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Ken777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:12 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 291):
Putting all bureaucratic & legal paperwork aside I think it is plain clear to everyone what is the best proposal.

Keesje, while I know you prefer the 330 over the 767 and it appears that some in the AF do also. Unfortunately it comes down to money. While AF generals believe it is simply a matter of printing more money that is not the case. As our economy shows, things aren't very good over here and funds for the tanker are in competition with other AF projects and the needs of the Navy, Marines, Army and Coast Guard.

The tanker funds are also in competition with other government programs, like rebuilding bridges that have collapsed (killing a few people) or are ready to collapse, funding health care for children and indigent individuals, helping the new flood victims as well as getting more infrastructure help Katrina victims, and so on. The list of non tanker needs is rather long and the AF seems to be oblivious to non-tanker needs.

If the Boeing costs plus future infrastructure costs are lower then they should get the contract. If the AF pushes the KC-30 through then funds for the planes and future infrastructure upgrades should be limited to what the comparative Boeing + infrastructure costs would have been. That might limit the KC-30 somewhat, but it puts the AF on notice that costs are important and their new tanker program will operate with the lowest costs available.

Under a total limited funding for the tanker and infrastructure upgrades I could accept the KC-30, with reduced quantities and limited deployment to locations that can be upgraded within restricted infrastructure funds.

I'm not anti-Airbus in this tanker deal - I served in the Navy and am pro-Navy. Also tend to support more funding for troops on the ground - especially after reading about people who were sending body armor to their family members serving in Iraq because the previous SecDef was such a jerk.

In the final analysis, when you look at a tanker decision look at the money, and the cheapest option that meets the criteria.
 
withak
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:22 pm

I have been apprehensive to put my opinions forward on this issue but I think I will give it a go. To start with I would like to say that I think both the KC-767 and KC-30 are both very capable aircraft and would both make excellent tankers. In saying that I do feel that the KC-30 is the more capable aircraft. However, this in my mind does not necessarily make the KC-30 the best aircraft for the RFP the USAF issued. Deciding which tanker is the best according to the RFP is a job for the USAF, not me and I have to delusions in thinking that any opinion I may form is in any way more informed that the USAF. However, according to the GAO the way in which the USAF conducted the contest was not correct and took issue to some of the actions that the USAF took is awarding the contest to the KC-30.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 293):
It's not like a RFP dictates what to offer. Boeing likely also choose to not fulfill every requirement strictly. As far as I have experiences thats always the case with negotiations, it's normal business.

I would like to question Keesje on his interpretation of what an RFP is and what the minimum requirements of this RFP were. There is a very simple table near the start of the GAO report which states what the minimum performance requirements for the RFP were. This means that to be awarded the competition a bid must be able to meet these requirements and are not negotiable. I am not willing to comment on whether Boeing fulfilled the minimum requirements and it was not the job of the GOA either. What has been found by the GAO was that the KC-30 did not meet these requirements in regards to being able to perform "Air refueling of all current and programmed fixed wing receiver aircraft."

Quoting Keesje (Reply 298):
When I go for a new car, it has to be fast, cheap, powerfull & efficient, good looking and functional and most of all safe & reliable. Thats where it starts..

This statement seems particularly strange to me. Lets say that a car you are considering does not meet all of these criteria. Does this mean that you will not consider purchasing it?
(On a totally unrelated note I would love to see a version of that spider chart showing the minimum requirements for the RFP as the balanced circle rather than the KC-30.)

Quoting Alien (Reply 281):
The odds are more likely that the AF will agree wit the GAO and procure the KC-767 since it in fact would have won the competition and it would be faster and cheaper to procure.

This is not what the GAO said. You quoted in your own post that the GAO said "we believe that Boeing would have had a substantial chance of being selected for award." Would have and substantial chance are two completely things.

