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kc135topboom
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:41 pm



Quoting KennyK (Reply 49):
You seem so tied up in the legality of everything and contractualising of everything I'm surprised anything ever gets finished.

The bottom line is, its all about the money. In that respect, Americans are no different than the Europeans, British, or Asians.
 
Flighty
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:51 pm

I want to take this moment to congratulate Bin Laden on this excellent blow to the USA's military capability.

Without the KC-45, the USA will find it more difficult to find, or attack Mr. Bin Laden. He should rest easy that the U.S. government is being thwarted by the very powerful Boeing Corporation! So pitch that tent and kick back, Mr. Bin Laden, and hopefully Boeing bids on more contracts. Especially the aerial drones. It would be great for Boeing to get those out of the sky just like it did the KC-X!

World peace +1

Bin Laden +1

Boeing +1

I guess everybody wins?
 
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:52 pm

Point for Boeing and it backers. The USAF made administrative errors according to GOA.

The tone / wording of the GOA surprizes me. What are the GOA? Is it government?

Issue is the 767 is old and increasingly parked in the desert. That's why there is a 787.

Then there is the KC777 that is 3x as heavy empty as the KC135.

The Boeing team has been arguing the KC30 is to big for years let alone a KC777. It would not meet runway requirements, be late and expensive (less booms in the air).

Boeing better comes up with something better.

BTW I expect NG/EADS to come up with a A330F tanker version with improved high BPR GE GENX engines.. GE was talking about a GENX A330F earlier. New round new chances..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
CFMitch56
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:53 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 48):
Not sure where that leaves Airbus but perhaps they'd offer A321s and A330-200s in concert.

I can't see how an A321 would be effective on any of the missions the Air Force is looking to accomplish. Carrying passengers is a lower priority than hauling cargo and fuel.

An A319 tanker or B73G tanker wouldn't be much more effective than a Super Hornet tanker (50k lbs), and would not have the combat capability of that aircraft. According to the Aircraft Data on this site, an empty A319 (88k lbs) with an A321 MTOW (~180k lbs), would carry about 100k lbs of fuel/cargo. Similarly, a B73G with 739ER weights would carry about 100k lbs.

For those reasons, I don't see much validity to the argument that it'd be worthwhile to have any narrowbody planes in the mix. As for a 777/767 mix, or an analgous combination from Airbus (A332 and A350?), that's an interesting possibility. After all, the AF seems to think it was worthwhile to order only 60 KC-10s (makes me which we'd bought the KC-11 when we had the chance!).

I'd be curious to hear others' thoughts on a 767/777 or 767/A332 mix or split order.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:57 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 46):
If it were me, I'd start looking for a money trail or personal favors. There's just no other plausible explanation.

(Note: my comment is directed at the unbelievably unfair manner in which the selection process was conducted, not against Airbus.)



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 46):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
and makes me wonder what the impetus was to get the Airbus within the Air Force.

If it were me, I'd start looking for a money trail or personal favors. There's just no other plausible explanation.

(Note: my comment is directed at the unbelievably unfair manner in which the selection process was conducted, not against Airbus.)



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 47):
Usually there's sweetheart deals and kickbacks all around. One wonders if maybe Boeing had to be more careful this time in that regard due to the costs of last time, and it cost them in the decision.

Direct competition is the only and best way to actually get the best product for the right price. This wasn't anything about "trying to get Airbus into the Air Force". This was Northrop wisely seeing an opportunity and taking it. Its just an airframe and while it appears that many can't get the idea through their heads, this is Northrop selling a solution to the AF not some foreign company.

The best thing for the US is to have real competition in this bid. We buy radios from Italy, we buy armor from Britain, we buy guns from Germany, why should this be different?

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:57 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 52):
Point for Boeing and it backers. The USAF made administrative errors according to GOA.

The tone / wording of the GOA surprizes me. What are the GOA? Is it government?

