|Quoting Agill (Reply 168):
I just can't imagine how it'll be possible to set up criteria that doesn't give one or the other plane an unfair advantage since the planes are quite different in capabilities.
-30A appears to meet all the requirements of the RFP and exceeded many of them. However, that extra performance and capability costs more, both to initially acquire and to operate over the life of the airframe (which will be decades, if not scores, of years).
As someone noted up-thread, most DOD awards are given to the lowest bidder who meets the minimum requirements.
As such, even though the KC
-30A does more then the KC
-767 Advanced, the fact is the KC
-767 Advanced still meets all of the RFP requirements and does so at a lower cost. As such, it should have won the RFP as defined.
That the USAF
was willing to adjust the RFP criteria to ensure the KC
-30A the win should be seen as a compliment to the KC
-30A. It proves the argument put forward by supporters that it is the better plane, even if it is the more expensive option. However, many of those same people castigated the USAF
and Boeing for doing the same thing (to a more extreme level) in awarding the original KC
-45A lease deal to Boeing. What goes around tends to sometimes come around.
Unfortunately, I don't see how NG
and EADS can legally get the price of the KC
-30A down to a level it would come in cheaper then Boeing's offer. I would like to think that Boeing improving their product to a 767-300F/767-400 hybrid would make the price even cheaper since there would be less design work and less risk to bring to market, while presenting a product superior in performance to the KC
-767 Advanced. It won't be as good as the KC
-30A, but it will be better then the KC
-767 Advanced. And I expect the civilian version will be a superior performer to the 767-200LRF, which would help fill out the line when a KC
-45A is not in production.
Fortunately, unlike an NG
/EADS win, a Boeing win is not a guaranteed NG
/EADS loss. The USAF
is strongly interested in the KC
-30A platform, so I believe there is a solid foundation for a separate KC
-30A order down the road, especially should EADS start building A330-200Fs in Mobile, which will negate the "made in France" argument a great deal since NG
and EADS will be able to show how many US jobs are currently building A330-200Fs and would therefore also be building KC
It would be more economical to operate the KC
-30A then the KC
-10A Extender and a mixed fleet of say 200 KC
-45As and 50 KC
-30As would offer the USAF
one heck of a tanker and freighter force.
[Edited 2008-06-19 17:58:17]