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WINGS
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Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:37 pm

Since the previous thread was getting rather long I have decided to start a new thread, so that all members can continue to discuss this major event.  Smile

http://www.northropgrumman.com/images/2008/022508_kc45a.jpg

U.S. Air Force Selects Northrop Grumman to Provide the New KC-45A Aerial Refueling Tanker

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=137410

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 29, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced today that it has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to provide the KC-45A aerial refueling tanker for the KC-135 tanker replacement program. The Air Force's KC-45A is based on the highly-successful A330 commercial airframe, produced by EADS.

"We are excited to partner with the Air Force for their number one acquisition priority, the KC-45A Tanker," said Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer. "Northrop Grumman's vast expertise in aerospace design, development and systems integration will ensure our nation's warfighters receive the most capable and versatile tanker ever built. The Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker will be a game changer."

The initial KC-45A contract provides four System Design and Development aircraft and is valued at $1.5 billion. The first KC-45A airframe completed its first flight on Sept. 25, 2007 and will now begin military conversion to the tanker configuration. The KC-45A's Aerial Refueling Boom System is currently in flight test and has successfully performed numerous in-flight contacts with receiver aircraft.






PART 1: Usaf Decided On KC-30 (by Andrej Feb 29 2008 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
PART 2: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 2. (by Srbmod Mar 1 2008 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Regards,
Wings
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halls120
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:45 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 320):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 264):
True. But one would hope that flag officers took the time to listen to the grunts as to what tools they need to do their job. In this case, I'm not sure that communication occured.

What if the flag officers have decided that their jobs are changing, so different tools are required?

What we are now hearing is that the Air Force initially wanted a smaller tanker, but that NG convinced them they wanted a larger tanker. Great salesmanship by NG, but again, it would appear that the opinions of the people actually doing the flying were lost in a sea of powerpoint presentations.

I guess we'll see who was right several years down the road.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
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moo
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:53 pm



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 1):
Great salesmanship by NG, but again, it would appear that the opinions of the people actually doing the flying were lost in a sea of powerpoint presentations.

The opinions of the people doing the flying may not be valid for 20, 30 or 40 years straight. This is a long term purchase.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:02 pm

Boeing beaten on tanker must-haves

Quote:
Boeing was comprehensively beaten on almost every aspect of the competition for the $40 billion Air Force tanker contract awarded Friday, according to a report published Monday by a defense analyst with close Pentagon connections.

On the five specific criteria used to decide the winner, Thompson wrote, "Northrop Grumman's victory was not a close outcome. ... The Northrop-EADS offering was deemed much better in virtually all regards."

Responding to the firestorm criticism about the award, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, undersecretary of defense for acquisition John Young, issued a statement Monday saying a team of independent civilian and military analysts appointed by him would vouch that the Air Force "conducted a very open, fair and detailed competition process."

According to his conversations with officials, said Thompson, "Northrop offered a superior proposal in every measure and Boeing simply did not do a competent job of presenting its case."

The Northrop proposal, which put forward the much bigger A330 against the 767, even swung the Air Force around from its original thinking.

advertising

"The Air Force started out believing that the larger aircraft was a liability," Thompson said. "Northrop did such a superior job of analysis that they convinced a reluctant Air Force to treat the larger aircraft as an asset."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...echnology/2004258210_tanker04.html


Both companies were hamstrung in a way. Boeing was because their overriding concern was to protect the 767 line. NG/EADS were also hamstrung because the A330-200 was the smallest plane they had to offer. However, it is clear that NG/EADS succeeded in playing up the strengths of their larger platform while Boeing failed to play down those strengths.

As such, there is no way Boeing will appeal, because they don't have a chance. Their only...hope...is to have Congress revolt and deny the deal and either just give it to Boeing "in the interests of national security" or open it up for re-bids so Boeing can pitch the 777F and then win on the same grounds the KC-30A won over the KC-767ADV - more size, more capacity and more capability.
 
khobar
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:11 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 2):
The opinions of the people doing the flying may not be valid for 20, 30 or 40 years straight. This is a long term purchase.

I don't think the mission will change significantly over those years, even though the people will.
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:24 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
As such, there is no way Boeing will appeal, because they don't have a chance.

There's always a chance for Boeing to appeal and I'd say a very good one. I don't think any company would be wise to walk away from $40 billion in revenues without having a look at the fine print. If they did then they deserved to lose. In fact, they deserve to be out of business.

Frankly, we have no idea what Boeing's reasons were for pitching their product the way they did. Perhaps Boeing conducted extensive interviews with aircrews and airbase personnel intimately familiar with tanker ops and came away believing their smaller, "less capable" bird was the better choice. I don't recall seeing in the RFP a question that asks "What does the typical flight or operations officer or airman think of your tanker's capabilities?"

Seems to me the process, in an effort to ensure a level playing field, became highly sterilized. If the people who actually live and work aerial tankers have a preference for a smaller airplane, wouldn't that be grounds for an appeal? Wouldn't that reflect a flawed process and itself reflect a playing field that is not level?

Boeing's strategy is beginning to look, in hindsight, mighty flawed. But at this point, we don't know if it was because of sheer incompetence or flawed reasoning as a result of other factors intrinsic or extraneous to the RFP. My bet is they will appeal.
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
sabenapilot
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:24 pm



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 1):
What we are now hearing is that the Air Force initially wanted a smaller tanker, but that NG convinced them they wanted a larger tanker.Great salesmanship by NG.

What we are hearing is that it takes (at least) 5 KC-767s to match 4 KC-330s and that they would take up much more apron space than 4...
We're hearing the KC-767 needs a significantly longer runway to operate from (in balanced field mode), meaning the KC-767 can not be deployed from as many airports as the KC-330 will.
We're hearing the KC-767 can't take as much fuel, cargo and troops with it, nor can it fly as far, as long or as fast...
Were hearing the KC-767 can provide fewer aircraft with less fuel and does so at a slower pace too...