The GAO is the investigative arm of the Legislative Branch (Congress.)
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
CX747
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:14 pm

How on earth is the GAO's ruling in favor of Boeing and win for Bin Laden? In all actuality, Boeing is on of Bin Laden's biggest haters. Their F-15E, F/A-18C, F/A-18E/F, KC-135, KC-10, B-1, B-52 and CH-47 are all working hard to find him.

The USAF is getting knocked around something silly. The new secretary needs to get on this RFP and fast.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
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scbriml
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:17 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
No, the USAF had better pay Boeing now.

There's absolutely no reason why they should. The GAO clearly states the AF have to pay Boeing's appeal costs IF they win a rebid.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
The USAF will not get airplanes from this contract.

Again, the current contract only needs to be cancelled in the event of Boeing winning a rebid, so AFAICS, they could still end up with the AF.

Quote:
that if Boeing’s proposal is ultimately selected for award, the Air Force should terminate the contract awarded to Northrop Grumman; and that the Air Force reimburse Boeing the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Isn't that an oxymoron anyway - "reasonable attorneys' fees"?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
redflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:29 pm



Quoting KennyK (Reply 49):
You seem so tied up in the legality of everything and contractualising of everything I'm surprised anything ever gets finished.

We're tied up in the concept of fairness, albeit it takes a lot of lawyers sometimes to ensure the fairness is present.  Wink

Quoting Tugger (Reply 54):
This wasn't anything about "trying to get Airbus into the Air Force".

Have you read the GAO's findings? Among other things, it says:

Quote:
"The Air Force conducted misleading and unequal discussions with Boeing"

If that's not "trying to get Airbus (or EADS) into the Air Force" then what is?
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.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:30 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 6):

Of course, this is all going to make the whole deal seem tainted, no matter who wins in the end.

It has been tainted ever since the first scandal broke. I believe that the AF was burned by the first deal, and leaned over backwards to be fair to Airbus, with the result that they ended up being unfair to Boeing. Oh, well, crap happens. I still think that, for a number of reasons, that a plane as vital to our military as the tanker should be domestically produced if at all possible. But I do not think we should overpay for it, especially when there is essentially only one domestic manufacturer capable of building it.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
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Moose135
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:30 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):

Why? The KC-135 is still a very safe and effective, combat proven airplane. Even if the KC-45A had been bought, the KC-135R would still be in the USAF inventory, as a front line asset until at least 2045.

Thanks, I was beginning to think I was the only one who remembered this. To hear some people tell it, you would think that all the -135s were being retired at the end of 2008 and the USAF won't have anything to replace it...

Quoting Flighty (Reply 51):
I want to take this moment to congratulate Bin Laden on this excellent blow to the USA's military capability.

Without the KC-45, the USA will find it more difficult to find, or attack Mr. Bin Laden.

Wow, this is so far out of left field, I don't even know what to think! Because clearly, without these 150 or so new tankers (scheduled for purchase over the next 10+ years) the US doesn't have any military capability. Just one more "if we don't...the terrorists win" scare tactic.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
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scbriml
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:36 pm



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 60):
I still think that, for a number of reasons, that a plane as vital to our military as the tanker should be domestically produced if at all possible. But I do not think we should overpay for it, especially when there is essentially only one domestic manufacturer capable of building it.

Then, unless you're prepared to have a competition and accept the possibility that Boeing might not win, you might as well bend over and brace yourself.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
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Moose135
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:37 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 57):
The GAO clearly states the AF have to pay Boeing's appeal costs IF they win a rebid.

From the release Stratofortress posted:

We also recommended that the Air Force reimburse Boeing the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Doesn't say anything about if Boeing wins the rebid. The line before this one says that if Boeing wins the re-bid, "the Air Force should terminate the contract awarded to Northrop Grumman".
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:42 pm

For my information; can the GOA be considered a political institution or are they independent of congress?
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
TropicBird
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:47 pm

Don't forget there is another protest still pending on this contract with the GAO. I wonder what impact that may have when the GAO decides?
 
rwessel
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:01 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 63):
For my information; can the GOA be considered a political institution or are they independent of congress?



