04 pm

in my eyes, the more interesting part of the article is the suspicion that there was too much information flowing between the pentagon and boeing.

one thing ist the discussion whether free trade should be limited when it comes to military equipment. many of you seem to agree that free trade should be limited in this case, and to apply protectionistic policies, e.g., forcing the pentagon to shop only in the US. we had a lot of discussions on that.

the other thing is whether pentagon officials gave secret information to boeing.
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:36 pm

RickB:


So would you be more supportive of an Airbus bid for the tanker contract if Airbus set up a subsidiary based in the US that built the aircraft ? and obviously paid taxes in the US ?


I will throw the question back at you. PWC was proposing to build a turboprop based on their PW800 engine in cooperation with Germany's MTU. The engine would be assembled in Germany. PWC has already tested the turbofan version of the PW800 engine while EPI's TP400 is still a paper engine. PWC has tabled a bid that costs less than EPI's. Why do you think OCCAR picked EPI over PWC?

The difference between this European example and the Boeing example is Boeing has the expertise in tanker development. So, if EU can justify the selection of the TP400 for the A400M, I think USAF's selection of the 767 is even more justified. Also, it has been discussed before that the 332 would be too big to be a KC-135 replacement. The 332 would be more appropriate as a KC-10 replacement. Airbus didn't tender a realistic bid because they knew they wouldn't get it and they didn't even have the right product. OTOH, PWC was very serious about their bid. That's why they had made formal plans to assemble the engine in Germany. MTU was to get around 30% of the program. They made a financially and technically less risky bid, but they were flatly rejected.
 
BeltwayBandit
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:55 pm

Let's keep in mind that the 767 tanker deal was conjured up during the shadow of 9/11 and many were predicting the demise of all US commercial aircraft manufacturing. So, it was welfare from the start, but somewhat understandable given the circumstances. It just seems smellier now that things have stabilized. The nonsense about "stealing" information is simply irrelevant here.

If the USGov pays a fair price for equipment it needs, I see no shame in favoring a US manufacturer.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:55 pm

I think the big problem for the USAF in regards to Airbus' proposal for a new air-refuelling tanker using the A330-200 design is the fact Airbus has yet to build a functioning prototype of such a plane. Meanwhile, Boeing has built a real air-refuelling tanker based on the 767-200 for the Italian AF, and the tankers for the Japanese Self-Defence Air Force (JSDAF) are already on the production line.

Why Airbus hasn't already signed a deal a long time ago to build an A332-based tanker for European air forces makes me scratch my head.
 
RickB
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:08 am

Dynkrisolo,

I have absolutely no problem with buying US products over anyone else's product - I am a firm believer that if the product is the best or if the price is the differentiator then the cheapest should be purchased. I don't know about the specific case regarding PWC and MTU but I personally would purchase the best product at the best price regardless of origin. However my own personal theology doesn't necessarily apply at the governmental / national level - hence the reason why i see no problem in what Boeing and the Airforce are doing. Money spent at home rather than abroad will increase tax revenue and as such should be factored into the costs of any purchase at this level.

That said - it would be nice to believe that regardless of this it would be good to end up with the best product. In the case of the A400M - this was brought about as a replacement for the substantial fleet of C130's operated by European airforces who where disappointed by the lack of development to improve the performance / payload capabilities of the C130. The C130 is an old aircraft that has been updated - a number of the armed forces in Europe wanted a better product.

In the end - as with many military contracts throughout the world including the US - cost overruns etc. have hampered progress (think of the US military programs that have suffered from horrendous cost overruns - mainly because of bureaucracy - as Kelly Johnson and Ben E. Rich used to constantly point out.).

Boeing does indeed have expertise of tanker conversions - however Airbus via BAe also has experience of this - granted not to the same level as Boeing - but its still experienced. Besides - the US can't even decide on a single method of inflight refueling  Wink/being sarcastic

RickB



 
N79969
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:35 am

I believe PW was doubly screwed in the A400 engine competition. From what I recall, the competitor was allowed to resubmit its bid after the bids were opened. I don't believe PW was extended the same courtesy.

The A400M is a bigger boondoggle than 767 tanker deal. The 767 tanker is an existing airframe. The A400M is being developed from scratch even though there are suitable alternatives readily available such as the C-17. I believe the UK is leasing some of those at the moment.
 
goingboeing
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:39 am

@Goingboeing

...wasn't the Japanese aerospace industry also a significant part in the 767 program? So your tax money is also going there......