I'd say NG actually had a very easy job to demonstrate the overwhelming superiority of their A330 based tanke; the hard nut to crack was to overcome the nationalistic sentiments of the US Airforce and make them actually buy it.

Here's a diagram telling it all, I suggest you have a good look at it (although I suppose some might find it too painful too look at...)

Big version: Width: 483 Height: 465 File size: 41kb


Given the track record of the A330 against the 767, first with pax airlines and since a year also with cargo operators, the conclusion of the USAF is spot on: the 767 is no match to the A330.
 
norcal
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:05 pm



Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 6):
Here's a diagram telling it all, I suggest you have a good look at it (although I suppose some might find it too painful too look at...)

With the criteria for the RFP the KC-30 was better, however that diagram you posted is a NG/EADS publication and so should be taken with a grain of salt.

The KC-767 is not the piece of garbage that people make it out to be (just like the A340 isn't a piece of crap because the 777 is more efficient).

The KC-767 met all the requirements in the RFP, the KC-30 just did them better and the USAF decided they needed more capabilities instead of a direct KC-135 replacement. If the RFP had been worded more as a direct KC-135 the Boeing probably would have won.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 1):
What we are now hearing is that the Air Force initially wanted a smaller tanker, but that NG convinced them they wanted a larger tanker. Great salesmanship by NG, but again, it would appear that the opinions of the people actually doing the flying were lost in a sea of powerpoint presentations.

My tanker friends at Travis kept telling me that the KC-767 fit the mission profiles better, but we do have to take into account what the generals think they need and this:

Quoting Moo (Reply 2):
The opinions of the people doing the flying may not be valid for 20, 30 or 40 years straight. This is a long term purchase.



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 1):
I guess we'll see who was right several years down the road.

 checkmark 
I just hope the men and women at the front lines get their equipment soon, so let the KC-30 bid stand otherwise we'll just delay our airmen from receiving the tools they need.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
Boeing's strategy is beginning to look, in hindsight, mighty flawed. But at this point, we don't know if it was because of sheer incompetence or flawed reasoning as a result of other factors intrinsic or extraneous to the RFP.

 checkmark 

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
Boeing beaten on tanker must-haves

and some people think American press doesn't report negatively on Boeing  Wink
 
sabenapilot
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:20 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 7):
that diagram you posted is a NG/EADS publication and so should be taken with a grain of salt.

A NG/EADS diagram indeed (to which not surprisingly no Boeing equivalent exists), however, the data used to draw this diagram is derived straight from the raw numbers provided to the US Airforce by both EADS/NG as well as Boeing and as such the validity of it should not be questioned just because of its origin.

Knowing the A330 has basically knocked the 767 out in the commercial market based on its superior payload-range, its low operating cost as well as its better field performance, it should not come as a surprise the USAF has come to the same conclusion as tens of commercial airlines before it.

After all, whether you are transporting pax or troops, cargo or just fuel.... a ton of payload stays a ton of payload.
 
khobar
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:40 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 7):
The KC-767 met all the requirements in the RFP, the KC-30 just did them better and the USAF decided they needed more capabilities instead of a direct KC-135 replacement. If the RFP had been worded more as a direct KC-135 the Boeing probably would have won.

The RFP did call, in large part, for the competitors to perform at least as well as the KC-135.

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 8):
A NG/EADS diagram indeed (to which not surprisingly no Boeing equivalent exists), however, the data used to draw this diagram is derived straight from the raw numbers provided to the US Airforce by both EADS/NG as well as Boeing and as such the validity of it should not be questioned just because of its origin.

Throw in the cost - you get 20% better performance for 33% more cost. Based on raw data, you can match the KC-30's capabilities for less money with the KC-767, so obviously there's more to the story than raw capability numbers that favor the KC-30.

Consider this: which is better, a 747 or an A330?
 
M27
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:58 pm



Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
The RFP did call, in large part, for the competitors to perform at least as well as the KC-135.

This is an article from the Wichita Eagle that some may have seen. It does not say very much, but does to some extent, bring this size question up.

http://www.kansas.com/107/story/330613.html
 
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SAS A340
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:05 pm



Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
Throw in the cost - you get 20% better performance for 33% more cost

Compared to 1 on 1??

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 6):
What we are hearing is that it takes (at least) 5 KC-767s to match 4 KC-330s

 checkmark 
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
Aircellist
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:08 pm

Was this article published in the other thread?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...opinion/2004257646_boeingop04.html

(reference from the "Unusual attitude" blog of Flight...)

Interesting comment from an Alabama journalist... Precisely about Boeing's 'attitude'.


About the three threads up to now: incredible to read so much about:
-A 'French' win (not Northrop,which is not French)
-a 'French' made plane (not built in many countries and assembled in the USA
-an intolerable buy of a foreign product, which whould at least entail reciprocity (like if there was any western European country that did not have anything American in its air force...)
"When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" -attributed to John Maynard Keynes
 
norcal
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:14 pm



Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 8):
A NG/EADS diagram indeed (to which not surprisingly no Boeing equivalent exists), however, the data used to draw this diagram is derived straight from the raw numbers provided to the US Airforce by both EADS/NG as well as Boeing and as such the validity of it should not be questioned just because of its origin.

I would bet though that the chart is based on both aircraft taking off at MTOW and carrying their max payloads. Ask KC-135 tankers how often they offload all of their gas, you might be surprised by the answer. Just because they might have used the raw performance numbers doesn't mean they didn't skew the results by setting up a mission profile that favored the KC-30.

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 8):
After all, whether you are transporting pax or troops, cargo or just fuel.... a ton of payload stays a ton of payload.

True, but some have argued that if you don't need the extra payload then there is no point in paying to fly around the extra structural weight needed to fly the extra payload. The KC-30 does not have lower trip costs than a KC-767, what it has is lower CASM. So when you fly both at full payload, the KC-30 is more efficient.

Would you use an A330 if you only had to fly 180 people across the Atlantic?

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 8):
Knowing the A330 has basically knocked the 767 out in the commercial market based on its superior payload-range, its low operating cost as well as its better field performance, it should not come as a surprise the USAF has come to the same conclusion as tens of commercial airlines before it.