The Government Accountability Office (GAO, not GOA), works for Congress, but is non-partisan, and is generally well thought of as impartial and thorough in its investigations. The GAO is structured to be a professional organization, with a high degree of independence. For example, the head of the GAO (“Comptroller General of the United States”) serves a 15 year term, and is appointed in a way that makes serious partisanship in the office difficult.

Edit: and they've something of a reputation for not caring whose toes they step on during an investigation.

[Edited 2008-06-18 15:03:44]
 
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scbriml
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:03 pm



Quoting Moose135 (Reply 61):
Doesn't say anything about if Boeing wins the rebid.

Indeed, I misread the clause, they are not interrelated. We were both quoting from the same document though.  blush 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:03 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 63):
For my information; can the GOA be considered a political institution or are they independent of congress?

Can you please get it right? G.A.O. Government Accountability Office.

GAO is ostensibly there to ensure that the Executive Branch is acting according to the wishes of Congress. It is not intended to be independent of Congress but is part of the process of Checks and Balances.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:05 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
The USAF has 60 days to respond to this GAO report. If they are smart, the first thing they should do today is issue a "stop all work order" on the KC-45A contract. That means EADS will need to do something else with the A-330s now in storage for the USAF, and NG cannot begin their factory construction in Mobil, AL.

Why can't NG continue with the factory construction ? Is it illegal to build a factory in the US in advance of having a use for it.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):

NG already has a stop work order on these airplanes. The sub, EADS, has chosen to ignor that order and continue to build them. The USAF needs to fine NG for not having control over their sub.

In the past many military planes were private ventures by manufacturers with the prototypes fully funded from their own means. It is to the advantage of any Government to have the opportunity to view the finished article without having to pay for it. As long as the US taxpayer isn't having to pay for these, whats the problem ?
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:10 pm



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 68):
Why can't NG continue with the factory construction ? Is it illegal to build a factory in the US in advance of having a use for it.

Because EADS was holding out the carrot of building all A330-200Fs and all future A330MRTTs (for other nations) in Mobile if they won the KC-45 deal. If they do not get the deal, then they do not have to do that and have no reason to build the plant.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
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Moose135
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:10 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 67):
Indeed, I misread the clause, they are not interrelated. We were both quoting from the same document though. blush

It's OK, reading some of those government documents can be enough to give you a headache  Smile
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:42 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 52):
The USAF made administrative errors according to GOA.

Congratulation on trying to downplay this. It was a lot more than "administrative errors." Read the GAO press release and you'll see that it was a lot more serious than "administrative errors."

Quoting KennyK (Reply 49):
Thank heavens you Americans weren't responsible for developing the wheel or we would still be waiting for it. You seem so tied up in the legality of everything and contractualising of everything I'm surprised anything ever gets finished.

Well we get more things done than you Brits.
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
 
FlyUSCG
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:53 pm



Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 43):
I really hope that Northrop/EADS wins through in the end

Well glad to know you don't have any bias in this Yeah sure

Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 43):
Boeing made their nest and selected the wrong materials

Well according to this official government report (made by people who know A LOT more than you), they didn't.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 48):
Not sure where that leaves Airbus but perhaps they'd offer A321s

The 321 is a dog in every sense of the word. For those of you that have taken off in one out of PHX or LAS while full in the summer heat, you know what I mean.