Cheers, Thomas


There is no doubt that many parts of many aircraft are provided by European or Asian countries. But it's sort of like building a house - the contractor does not frame the house and pour the concrete, but he hires subcontractors to do those jobs (and provides himself with a profit to do that). When it comes time to pay taxes, the contractor pays for the full amount that the homeowner paid. Boeing may sub out work to foreign companies, but Boeing corporation is taxed on income for the completed product, not just for the parts that were provided by US companies. While Airbus might sub out some components to American companies, when the full bill is paid, it's the French government, not the American government, who benefits from the taxes on the entire product. If I am spending US tax dollars on a product, I want the full bill of sale to be taxed to an American based company and not a subsidiary of a foreign company. At least I would feel that some of that money spent on aircraft will make it's way back to the US government. Sending a check to a French company, the vast majority of my tax dollars go to pay taxes to a foreign government.
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:53 am

Yeah I totally agree with what Going Boeing said.
 
gigneil
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:58 am

Once again, hypocrisy rules the day...

Indeed. We only want US agencies to buy US products, but we ALSO only want European countries and agencies to buy Boeing.

And they do. Seems only fair that we'd want to return some of the goodwill.


N
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:10 am

RickB:


In the end - as with many military contracts throughout the world including the US - cost overruns etc. have hampered progress (think of the US military programs that have suffered from horrendous cost overruns - mainly because of bureaucracy - as Kelly Johnson and Ben E. Rich used to constantly point out.).


Is the defense industry as efficient as other commercial industries? Most likely it is not. The US has by far the largest defense industry in the world. Because of its size, the industry can support numerous private suppliers. The more private suppliers there are, the more competitive it is. So, I would argue that no matter how bureaucratic the US defense industry is, it is likely to be more efficient than in other countries where the defense industry is often a monopoly. For the US, fortunately, or unfortunately, many politicians and journalists make a life of uncovering all the improprieties, some are genuine, some are not. It is because of these people, we hear a lot more about the corrupted and inefficient practices in the US defense industry. It doesn't necessarily mean the US defense industry is more corrupted and less efficient than the rest of the world. In fact, I am pretty confident to say this is not the case. In the rest of the world, you just don't find too many "zealous" politicians and journalists like the ones in the US. Why? I don't know. Perhaps it's national pride/unity, or in some cases, censorship.

Also, because the US is the leader in the defense industry, that's why the US seldom sources their military equipments from foreign countries. So arguments like "the French bought so and so from the US, why the US has not bought so and so from France" is seldom meaningful. The AV-8/Harrier is a perfect counter example. The US could have re-invented another Harrier on their own soil, but they didn't.
 
RickB
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:32 am

Dynkrisolo,

The AV8B is a perfect example of the US wanting to buy a foreign aircraft but refusing to do so. They only bought the aircraft on the basis that it was manufactured (under licence) by McD. The problem was at the time they current re-invent the harrier - and even now with the JSF - the VTOL capability required Rolls Royce to get invovled.

So on that basis would you be happy if Airbus manufactured an A330 tanker on US soil as a US registered company - say it went into partnership with Lockheed to do it ?

The US is the biggest defence market in the world - however its not the manufacturers that are killing projects. As I mentioned the guys who ran the skunkworks both said prior to their deaths (Rest In Peace guys) that they got things done on tight budgets because they refused outside interference. With the introduction of the F117 - things started to slide and have gotten worse even since - check out Ben Rich's book 'Skunkworks' - its a great read !! They even give examples where costs have rocketed purely because of outside intereference from the Pentagon, air force, navy etc.

RickB



RickB
 
racko
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:47 am

I think it's ok when the US government says: "We only want to buy US products".
But in that case, they should be fair and just tell EADS that they have no chance in the bid. When they call for an open bid, then they have to give them the same chances as they give to Boeing. The same goes the other way round, too, when an European government invites foreign companies to bid, they have to give them a fair chance.

And for god's sake, EADS is not a French company, always playing the "We don't want to give the French the money" card is just an abuse of the Anti-French sentiments.
 
goingboeing
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 3:04 am

Sorry to disappoint you Racko, but I was (and still am) very pro French on the war thing. But I don't think taxpayer money should go to another country when it comes to the largest military in the world purchasing equipment for it's purposes. FWIW, and a bit off topic, I also don't believe that France and Germany and any other UN nation that was against the war in Iraq should have to help assist the US in paying the costs to "rebuild" a country that they were opposed to destroying in the first place.
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 3:53 am


The AV8B is a perfect example of the US wanting to buy a foreign aircraft but refusing to do so. They only bought the aircraft on the basis that it was manufactured (under licence) by McD.


I don't see anything wrong with this practice. In the commercial world, both Boeing and MDC had done that with China. It's an opportunity to tap into one of the world's biggest markets. In the end, all the parties benefited from ventures.