Airlines around the world found that they needed the extra payload that the A330 offered. As air travel grew airlines found that they had outgrown their 767s. Also another reason the 767 was "run from the market" is that a lot of the airlines it was intended for originally had already bought all the ones they needed, a term called market saturation. The A330 hit a spot of the market that needed replacement, DC-10s and L-1011s and that Boeing had no direct competitor for till the 767-400ER. (Which turned out to be a poor competitor because of DL's wishes for it to fit inside their existing 767 gates)

As the RFP stands the KC-30 is the clear winner, but what if we find (and this is what a lot of guys who fly tankers in the USAF for a living will tell you) we don't end up needing the extra capability the A330 offers? What if we find out in 20 years or so the metrics used for the RFP were wrong and that the reason they were changed to get NG/EADS to compete?

I am not trying to take away from the KC-30's victory, I am merely pointing out that the KC-30 could have been trumped if the USAF had called for a direct KC-135 replacement. (Which is what the guys flying the KC-135 wanted) However seeing the results of the metrics for this RFP and the way it was set up the KC-30 is clearly the winner. I'm not calling for any kind of a redo, all I am saying is that the KC-767 isn't the piece of garbage that people make it out to be and that there are going to be plenty of missions the USAF will fly that would have been more efficient to fly with a KC-767 and not a KC-30. (As there will be some missions like air bridging C-5s accross the oceans that the KC-30 will be better at)
 
khobar
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:15 pm



Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 11):
Compared to 1 on 1??

Any way you slice it.
 
checksixx
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:16 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 7):
The KC-767 met all the requirements in the RFP, the KC-30 just did them better and the USAF decided they needed more capabilities instead of a direct KC-135 replacement.

Which is what I would expect...more bang for the buck.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 7):
My tanker friends at Travis kept telling me that the KC-767 fit the mission profiles better

When compared to the KC-10's they have at Travis?? I don't think so...

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
Based on raw data, you can match the KC-30's capabilities for less money with the KC-767, so obviously there's more to the story than raw capability numbers that favor the KC-30.

You can match it with more aircraft deployed, but certainly not one-on-one.
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:16 pm

Hot off the press at Business Week:

Quote:
Executives want to convey their sense that the company was misled by the Air Force. If Boeing had known the Air Force was seeking a plane with more fuel-carrying capacity and cargo space, say company insiders and a congressional source, it would have based its proposal on the larger Boeing 777 instead of the 767.

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/...4_698398.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily

Just confirms what I said in Reply 5, above, about Boeing having grounds to appeal.

Also becoming apparent: the Democratically controlled congress is not going to let this decision be a painless one:

Quote:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Mar. 4 that Congress will schedule hearings on the Air Force decision. Pelosi said in a statement that the award to Northrop Grumman "raises serious questions that Congress must examine thoroughly."


[Edited 2008-03-04 09:22:21]
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
norcal
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:25 pm



Quoting Checksixx (Reply 15):
When compared to the KC-10's they have at Travis?? I don't think so...

Some of those KC-10 guys say that they land with a ton of fuel in the tanks all the time and they also know guys in other outfits that fly KC-135s that land with fuel left over all the time as well. Just look at the historical mission offload rates for the past 40 years and you will see what I am talking about.

I still don't think that the KC-30 decision should be overturned as it will make a fine tanker. All I am doing is offering an alternative view and trying to prove the KC-767 is not the piece of crap some people think it is.
 
DAYflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:26 pm

Sounds to me the political winds are a blowin fierce. There is sentiment expressed in the NY Times that the politicians are demanding to know why we awarded a tanker contract to a company we are fighting in the WTO over subsidies....
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707lvr
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:27 pm



Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
there's more to the story than raw capability numbers that favor the KC-30.

Much more. It's swell to quote numbers, and USAF should get straight A's for neatness, but this decision was made higher up, early on and without facts getting in the way. Simply put, we are taking a risk in military capability, a huge one in my opinion, for the possibility of shoring up an alliance for ... [insert number of years here.] Simple as that.
 
khobar
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:32 pm



Quoting Checksixx (Reply 15):


You can match it with more aircraft deployed, but certainly not one-on-one.

I didn't try to claim otherwise. The bottom line is that if cost is factored in, for the same money you actually exceed the KC-30's capabilities in many regards.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 16):
Also becoming apparent: the Democratically controlled congress is not going to let this decision be a painless one:

Quote:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Mar. 4 that Congress will schedule hearings on the Air Force decision. Pelosi said in a statement that the award to Northrop Grumman "raises serious questions that Congress must examine thoroughly."


Unfortunately, what this will really result in is the project being canceled outright and both sides losing. I think this is what's going to happen anyway - NG/EADS already made the point that the KC-30 is more capable than the KC767 - "gets the job done with fewer aircraft." I have a feeling that is going to come back to haunt NG/EADS, and in the end Congress will cut the number of planes - citing cost. The Air Force, in return, will be in a panic because even though you can technically offload the same or more gas with those fewer planes, they will be more thinly spread. And since they have a fixed number of offload points (3 max per plane), the combat capability is really going to be called into question. I doubt anyone is going to jump up and down about the superior cargo capabilities, except maybe in anger/frustration.

I hope I am wrong.
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:35 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 17):
I still don't think that the KC-30 decision should be overturned as it will make a fine tanker.

I completely agree...as long as the price was roughly equal. After all, the original tanker contract was angrily vetted (and ultimately overturned as a result of other factors that emanated from that investigation) because certain people didn't appreciate the considerably higher cost of a lease. If the KC-45 contract for the A330 airframe is considerably more for 179 copies than a comparable purchase for the 767 airframe then the same intensive vetting should also occur.
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
checksixx
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:35 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 17):
All I am doing is offering an alternative view and trying to prove the KC-767 is not the piece of crap some people think it is.

Gotchya! I don't think its a piece of crap by any means.