Quoting KennyK (Reply 49):
You seem so tied up in the legality of everything and contractualising of everything I'm surprised anything ever gets finished

So are you saying the legality of something isn't really important to you? I mean you basically just said airbus should throw in an envelope with a few million dollars under the table when they bid next time. And not like Europe is some shining example of industrial efficiency that you can sit here and criticize the US.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 51):

Perhaps the most ridiculous statement in any of these forums at the moment.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 52):
Issue is the 767 is old and increasingly parked in the desert. That's why there is a 787

Right, because Boeing is offering the exact same model 767 that rolled off the assembly line 25 years ago (or however long it was). You pro-Airbus people are so hung up on this ILLUSION of an "old" plane. The KC-767 would be BRAND NEW built airplanes with much upgraded technology.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 52):
Boeing better comes up with something better

Well in a round about way, according to this report, they did. If they didn't I don't think it would be an issue. Why the need to favor Airbus if they already have the better product.
Go Trojans! Fight On!
 
NYC777
Topic Author
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:02 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 52):
Issue is the 767 is old and increasingly parked in the desert. That's why there is a 787.

Funny, if the Air Force had adhered to it's own rules then the 767 would have been selected over the A330.
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:07 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 48):
Not sure where that leaves Airbus but perhaps they'd offer A321s and A330-200s in concert.

I can't see the AF being interested in anything smaller than a KC-135, which any A32x or 737 based tanker would be. KC-30 or KC-767 will be the smallest tanker the AF goes for.

Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 72):
The 321 is a dog in every sense of the word.

Indeed. It probably explains why Airbus has only sold 717 of them.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
Curt22
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:09 pm



Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 2):
The wording from the GAO was a bit scathing.

That's the most scathing review I've ever heard of...they did everything but call the AF team either utterly incompetent, or utterly corrupt in their decision...another dark day for the USAF.

Link to the GAO press release...a redacted version of the full 69 page report should follow in a couple of weeks.

http://www.gao.gov/press/press-boeing2008jun18_3.pdf
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:11 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 62):
Then, unless you're prepared to have a competition and accept the possibility that Boeing might not win, you might as well bend over and brace yourself.

That, indeed, is the dilemma.  banghead   banghead 
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
Curt22
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:19 pm



Quoting KennyK (Reply 49):
Thank heavens you Americans weren't responsible for developing the wheel or we would still be waiting for it

That's pretty funny and more than a bit true...also more than a bit true is that every single post by someone who's screen name carries a flag from an EU nation is upset by this decision, and equally true that in the months leading up to this decision all EU members posters were beside themselves at the idea that anyone would question the A330.

Like it or not...you can no longer dismiss the reasons why people were puzzled by the selection of the A330...no one is confused anymore...just stunned at the utter incompetence of the USAF source selection team.
 
dougbr2006
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:20 pm



Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 72):
Well according to this official government report (made by people who know A LOT more than you), they didn't

So you are telling me that the USAF opted for the KC45 even though the KC767 was the better machine. I think the people who made the decisions were not just looking at dollars, they were probably looking at future capabilities of the aircraft, yes they say the KC767 was slightly cheaper to operate over its life, but the KC45 can lift more in all respects, thats why it burns more fuel in doing so, but you can deliver more,

Therefore I don't see the logic of this argument about how much it costs in paper calculations of an office.

It should all boil down to if its carrying troops, how many how far how much, If its cargo, how heavy how far how much, If its offload fuel, how much how far how long. No one really knows what type of operations these aircraft will really do over the next 50 years. The world may enter a peaceful time, where these aircraft will probably be transporting rather than refueling, or in conflict where fuel is the main function.

In this the larger aircraft that can carry out diverse functions will probably work out cheaper in the long term, depending on the utilization of the airframe.
 
Curt22
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:27 pm



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 68):
Why can't NG continue with the factory construction ? Is it illegal to build a factory in the US in advance of having a use for it.

Sure they can build the plant at their own risk, there will be no taxpayer dollars awarded for this or any other KC-X purpose.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 68):
In the past many military planes were private ventures by manufacturers with the prototypes fully funded from their own means. It is to the advantage of any Government to have the opportunity to view the finished article without having to pay for it. As long as the US taxpayer isn't having to pay for these, whats the problem ?

