|Quoting TropicBird (Reply 316):|
After reading the GAO decision. It appears this is truly a major mess and that trying to avoid this from happening again will be difficult at best. Based on the GAO's interpretation of the RFP - it seems to me that the RFP was written with the "right size" 767 in mind.
It was written in such a way that the additional fuel and cargo carrying benefits of the KC-30 (or any of the other larger aircraft considered in the AoA) would not be given extra credit. Any capabilities that exceeded the KPP "objective" were not supposed to receive extra points. For example - since both aircraft exceeded the key fueling "objective" - the KC-30's extra fuel capacities and offload range were not supposed to be given credit (as they were - see footnote 45 on page 31).
With a new RFP the USAF could clarify this parameter so that extra credit is given but guess what? Boeing will probably just offer a larger aircraft and beat the A330 (or a 340) with the extra points and if the language is left the way it currently is - the 767 may prevail.
Some of the mismatch in capabilities can be offset in a complicated 'give and take' called "trade space" but the RFP has to be "clear" on what is given credit and how.
I have already stated here that the USAF
"screwed up the procedures" when conducting their evaluations of the two bids. That remains a shame but they have to accept it I guess.
But TropicBird makes a very good point here in my opinion. The superiority of the A330-MRTT, combined with the lack of a mechanism to award this superiority in the RFP, was the reason that the by so many heavily criticised paragraph for awarding the extra points was put in the RFP on request by NG
Because their bid basically did not stand a chance since the RFP was always written with a B767 as the base platform in mind. I have yet to read the full version GAO report (sorry, busy at the office
) but I think to have heard or seen somewhere that this extra points paragraph was criticised by the GAO as well.
But without that paragraph NG
-EADS could never get their superiority awarded and would loose from the start. They even threatened to pull out of the bidding if this paragraph was not in the bid since the original RFP was still "more or less" written for the B767. As we know the aircraft earlier selected in the cancelled lease deal.
Although Boeing did not formally protested against this paragraph, it knew that it would influence the chances on their almost guaranteed win. Still they proclaimed themselves to be superior, even in the areas they were beaten by the NG
|Quoting Beta (Reply 318):|
After reading the entire GAO report, it seems to me the KC 30 is a technically superior performer, but evaluating against the RFP solicitation criteria, the KC 767 would have to be favoured.
You are completely right. And although the USAF
made severe mistakes (although I have read here somewhere in the many posts that "only" 7 out of the 76 protests filed by Boeing were awarded by the GAO, all the other were dismissed) the USAF
probably liked the NG
-EADS bid better and better as the evaluating process went along.
Even if the RFP in itself only called for a medium sized tanker with capabilities, the significantly larger A330-MRTT platform was exceeding the capabilities of both the KC
-135 (by far) and the B767-AT (by a smaller but still significant margin). But officially the A330-MRTT is still ranked as a medium sized platform.
My guess is that after evaluating the bids, the USAF
was so fond of the performance and possibilities of the NG
-EADS bid that they might have lost sight on the procedures they themselves drafted in the RFP.
They probably were realizing (too late) that the plane and the bid they liked better was not the plane they initially "asked" for when the specs for the RFP were drawn up! Now, if the USAF
still wants the superior platform, which NG
can and will also turn into the superior tanker, they will adapt the RFP in a way it is much less biased towards the B767. They would for once favor NG
-EADS is the bid instead of Boeing!
Because i have to repeat that the initial RFP was always heavily biased and gave Boeing the strong impression that they could not loose, even after the USAF
announced to add the paragraph for awarding extra points in the RFP.
Boeing clearly demonstrated their overconfidence by the fact that they were already celebrating in several cities who would benefit from a Boeing win even before the initial decision about the outcome of bid was made public! Some here on this forum seem to have suddenly forgotten that arrogant behavior, or never even bothered to mentioned it because it did not suit their agendas.
-EADS will try their best to remain the winner. But backed by the GAO report on the policies of the USAF
(remember: the GAO said nothing about the qualities of the contesting airframes) Boeing will no doubt better its offer also. They probably put in some better developed and non-developed parts and they will now have more time to finish designing or redesigning the parts that were still on the drawing board. So at least the GAO decision has given them a second chance and more time to get their act together.
So the race is on again! I personally hope the USAF
will still go with the better and way more modern airplane. (Although some here are also easily ignoring this fact too, to their convenience in order to strengthen their arguments. But the B767 will always be technically inferior to the A330-MRTT platform.)
If the RFP is changed in a way the performance of the A330-MRTT is better reflected, and the bias towards the B767 platform is taken out, the USAF
can still select and order the plane they want.
But I am not predicting any outcome of any rebidding processes the USAF
has to conduct. Twice they made "a mess" out of it. Why not a third time?