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 19):
Simply put, we are taking a risk in military capability, a huge one in my opinion

Really, what risk is that?
 
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SAS A340
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:45 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 17):
Some of those KC-10 guys say that they land with a ton of fuel in the tanks all the time and they also know guys in other outfits that fly KC-135s that land with fuel left over all the time as well. Just look at the historical mission offload rates for the past 40 years and you will see what I am talking about.

if that's the case,there's no need for a 777 tanker then?

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 16):
If Boeing had known the Air Force was seeking a plane with more fuel-carrying capacity and cargo space, say company insiders and a congressional source, it would have based its proposal on the larger Boeing 777 instead of the 767.

First it was about to keep the 767 line open as a argument for the USAF to choose it,and then it was that the 330 was to big,and now i hear voices saying that USAF could use a 777 tanker? The result for me is that the 767 will still die and you would get a even bigger tanker..? Maybe the A330 is exactly what USAF needs,not to big,not to small. I think that for some,the biggest problem is that's it 's European......and that they give a jack as what USAF need!
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
art
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:47 pm



Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 6):
What we are hearing is that it takes (at least) 5 KC-767s to match 4 KC-330s and that they would take up much more apron space than 4...
We're hearing the KC-767 needs a significantly longer runway to operate from (in balanced field mode), meaning the KC-767 can not be deployed from as many airports as the KC-330 will.
We're hearing the KC-767 can't take as much fuel, cargo and troops with it, nor can it fly as far, as long or as fast...
Were hearing the KC-767 can provide fewer aircraft with less fuel and does so at a slower pace too...



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
There's always a chance for Boeing to appeal and I'd say a very good one.

I would be very wary of appealing if I were in Boeing's shoes, looking at Sabenapilot's summary above. If Boeing does appeal and the decision is scrutinised and confirmed as being the better decision, I think Boeing will find it more difficult to persuade the politicians to overule it.
 
DAYflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:47 pm



U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt says he will demand justification for Friday's decision.

In a written statement, Tiahrt said he wants "to see the numbers that justify a contract for American planes going to a foreign entity, when the merits clearly reside with Boeing. If this decision holds, it will be at the cost of American jobs and American dollars, if not our national security."

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback echoed that sentiment, expressing hope that the decision might be reversed.

"I'll be calling upon the Secretary of Defense for a full debriefing and expect there will be a protest of the award by Boeing," Brownback said. "I also expect Congress will take a very long look at the selection process and criteria. I hope the decision will be reversed.

"It's stunning to me that we would outsource the production of these airplanes to Europe instead of building them in America."


http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/tic...Date=20080303&ID=8275327&Symbol=BA
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
There's always a chance for Boeing to appeal and I'd say a very good one. I don't think any company would be wise to walk away from $40 billion in revenues without having a look at the fine print. If they did then they deserved to lose. In fact, they deserve to be out of business.

I think Boeing is better off to let Congress do the "public appealing", even though I am sure they will be doing a lot of "private appealing" behind the scenes.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
Frankly, we have no idea what Boeing's reasons were for pitching their product the way they did.

But we can infer with relative confidence, IMO.

Then again, Boeing probably never had a chance, anyway. The KC-767ADV was too weak and the KC-777 is just too big (both in size and in runway needs - 11000ft vs. 7000ft for the KC-30A).

So NG/EADS was guaranteed to win, because Boeing had no viable competitor.

[Edited 2008-03-04 10:11:45]
 
norcal
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:13 pm



Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 23):
if that's the case,there's no need for a 777 tanker then?

No I don't think there will be a need for a 777 based tanker. I think we will not lose any cargo carrying capabilities if we were to replace the entire KC-135 fleet with KC-30s (500) and not replace the KC-10s at all.

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 23):
First it was about to keep the 767 line open as a argument for the USAF to choose it,and then it was that the 330 was to big,and now i hear voices saying that USAF could use a 777 tanker? The result for me is that the 767 will still die and you would get a even bigger tanker..?

We'll when you look at the difference in wingspan between a 777 and a A330 and compare it against the capability gained then the argument could be made for the KC-777. For 15' of extra wingspan you would gain of at least 180,000lbs of payload uplift vs the KC-30 (There is actually a difference 199,000 lbs in the MTOW between a 777F and a KC-30, but when you factor in all the boom equipment you need to add to get a KC-777 the payload numbers will drop). Compare that to the 50,000 lbs payload advantage you get out of a KC-30 vs KC-767 for a 41' increased wingspan.

It would be interesting to see if Boeing could revise the folding wing option of the 777 because then the parked and folded wingspan of a 777 would be pretty close if not the same as a 767. However where the argument fails is the heavy weight of the 777 and the length will take up space and might require runway, taxiway, and ramp strengthening at some bases. (Probably ones the C-5 doesn't already operate out of) The KC-777 might also have to take off with a reduced payload at of some places to match the the KC-30s takeoff performance.
 
Thorny
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:20 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):
Then again, Boeing probably never had a chance, anyway. The KC-767ADV was too weak and the KC-777 is just too big (both in size and in runway needs - 11000ft vs. 7000ft for the KC-30A).

Well, I thought KC-30 was much more plane than the USAF needed, but they thought otherwise. So we certainly can't rule out KC-777 as "too big". KC-777 might have a good chance as KC-10 replacement down the road.
 
sabenapilot
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:21 pm

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
Throw in the cost - you get 20% better performance for 33% more cost. Based on raw data, you can match the KC-30's capabilities for less money with the KC-767, so obviously there's more to the story than raw capability numbers that favor the KC-30.

The USAF is doing more than simply purchasing 179 tanker planes, they are replacing KC-135s with them on a 1-to-1 basis to operate them in war missions, so the purchase price of the fleet is just a part of the total cost here.

By selecting the KC-30, the USAF made sure it will get no less than 39 new tankers by 2013 already, whereas with the KC-767 only 19 planes would be delivered by then, meaning 20 KC-135 would have to be kept flying much longer... And deliveries of the KC-30s will stay well ahead of the theoretical deliveries of KC-767 for the entire delivery period, resulting in savings up to $20BN over the next 40 years compared to the KC-767!