I wish we saw more of this today...very tired of seeing the taxpayers get screwed coming and going...first in time, energy and cost of building requirments, then the fiasco's of protests where vendors have no risk should they lose the protest...of course, don't seem like GAO has found any USAF programs they like.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:31 pm



Quoting Curt22 (Reply 77):
an EU nation is upset by this decision, and equally true that in the months leading up to this decision all EU members posters were beside themselves at the idea that anyone would question the A330.

 checkmark   checkmark 


Never say never, what could not be, has come to be. the GAO has finally spoken.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
dragon6172
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:43 pm



Quoting KennyK (Reply 49):
Thank heavens you Americans weren't responsible for developing the wheel or we would still be waiting for it.

Now thats funny right there, I don't care who ya are!

How about a 767/787 proposal. Starting with the 767 and moving to the 787 when it becomes operational and proves itself. If it does not prove itself you either extend the 767 buy or hold another competition.
Phrogs Phorever
 
rwessel
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:46 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 73):
Funny, if the Air Force had adhered to it's own rules then the 767 would have been selected over the A330.

Mind you that the GAO report said no such thing - they agreed with Boeing that there were flaws in some parts of the Air Force's handling and evaluation of the bids. That does not mean that if the USAF reran the process properly, that the NG/EADS bid would, or would not, win.
 
FlyUSCG
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:56 pm



Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 78):
So you are telling me that the USAF opted for the KC45 even though the KC767 was the better machine

I think thats exactly what this report says. As I already mentioned, why the need to tilt the tables in favor of Airbus if they already had the better airplane? The AF lying to Boeing, unfairly counting stuff against Boeing while boosting things that didn't even matter for Airbus. It all comes down to people with agendas and bribes and under the table dealings and such.

Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 78):
Therefore I don't see the logic of this argument about how much it costs in paper calculations of an office.

because...

Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 78):
No one really knows what type of operations these aircraft will really do over the next 50 years.

you answered your own question. Since you can't account for uncertainties, you need some basis for comparison so they do the best with what they can. So both companies use somewhat arbitrary numbers based on expected use.
Go Trojans! Fight On!
 
ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:01 am



Quoting Curt22 (Reply 77):
Like it or not...you can no longer dismiss the reasons why people were puzzled by the selection of the A330...no one is confused anymore...just stunned at the utter incompetence of the USAF source selection team.

I think that's the crux.

The KC-45 is a damn fine aircraft.

The thing is, the KC-767 is pretty much exactly what the AF asked for (at least a lot closer than the KC-45), and the KC-45 was MORE than they asked for (including more expensive). It shouldn't have won on those criteria, and the GAO makes this quite clear. The GAO basically says that there is no reward for bidding on a project by providing more than the government asks for, for more money, and the AF was wrong for ignoring their own RFP.

The reason many of us couldn't understand how the KC-45 won was because the KC-45 (or an A333 version of it, at least) seems far more suitable as the KC-10 replacement, which is not what was being bid. And last year, Boeing caught wind of the fact that the AF was considering this "overbuilt" plane seriously, and asked if the 777F should be presented, but depending on who you believe, were encouraged to continue with the 762 based KC-767.

But, had the AF received the bids and realized that they really liked the KC-45 based on what it was (the optimistic view of what happened), the proper procedure would be to begin the process of canceling the RFP and starting a new one. Maybe that's something that is really hard to do in the AF procurement game, but just changing it midstream is not allowed, and the AF screwed the pooch.

And now, it's going to be harder to justify a win for the KC-45 in the future even if they redefine the RFP to be closer to it…
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kc135topboom
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:04 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 52):
Point for Boeing and it backers. The USAF made administrative errors according to GOA.

No, it did not make "administration errors". The USAF stacked the deck against Boeing, in favor of EADS. In the US, that is against the law, in the EU is this just a normal business practice?