The problem was at the time they current re-invent the harrier - and even now with the JSF - the VTOL capability required Rolls Royce to get invovled.


Oh, puh-leez. The Harrier is a very old product. The US is not re-inventing a Harrier. This is a Harrier replacement that both the US and the UK need. We should all applaud this trans-Atlantic co-operation. The US could have easily done without the UK, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce. Leveraging Roll-Royce's VTOL expertise is a result of the co-operation, not because the US can't do it. Of course, we all know the US has allowed foreign participation in the JSF program is because of potential foreign sales. But the act of allowing foreign co-operation is still a significant change.

Although we could argue the necessity of the whole JSF program, it still should be noted that this is a visionary program. The simple fact is they are developing a fighter aircraft that can fulfill multiple roles and used by all the armed forces. Think how much it would cost to develop separate replacements for fighters like the F-14, F-15, F-18, Harrier, etc.

About your Skunkworks example, I am not going to repeat everything I have said before. I didn't say there wasn't bureaucracy in the US. It the nature of political environment and media presence in the US that we hear a lot more about things like the one you mentioned. It doesn't mean the US government and their defense suppliers are all crooks. The US has a very competitive, privately owned defense industry. Wastes, bureaucracies, inefficiencies, unethical conducts are inevitable. But at least in the US, they often will be exposed. The same can not be said for the rest of the world. The likelihood of taking corrective actions is much more probable when these improprieties are exposed than they are not, wouldn't you agree?
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 7:45 am

Dynkrisolo,

The problem is that these issue are just as likely to be exposed in Europe (or at least certainly in the UK) as they are in the US. The UK has the worlds most intrusive press - and the most critical of any government.

You used the AV8B as an example of the US importing aircraft - the fact is they didn't - they made an agreement with the UK government that pressurised Hawker Siddley into agreeing to the contract that allowed Mcdonell into building the AV8B.

As you mentioned with tankers - Airbus has little experience, in the case of VTOL aricraft no one but the UK has more experience - certainly not the US than the UK. As to the US could of done it without the UK - thats open to debate. As the only country in the world who has relied on VTOL aircraft in a time of war - I think we know considerably more about it than the US including how to fly it. To the point that Lockheed insisted that the prototype be flown during flight testing by pilots from BAe who where all experienced Harrier pilots speaks volumes. The US makes a number of superb aircraft both military and civilian (F15, F16, B777, B747 to name just a few - and please include anything designed by the skunkworks) but it is not the master of everything - when it comes to VTOL aircraft - we not only designed it, but we wrote the book on it too.

RickB
 
ual777
Posts: 1507
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:18 am

RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:06 am

Personally, I think that the 330 is garbage and would do a terrible job. The Air Force will but the 767s after the lease is up. This brings in a key factor, shelf-life. The 767 will last longer than the A330. This is due to the fact that the A330 uses tons of composites that the B767 does not. I read in Aviation Week that composites do not last nearly as long as traditional metals. Therefore, I would go with the 767.
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:12 am

UAL777,

If thats true then the 7e7 is stuffed from birth !!! Composites in most case have been chosen because they are stonger and resist stress distortions far longer than alloys do.

RickB
 
dynkrisolo
Posts: 1825
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 12:12 am

RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 10:31 am

RickB:

I'm not going to argue with you whether the UK or the US has a more intrusive media. It's a rather subjective thing. I would agree with you that the UK is probably more open than countries on the Continental Europe. For example, the UK government has made more disclosure about Airbus's repayments than the other three Airbus member nations.

Concerning the AV-8B, face it, the US could have chosen to design their own. If Hawker Siddley didn't agree, they would have gotten nothing. Also, the US is the biggest Harrier/AV-8B customer by a big margin over the UK. So, the biggest customer dictating on their own terms, what's so unusal about it? You are so critical about this, yet you conveniently ignored my PWC/EPI example. There are many similarities in these two examples. Also, this is no different from MDC helping the Chinese to assemble the MD-80 and MD-90 in China in an effort to access the Chinese market.

No need to make STOVL sounds like such an impossible technology. The lift fan developed by Rolls-Royce on the F-35 consists of a shaft-driven lift fan and a three bearing vectoring nozzle. Those aren't technologies that will take the US engine companies too long to master and refine. Also, it is not the only solution. The direct lift system used on the Boeing X-32 arguably wasn't any inferior.
 
ual777
Posts: 1507
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:18 am

RE: FT: Boeing & Airforce Too Close Friends?

Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:00 am

Rickb, that is not what I meant. A 767 will last longer than a A330, A340, or 7E7 will....On a scale of about 40 years which is alot longer than the vast majority of airlines use them for.
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.

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