Also, the KC-30 gets the same mission done as the KC-767 with 17% less sorties and since the KC-30 can stay 20% longer on station, it can get the same forward off loading job done with almost 25% less flight hours...
Figure the savings on heavy maintenance which is flight time related!

Not to mention the fact that the mission costs of the KC-30 fleet are going to be much lower than of a KC-767 fleet, since the USAF will need less KC-30 planes and less crews put at risk for any given mission...

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 11):
Compared to 1 on 1??

That's the whole point: one does not just have to compare 1 on 1, but rather fleet against fleet, with the understanding you'd need a much smaller fleet of KC-30s to do any given job, whereas the KC-30 -despite its bigger size- can operate from ALL the airports the KC-767 can operate from (actually, it can operate from MORE airports thanks to its better field performance): something Boeing can't offer with a theoretical KC-777!

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 25):
It's stunning to me that we would outsource the production of these airplanes to Europe instead of building them in America.

Somebody needs to tell this gentlemen Mobile, AL is situated in the USA...   

[Edited 2008-03-04 10:26:45]
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:50 pm



Quoting Art (Reply 24):
If Boeing does appeal and the decision is scrutinised and confirmed as being the better decision, I think Boeing will find it more difficult to persuade the politicians to overule it.



Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):
Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
There's always a chance for Boeing to appeal and I'd say a very good one. I don't think any company would be wise to walk away from $40 billion in revenues without having a look at the fine print. If they did then they deserved to lose. In fact, they deserve to be out of business.

I think Boeing is better off to let Congress do the "public appealing", even though I am sure they will be doing a lot of "private appealing" behind the scenes.

I agree with what both of you are saying. My original comment was not to the viability of the 767 airframe as a tanker vs. the A330 airframe, but, rather, to Boeing's standing to appeal. There are always valid reasons to appeal and they owe it not only to themselves to do so, but to their shareholders as well. We're not talking some loose change that is at stake here. This is, after all, one of the largest military contracts ever.
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:58 pm

More breaking news on this deal. It seems Congress is moving fast to put the squeeze on the decision-makers.

Quote:
Top Air Force arms buyer Sue Payton and Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman, the top military official in charge of acquisitions, are due to testify on Wednesday before the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

Also, Boeing has gone public with some peripheral complaints:

Quote:
Chicago-based Boeing called on the Air Force to explain why it lost the lucrative contract, that was announced on Friday, and why initial press reports indicated Boeing was the higher risk bidder.

Mark McGraw, vice president of Boeing's 767 tanker programs, said the Air Force's plan to wait until around March 12 to brief Boeing was "unusual" and "inconsistent with well-established procurement practices."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080304/bs_nm/usa_tanker_dc_1

Let the games begin!
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Stitch
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:17 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 28):
KC-777 might have a good chance as KC-10 replacement down the road.

Supposedly the KC-10 also needs significantly less runway then a KC-777 would. Of course, this is driven by the KC-777's huge MTOW (which allows it a huge payload). So a KC-777 operating at a KC-30A's MTOW would need a great deal less runway and, especially with those huge GE90-115B's pushing it, might need even less then the KC-30A...

So when flying between major bases, it can haul all 100t and can tailor it's payload as necessary to smaller bases...  scratchchin 

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 30):
We're not talking some loose change that is at stake here. This is, after all, one of the largest military contracts ever.

Yes and no. It's a big contract, but 10-12 deliveries a year isn't exactly amazing. Mind you, it's the difference between life and death for the 767, but that's roughly a month's output on the A330 line.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:21 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 16):
Just confirms what I said in Reply 5, above, about Boeing having grounds to appeal.

That is exactly right. The USAF clearly told Boeing what they wanted, and Boeing delivered a plane the exceeds the KC-135 in all ways that the USAF wanted. And Boeing had history on it's side, as the USAF had already chosen the 767 tanker once, only to have it scuttled.

NG/Airbus did NOT have a plane that met the RFP. They had a larger plane, but through "salesmanship" they were able to convince the USAF to choose the larger plane.

To say that the KC-30 "exceeded" the requirements is not honest. A 747 based platform may have exceeded them too, but at what cost and how big?

What the USAF should have done was to either inform Boeing that they had CHANGED their requirements and wanted a larger plane, or told Boeing they were not sure of which size they wanted and Boeing should amend their offer to include the 777 as well as the 767 based aircraft. If we recall, last year it was even leaked that Boeing was considering the 777 as the platform. They must have received feedback from the USAF to tell them that the 767 was the better choice for them. So what happened?

By basically changing the rules mid way to suit one of the bidders, the one who didn't have a product that met the initial requirements, the USAF has made a very stupid move. Not because the KC-30 isn't a great plane, but because they have already been slammed once for impropriety in the original tanker deal, and this only opens up more questions about how they choose anything. And by doing it this way, the Airforce has once again delayed the replacement aircraft for their aging fleet, an aircraft they already could have been flying had they not mucked up the first tanker deal with improper relationships.

I believe that the program bidding will be reopened after Congress gets involved and NG/Airbus will have to defend their bid against a KC-77, one that will likely perform with great aplomb if it is based on the 777F platform with GE90-110 engines (but without the raked wingtips to match the A330 wingspan), a jet that will rocket it off the shorter runways, and "exceed" the NEW RFP for a larger plane even more than the A330 does.

Boeing has announced that they are requesting an IMMEDIATE review of the entire decision process.
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Jackonicko
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:30 pm

Norcal,

The world has moved on, and the demands of today's operations demand a bigger tanker than the KC-135, with bigger cargo capacity. The KC-135 folk don't fly the modern mission, because they can't. KC-135s are limited to the kind of missions that KC-135s can fly, and so that is what the KC-135 crews fly, and they aren't aware what is really needed.

A proper three-point modern tanker with a good transport capability will reduce the USAF's need to charter in cargo capacity, and will reduce its reliance on tankers belonging to its allies. It will reduce the load on the C-5, allowing those aircraft to last longer.