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 57):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
No, the USAF had better pay Boeing now.

There's absolutely no reason why they should. The GAO clearly states the AF have to pay Boeing's appeal costs IF they win a rebid.

The official GAO press release:

http://www.gao.gov/press/boeingstmt.pdf

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 57):
Isn't that an oxymoron anyway - "reasonable attorneys' fees"?

LOL, on that, my friend, we agree.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 68):
Why can't NG continue with the factory construction ? Is it illegal to build a factory in the US in advance of having a use for it.

Becasuse they no longer have an agreement with the government.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 68):
In the past many military planes were private ventures by manufacturers with the prototypes fully funded from their own means. It is to the advantage of any Government to have the opportunity to view the finished article without having to pay for it. As long as the US taxpayer isn't having to pay for these, whats the problem ?

But, these airplanes have been paid for by the USAF. When the contract was signed, the USAF paid $10.5B for the four SDDs, and long lead parts for 65 production airplanes. For that, the USAF must issue a stop work order, and the money moves to escrow.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 74):
Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 72):
The 321 is a dog in every sense of the word.

Indeed. It probably explains why Airbus has only sold 717 of them.

That's right, the A-321 is a short ranged under powered B-757.
 
columbia107
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:04 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 29):
wonder what John McCain is going to have to say now that this flawed process has played out?

John McCain only wanted to see a fair competition.

Regrettably it has not been, due to the USAF hierachy who were prepared to change the rules to favour NG's proposal.

At least that is what the GAO's conclusions appear to indicate.
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ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:08 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 86):
Becasuse they no longer have an agreement with the government.

I would assume that Airbus can continue to build the KC-30s, but that they would not be turned over to NG. They don't become KC-45s until they go to NG control.
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Tugger
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:11 am



Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 83):
I think thats exactly what this report says. As I already mentioned, why the need to tilt the tables in favor of Airbus if they already had the better airplane? The AF lying to Boeing, unfairly counting stuff against Boeing while boosting things that didn't even matter for Airbus. It all comes down to people with agendas and bribes and under the table dealings and such.

I disagree, just because they screwed up and handled the bid process poorly does not mean that they were tilting it in favor of Airbus.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 84):
The thing is, the KC-767 is pretty much exactly what the AF asked for (at least a lot closer than the KC-45), and the KC-45 was MORE than they asked for (including more expensive).

Can you please state the bid prices of each aircraft? I have not seen one and have always been curious how much each one cost.

Thanks,

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
CX747
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:15 am

The utter incompetence of certain people in the USAF is amazing. The entire competition seems to have been run like a dog and pony show. It seems that the Air Force bent over backward and through their legs for NG/EADS on this one. If you remember, they actually re-drew the RFP so that NG/EADS wouldn't pull their product entirely out of the competition!

If you think that people on this forum were confused as to how the A330 won, then you haven't read anything! You should have seen certain AF pilot forums. Guys were just about ready to fall out of their chairs in disbelief. They knew that something fishy was going on but not to the extremes that the brass were doing. This isn't to say that the A330 tanker isn't a fine aircraft. It is just the fact that what the AF asked for and what they purchased were almost two seperate things.

Let's hope that the 3rd time around is a charm for the USAF and a new tanker. I really have no idea what Boeing should offer or what NG should do. Both of their designs go about doing the same job in different manners. One has more gas, the other has a smaller foot print and the list goes on and on. An issue that has not been brought up, is the fact that the 717 design does more than serve as tankers. Their ability to fulfill many different missions has to be of importance to the AF. Can both the 767 and A330 fit the recon/radar/universal test platform mold?

Either way, I still love seeing those KC-135s out on the flight line in the desert. It is a testament to their design that over 40+ years after they rolled off the line, many of them are still flying, fighting and winning the battles that we throw them into. While we sit around and wait for this new tanker fiasco to be fixed, it might be worth our while to re-engine a few more KC-135Es. Heck, while why don't we just have Boeing restart KC-135 production?