That's why fuel offload, cargo capacity, etc. are in the requirement.

Had the USAF wanted a tanker to stand strip alert, and to accompany B-52s off to Armageddon - one tanker per bomber, then they'd have specified a KC-135 sized airplane, but those days are gone.

Had the USAF been asking industry to build a new tanker from scratch it would have the runway performance of the A330 (or better) and the fuel capacity of the A330 (or better). A small jet which needs long runways was never going to win the USAF's vote, so the KC-767 relied on a political and patriotic buy.

The KC-767 did not meet all the requirements in the RFP - it can't take off with full fuel from the required runway length
 
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scbriml
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:41 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
There's always a chance for Boeing to appeal and I'd say a very good one.



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
My bet is they will appeal.

But don't they have to have grounds on which to appeal? What are those grounds? They knew what the RFP specified, they knew what the selection criteria were, and they knew which plane they were up against. There was nothing to stop them clarifying any or all parts of the RFP and evaluation process to be sure they understood what the AF wanted. So how were they misled?

Unless the AF totally screwed up the evaluation, I don't see on what grounds Boeing can appeal. I'm not saying they won't appeal, just saying I don't see what grounds it would be based on.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 13):
(Which is what the guys flying the KC-135 wanted)

With due respect, they just fly tankers, they don't set USAF strategy for the next 20+ years. The KC-30 enables the AF to do things differently to how they've been done up to now.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 16):
Just confirms what I said in Reply 5, above, about Boeing having grounds to appeal.

Do you not think that Boeing royally screwed up here? Why did Boeing offer the KC-767? Because the 767 line is the one line they have that needed the support of a follow-on military contract. The 777 line is too busy filling lucrative civil orders and clogging it up with tankers is not what Boeing wants right now. There are those that suspect Boeing didn't try as hard as they might because they couldn't believe the AF would actually select anything other than a KC-767. If their alleged arrogance was 10% of that of all the "tanker experts" here who opined that the KC-30 would never be selected (too big, too French, booms in the air, booms on the ground, etc.), then that arrogance combined with the real driver for offering the KC-767 is the root cause of their defeat. Appealing the AF's decision won't change any of that.

Some say Boeing has nothing to lose and should appeal regardless, but other think they could do themselves more harm than good by lodging a frivolous appeal that just wastes time and money and pushes the acquisition of new tankers even further out.

http://www.al.com/news/press-registe...e/news/1204452993131831.xml&coll=3

Quote:
Young, speaking to the newspaper on the sidelines of the event, said he was confident the Air Force's evaluation would hold up under scrutiny. Boeing supporters blasted the choice, which is expected to bring a 1,500-worker aircraft assembly plant to Mobile.

Young said he was aware of the criticism but believed the Air Force's selection process was sound. He said job creation and other political factors were not part of the evaluation.

"I think the Air Force can easily and comfortably explain everything they did and how they did it," he said. "They can explain exactly what each team proposed and how they were graded."

http://lexingtoninstitute.org/1234.shtml

Quote:
So Northrop Grumman's victory was not a close outcome. Although both proposals satisfied all performance requirements, the reviewers concluded that if they funded the Northrop Grumman proposal they could have 49 superior tankers operating by 2013, whereas if they funded the Boeing proposal, they would have only 19 considerably less capable planes in that year. The Northrop-EADS offering was deemed much better in virtually all regards.

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astuteman
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:43 pm



Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
Throw in the cost - you get 20% better performance for 33% more cost.

Where do these numbers come from?

Quoting Khobar (Reply 20):
I have a feeling that is going to come back to haunt NG/EADS, and in the end Congress will cut the number of planes - citing cost

Not entirely certain that this is how it will pan out.
My own experience tells me that the basic commercial airframe itself will be substantially less than half the overall programme costs.
The "militarisation" of those airframes, and the overall programme management itself, both of which would have been there whichever airframe had won, WILL be the bulk of the costs.

Regards
 
norcal
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:58 pm



Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 29):
Not to mention the fact that the mission costs of the KC-30 fleet are going to be much lower than of a KC-767 fleet, since the USAF will need less KC-30 planes and less crews put at risk for any given mission...

The USAF will fly any given mission with the same number of tankers because they need to refuel strike packages quickly. The USAF likes to have a lot of booms in the air. That is why the contract calls for 179 tankers regardless of which one is ordered.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
With due respect, they just fly tankers, they don't set USAF strategy for the next 20+ years. The KC-30 enables the AF to do things differently to how they've been done up to now.

I'm not arguing with this point at all because clearly there has been a major change in what the USAF wants and I do support their decision. All I was saying that if they had been looking for more of a direct KC-135 replacement we would have seen the KC-767 win. Clearly there has been a change in operating doctrine.

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 34):
The world has moved on, and the demands of today's operations demand a bigger tanker than the KC-135, with bigger cargo capacity. The KC-135 folk don't fly the modern mission, because they can't. KC-135s are limited to the kind of missions that KC-135s can fly, and so that is what the KC-135 crews fly, and they aren't aware what is really needed.

It's true that they probably aren't aware of exactly what is needed, but we should not discount their opinions.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:59 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 17):
All I am doing is offering an alternative view and trying to prove the KC-767 is not the piece of crap some people think it is.

I don't think I've seen anyone suggest it is. Unfortunately for Boeing, the KC-30 offers more.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 30):
We're not talking some loose change that is at stake here. This is, after all, one of the largest military contracts ever.

But in reality, to Airbus and Boeing, it isn't a lot more than loose change.

For an interesting insight, see Leeham's comments on how much Airbus stands to make.
http://www.leeham.net/filelib/ScottsColumn030408_1.pdf

Quote:
When you consider that Airbus’ estimated revenue last year was around $44 billion, the
gross Airbus cut represents 1.73% of annual revenues at the low-end scenario.

As Stitch pointed out, an extra 12-18 deliveries a year is not big beer for either manufacturer.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 33):
If we recall, last year it was even leaked that Boeing was considering the 777 as the platform. They must have received feedback from the USAF to tell them that the 767 was the better choice for them. So what happened?

Must have? IMHO, Boeing was only ever interested in offering the 767.
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M27
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:22 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
But don't they have to have grounds on which to appeal? What are those grounds? They knew what the RFP specified, they knew what the selection criteria were, and they knew which plane they were up against. There was nothing to stop them clarifying any or all parts of the RFP and evaluation process to be sure they understood what the AF wanted. So how were they misled?

I agree with all of what you said in this! I think that is what Boeing is trying to find out. Why is it taking so long for the Airforce to debrief them. As you stated in another part of the post, the Airforce felt it would have no problems explaining how it chose the winner, so why don't they do it? Why is it this Loren Thompson guy gets all the information and puts it out on his website before Boeing even knows? He, no doubt has good connections, but I don't think it should have been released and talked about and is being printed in all the news services and papers, even now longer than a week before Boeing can even see the evaluation to comment or respond. Boeing mentioned this is their press release today also.

I'm not making any allogations, but is this the Airforce playing the PR game? Has it been designed to occur this way, in the hopes all the hubbub, etc will subside and nobody will pay attention if Boeing decided to protest or say something later? I don't know, but I wonder.
 
redflyer
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:51 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 32):
Yes and no. It's a big contract, but 10-12 deliveries a year isn't exactly amazing. Mind you, it's the difference between life and death for the 767, but that's roughly a month's output on the A330 line.

You are correct (as usual). But I'll point out two factors to consider: military contracts by their nature tend to be more lucrative than commercial contracts because they offer steady revenue through all economic conditions. They also tend to be more profitable on a per unit basis because the way government contracting works the vendor has to account for ALL costs in their bid. In the end, that 4% - 6% margin (or whatever it is these days) over the life of the contract is sometimes worth a lot more than a commercial counterpart. There's also the factor that this initial order will in all likelihood lead to follow-on orders.

Finally, no one will convince me that if a commercial carrier (e.g., EK) ordered 179 widebodies from either manufacturer they would not consider it an "amazing" contract, regardless of how far into the future they spread the deliveries. It would be a major coup by any standard or measure.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
Do you not think that Boeing royally screwed up here?

Based on initial media reports that are just now coming out, it seems Boeing is still mired in their corporate malaise of the 90's. This definitely is not the Boeing that was on the come-back trail we've been reading about the last few years. I always thought if they lost this contract, it would be on one or two criteria (most important of all, price). The way NG/EADS appears to have given them a drubbing, it wasn't even a contest worth fighting. Which in and of itself should raise red flags all over the place. And those red flags, in my opinion, point to one of two scenarios: either Boeing leadership is so inept that they need a good house-cleaning or, alternatively, there was some fundamental flaw with the RFP or the lines of communication between customer and supplier.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
The 777 line is too busy filling lucrative civil orders and clogging it up with tankers is not what Boeing wants right now.

"Lucrative" is a relative term. Military contracts tend to be very valuable and desirable for generating revenues. You could take your same comment and apply it to EADS/Airbus just as easily: The [A330] line is too busy filling lucrative civil orders and clogging it up with tankers is not what [Airbus] wants right now.

(I realize EADS will set up a new production line, but the supply chain is pretty much the same.)

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
There are those that suspect Boeing didn't try as hard as they might because they couldn't believe the AF would actually select anything other than a KC-767

That is a very distinct possibility.

[Edited 2008-03-04 13:10:30]
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:53 pm



Quoting M27 (Reply 39):
Why is it taking so long for the Airforce to debrief them.

This is the 40 billion dollar question, that might very well cost Airbus the contract.

Recall the lease deal didn't get sunk on merits, but the appearance that it was a sweetheart deal. (and yes before you bring it up, leases are stupid for the military which is why it looks bad compared to a buy, even if it was very cheap for a lease).

So here we have all the writing on the wall that this was in fact not an even playing field. Boeing will have alot of weight on their side if they can convince others that while currently nothing major stands out, there is plenty of little things that add up to the big picture.

Little things like why did a plane larger than the KC10 win a replacement for the KC135? Why was Boeing told not to bring the 777 to the table? Why was the proposal changed part way through? Why was there delays in giving Boeing information on the RFP and its outcome?
 
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scbriml
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:05 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 41):
So here we have all the writing on the wall that this was in fact not an even playing field.

Which writing? I've looked, but all I see is a blank wall.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 41):
Little things like why did a plane larger than the KC10 win a replacement for the KC135?

The RFP specified minima. No upper limits were specified.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 41):
Why was Boeing told not to bring the 777 to the table?

Were they? Do you have a source?

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 41):
Why was the proposal changed part way through?

If there were changes (I've heard nothing but rumours, and those rumours suggested the changes were in Boeing's favour), are you suggesting Boeing was unaware of them?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
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M27
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:31 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 42):

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 41):
Why was the proposal changed part way through?

If there were changes (I've heard nothing but rumours, and those rumours suggested the changes were in Boeing's favour), are you suggesting Boeing was unaware of them?

How about this that suggests they were not in Boeing's favor? I would call this more than a rumor.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...aerospace/2004253021_tanker01.html


Northrop's Meyer said his team was initially "disturbed by the timing" of the change but was persuaded that the adjustment was more accurate and "closer to our own analysis."

Boeing won't comment on any possible protest of the decision until after its full Pentagon debriefing>
 
halls120
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:39 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 17):
Quoting Checksixx (Reply 15):
When compared to the KC-10's they have at Travis?? I don't think so...

Some of those KC-10 guys say that they land with a ton of fuel in the tanks all the time and they also know guys in other outfits that fly KC-135s that land with fuel left over all the time as well. Just look at the historical mission offload rates for the past 40 years and you will see what I am talking about.

You are correct. Both the KC-10 and KC-135 invariably return with undelivered fuel.

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 23):
I think that for some,the biggest problem is that's it 's European......and that they give a jack as what USAF need!