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FlyUSCG
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:16 am



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 74):
Indeed. It probably explains why Airbus has only sold 717 of them.

It might work well on short-range european sectors (which I believe was the original intention), but it's not designed for long range, heavy loads. The AF doesn't have the luxury of buying a plane that can only operate in cool climates with 11,000 feet of runway. Like I said earlier, if you've ever been in a fully loaded 321 in PHX in the summer, you can definitely feel the lack of performance. But alas, this thread isn't about the 321.
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ikramerica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:18 am



Quoting Tugger (Reply 88):
Can you please state the bid prices of each aircraft? I have not seen one and have always been curious how much each one cost.

I can't, but the GAO, as part of this review, determined that "fuzzy math" was used to make it seem like the KC-45 was cost competitive over program life, when it is clear to them that the KC-767 is less expensive. At least that's how I understand it.

Now, do you get more bang for the buck with the KC-45? Maybe, but unfortunately, government bids are not usually based on that.
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Tugger
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:24 am



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 91):
Now, do you get more bang for the buck with the KC-45? Maybe, but unfortunately, government bids are not usually based on that.

Thanks. I really want to see a number, I really suspect that Northrop gave as low a number as possible for price while Boeing did not (expecting that they had to win) making the price difference much narrower than otherwise would be.


And trust me, you can write a justification up up almost anyway you want to, especially if the situation is as it appears to be (KC767 cheaper per airframe, KC30 cheaper for overall capability).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:51 am



Quoting Tugger (Reply 88):
Can you please state the bid prices of each aircraft? I have not seen one and have always been curious how much each one cost.

In the redacted report (69 pages) that comes out in a few weeks, the pricing and other propriority information will be blacked out. But, clearly, the GAO says the B-767AT is a lower cost option over the KC-45A. They are auditors (okay, and lawyers).
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:22 am



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 60):
I still think that, for a number of reasons, that a plane as vital to our military as the tanker should be domestically produced if at all possible.

Mobile, Alabama is an American city. Northrop Grumman is an American Corporation. Even EADS North America is headquartered in Virginia! There isn't a huge difference in the American composition levels for each aircraft either.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 44):
ut then try to get funding for the project with this congress

IIRC, The project has already been fully funded by Congress.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
first thing they should do today is issue a "stop all work order" on the KC-45A contract. That means EADS will need to do something else with the A-330s now in storage for the USAF, and NG cannot begin their factory construction in Mobil, AL.

There has been a stop work order issued - that was announced with Boeing's protest. Also of note, Northrop has not announced its intention to postpone the groundbreaking at Brookley Field - scheduled for next Friday.

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 73):
Funny, if the Air Force had adhered to it's own rules then the 767 would have been selected over the A330.

Where'd you read that? What I read, especially the last portion of the press release, indicated quite the contrary.
 
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:42 am



Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 72):

Perhaps the most ridiculous statement in any of these forums at the moment.

Really? Can you tell me how we will ever get tankers in the sky if our contractors keep preventing our warriors from fighting wars?

Don't you know a good lawyer can stop any contract?

Don't you know a good lawyer for EADS will stop Boeing's award the next time around? Meanwhile, the USAF's power will grow weaker. Not because of the USAF's human faults. But because the US court system has finally begun to end our military.

By judiciously pursing all avenues, Boeing (or I) can bring any contract to a screeching halt. Maybe this is the best way to dismantle our airforce.

Remember, I think it is very serious that our tanker is 10 years behind schedule. I also regret that an inferior product -- Boeing -- a company with criminal histories in this program -- has overruled the United States Air Force's own determinations of what they want.

Talk about the tail wagging the dog. I wonder how we will ever actually fight wars. Wouldn't it be hilarious if Iran bought the KC-30 and enjoyed superior operational results. Or more realistically, how about China? I think they would be very happy to tout their tankers "superior to the newest American technology (sic)" since obviously the 767 is from the early 1980s, anyway.

Literally, if we have this pissy dust-up over aerial drones, their deployment would CEASE and we would have no more drones. Then we can demagogue and puppeteer all we like, as Osama laughs on the other side of the world. Have we forgotten this is about war, not usurping the USAF's ability to fight a war? And they are called incompetent... interesting.
 
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:47 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 95):
Remember, I think it is very serious that our tanker is 10 years behind schedule. I also regret that an inferior product -- Boeing -- a company with criminal histories in this program -- has overruled the United States Air Force's own determinations of what they want.

Don't get so high and mighty about EADS, considering that this GAO ruling only one of two bits of bad news regarding that firm today. Remember what that other news item is about.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
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NAV20
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:50 am

The Seattle Times has a pretty good summary of the basis of the decision (probably they have quite good local contacts  ). The part that caught my eye in particular was:-

"The Air Force...... made unreasonable estimates of the cost of constructing runways, ramps and hangars needed for the larger Airbus jet, which led to the conclusion that Northrop offered lower total program costs --- when in fact Boeing's overall cost was lower."

It struck me as odd from the very beginning that the Air Force appeared pretty 'relaxed' about the fact that the Northrop/EADS aircraft could only operate from a minority (from memory, I think only 35%?) of the airfields that it is currently using world-wide.

If they really failed to do a careful assessment of the financial (and, in the case of overseas bases, diplomatic) difficulties of up-grading all those bases, with longer runways, bigger hangars, and all the rest, then it's no WONDER the GAO 'shot them down.'

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...nology/2008004116_webboeing18.html

[Edited 2008-06-18 18:52:45]
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:13 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 97):
It struck me as odd from the very beginning that the Air Force appeared pretty 'relaxed' about the fact that the Northrop/EADS aircraft could only operate from a minority (from memory, I think only 35%?) of the airfields that it is currently using world-wide.

How dare you bring facts into the case! Don't you know that Keesje's pride has been sullied?
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
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FlyUSCG
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:13 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 95):
Can you tell me how we will ever get tankers in the sky if our contractors keep preventing our warriors from fighting wars?

Maybe ask the actual KC-135 crew members on this very thread who have said here (and hundreds of times before) that the KC-135 is still going VERY STRONG and is slated to remain in service for several more DECADES! This "tanker shortage" is just an illusion painted by the EADS cheerleaders, along with the same weak "the 767 is old" argument.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 95):
I also regret that an inferior product -- Boeing

Well this GAO report would say otherwise. And as other have already stated, Boeing met the AF requirements but then the AF changes them and basically hands the deal to NG/EADS on false pretenses.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 95):
a company with criminal histories in this program

Source? I'm not saying they haven't done questionable things. But to call them criminal in a way that gets NG/EADS off scot-free is ludicrous.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 95):
has overruled the United States Air Force's own determinations of what they want.

Well the GAO clearly demonstrated that the Air Force DOESN'T KNOW what it wants! They tell Boeing one thing, then tell Airbus another that gets them the contract. The Air Force brass has displayed such an incredible amount of incompetence here it is amazing. If it wasn't for the GAO, we would be signing a contract for a plane that is WRONG as a KC-135 replacement and one that is more expensive than the competition.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 95):
Wouldn't it be hilarious if Iran bought the KC-30 and enjoyed superior operational results. Or more realistically, how about China? I think they would be very happy to tout their tankers "superior to the newest American technology (sic)"

So what, Iran or China has an A-330 tanker. Just becuase you have a new build tanker doesn't mean you have any chance at winning a war. We would wipe the floor with both China and Iran in a war and frankly, an A330 doesn't have some magical ability to out fly a Sidewinder or Sparrow.

*and once again the spellchack has magically disappeared so I apologize for any typos. gotta love the new site!  Yeah sure
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