Unfortunately, that seems to be the case.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 33):
What the USAF should have done was to either inform Boeing that they had CHANGED their requirements and wanted a larger plane, or told Boeing they were not sure of which size they wanted and Boeing should amend their offer to include the 777 as well as the 767 based aircraft. If we recall, last year it was even leaked that Boeing was considering the 777 as the platform. They must have received feedback from the USAF to tell them that the 767 was the better choice for them. So what happened?

I think two things are at play here. One, the Air Force was pissed that Congress overturned the earlier lease deal. At that time, they wanted the KC-767, and due to stupidity on the part of Boeing in trying to gouge the public treasury, the deal was cancelled by Congress. So the Air Force decided fine, Congress - you won't let us buy the plane we want, we'll have a full and open competition.

So the competition is held, and lo and behold, the Air Force brass - who originally wanted the smaller plane, is convinced by NG's apparently excellent presentation they now want a bigger plane. And the message they are sending Congress is - sorry, we just did what you asked us to do.

If - and this is a mighty big if - Congress comes to the conclusion that the Air Force misled Boeing as to what it really wanted, this deal will be dead on arrival.

And our troops will suffer the consequences.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
starrion
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:28 pm



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 44):
So the competition is held, and lo and behold, the Air Force brass - who originally wanted the smaller plane, is convinced by NG's apparently excellent presentation they now want a bigger plane. And the message they are sending Congress is - sorry, we just did what you asked us to do.

If - and this is a mighty big if - Congress comes to the conclusion that the Air Force misled Boeing as to what it really wanted, this deal will be dead on arrival

What then? Congress zero-funds the program and starts all over again? The USAF funded the first four frames, so if the program does get killed would the Air Force operate the four "prototypes"?
Knowledge Replaces Fear
 
WestWing
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:29 pm

If the USAF changed the requirements or evaluation metrics, or did not communicate clearly to the bidders that the procurement cost (price) was low on the list of the evaluation criteria, then there are legitimate grounds for scrutiny of the award. But griping about the higher foreign materiel /labor component of NG/EADS bid seems to be an incredibly weak argument to bring up now. If this was a concern then NG/EADS should never have been qualified as a bidder.
The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
 
astuteman
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RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:29 pm

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 40):
Finally, no one will convince me that if a commercial carrier (e.g., EK) ordered 179 widebodies from either manufacturer they would not consider it an "amazing" contract, regardless of how far into the future they spread the deliveries. It would be a major coup by any standard or measure.

No doubting that - 179 A330's at (at best) $90m each is about $16Bn of business, or about $1Bn per annum. Bulk discounts might end up providing a net return of about 7%-8% (say), providing about $1.2Bn profit over 15 years, or $80m per year. Not small beer.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 40):
But I'll point out two factors to consider: military contracts by their nature tend to be more lucrative than commercial contracts because they offer steady revenue through all economic conditions. They also tend to be more profitable on a per unit basis because the way government contracting works the vendor has to account for ALL costs in their bid. In the end, that 4% - 6% margin (or whatever it is these days) over the life of the contract is sometimes worth a lot more than a commercial counterpart

However, without question, the bulk of the benefits of a "military contract" will accrue to Northrop Grumman, as the Prime Contractor. They'll generate $24Bn over 15 years at a far better profit margin (they'll also make profit on the EADS element, over and above the EADS revenue)

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 40):
"Lucrative" is a relative term. Military contracts tend to be very valuable and desirable for generating revenues. You could take your same comment and apply it to EADS/Airbus just as easily

Financially (IMO), this is more of a loss for Boeing tat it is a gain for EADS, as Boeing would have derived the full benefits you describe, as both the Prime contractor, and contractor rolled into one.

Nevertheless, EADS
a) get the business described above
b) get a strategic "in" to the US defence market
c) get a greater manufacturing footprint in the USA, plus a strategic partner
d) get the possibility of further orders.

Don't suppose they'll be crying.

Regards

[Edited 2008-03-04 14:47:16]
 
khobar
Posts: 1336
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:12 am

RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:35 pm



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 36):
Where do these numbers come from?

Anywhere you look really. As an example -

KC-45A unit cost $200M http://www.ebamgoo.com/?q=Northrop_Grumman_KC-45

Unit cost of the KC-767 $130-$150M, http://www.answers.com/topic/boeing-kc-767

Interesting what the Air Force previously concluded compared with what they concluded now:

"The overall assessment of the RFI data shows that the EADS offering presents a higher risk technical approach and a less preferred financial arrangement. First, EADS lacks relevant tanker experience and needs to develop an air refueling boom and operator station, making their approach a significantly higher risk. Second, a comparison of the net present values of the aircraft recommended by Boeing and EADS establishes Boeing as the preferred financial option. Third, the size difference of the EADS-proposed KC-330 results in an 81% larger ground footprint compared to the KC-135E it would replace, whereas the Boeing 767 is only 29% larger. The KC-330 increase in size does not bring with it a commensurate increase in available air refueling offload. Finally, the EADS aircraft would demand a greater infrastructure investment and dramatically limits the aircraft's ability to operate effectively in worldwide deployment."

http://www.house.gov/dicks/news/tankers3-2002.htm
 
azhobo
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:52 pm

RE: Usaf Decided On KC-30 Part 3.

Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:23 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
Both companies were hamstrung in a way. Boeing was because their overriding concern was to protect the 767 line. NG/EADS were also hamstrung because the A330-200 was the smallest plane they had to offer. However, it is clear that NG/EADS succeeded in playing up the strengths of their larger platform while Boeing failed to play down those strengths.

As such, there is no way Boeing will appeal, because they don't have a chance.

If this is the case, and the RFP if speced for a smaller aircraft, and Boeings offer met those smaller requirements and EADS did not, would definitely lead to an overturning of the outcome. If it true that EADS convinced them to take a larger tanker because it is better for the mission, and because that is all they had to offer, would be reason to rebid the thing with an RFP for different mission requirements.

If true then things are looking up for Boeing.

HOBO
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