My own conclusion from the GAO report is that the USAF saw an aircraft that it really wanted in the KC-30 and understandably so, it looks like it will be an outstanding aircraft. The problem was that according to the USAF's own RFP the KC-30 was not the winner. As a result the USAF decided to skew the process and chose the KC-30 anyway. To me it looks likely that if the RFP was followed to its every last word the KC-767 would have won as it appears at this stage to have fulfilled all requirements and come in at a lower price which is what the RFP asked for. If the USAF wishes to issue a new RFP that favours the KC-30 so be it. It is their decision to ask for the aircraft they want.

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

Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:43 pm

Thank you for the well reasoned response WithaK. Please let me point out what you yourself observed.

Quoting WithaK (Reply 301):
To me it looks likely that if the RFP was followed to its every last word the KC-767 would have won as it appears at this stage to have fulfilled all requirements and come in at a lower price which is what the RFP asked for.

I happen to agree with that statement and if that is indeed the case there should be no re-bid, the KC-767 won and that is what should be procured. The KPPs in the RFP where not formulated in a vacuum. These parameters where formulated over the course of several years by the Air Force, the government and the Rand Corporation. The latter was brought in to conduct comprehensive independent studies of what was needed in an aerial tanker. From their study came KC-X and KC-Y. The Air Force agreed with the findings and had plenty of input into the RFP.

For whatever reason, the evaluaters either ignored or misinterpreted the RFP requirements but that in no way means that the Air Force "wants" the EADS tanker. They want something and they want it now.

So the question remains, why are they re-writing the RFP and re-conducting the evaluation? If the Boeing entry meets or exceeds all RFP parameters then they should now be declared the winner.
 
withak
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:07 pm



Quoting Alien (Reply 302):
I happen to agree with that statement and if that is indeed the case there should be no re-bid, the KC-767 won and that is what should be procured. The KPPs in the RFP where not formulated in a vacuum. These parameters where formulated over the course of several years by the Air Force, the government and the Rand Corporation. The latter was brought in to conduct comprehensive independent studies of what was needed in an aerial tanker. From their study came KC-X and KC-Y. The Air Force agreed with the findings and had plenty of input into the RFP.

As far as I can tell "officially" the KC-30 won this RFP. Whether it rightfully won or not is the issue and is an issue that has to be solved by the GAO, USAF and if need be congress. I'm not to sure how the whole procurements process is the US works but I'm not sure if the USAF is able change its mind for this RFP or can be forced to select a different bid for this RFP. I may very well be wrong and if I am could somebody please let me know. What I hope doesn't happen is congress compelling the USAF purchase the KC-767 without a re-bid. I think this would set a very bad precedent but I doubt this would happen.

Quoting Alien (Reply 302):
For whatever reason, the evaluaters either ignored or misinterpreted the RFP requirements but that in no way means that the Air Force "wants" the EADS tanker. They want something and they want it now.

Obviously the individuals evaluating the bids cannot speak for the entire USAF. However, these individuals obviously saw some characteristics in the KC-30 thought would be advantageous for the USAF or would have never selected it in the circumstances they have.

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

Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:22 pm

Congress controls the purse strings. Congress can compel the Air Force to buy whatever Congress wants merely by using that power. There is plenty of precedent for this through the years.

EADS did not win the RFP and the GAO (the investigative arm of Congress) pointed out why. The EADS tanker cannot refuel every aircraft in the AF inventory and they could not commit to USAF based depot level maintenance. These where two of the KPPs that they did not meet. These where part of the minimum requirements that an entry had to meet or exceed in order to be considered the winning bid.

So again, assuming that the Boeing entry met or exceeded all KPPs then the Boing entry should be declared the winner. The bad precedent would be set if they gave EADS a second chance.
 
smeg
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:38 pm



Quoting Alien (Reply 304):
EADS did not win the RFP and the GAO (the investigative arm of Congress) pointed out why. The EADS tanker cannot refuel every aircraft in the AF inventory and they could not commit to USAF based depot level maintenance. These where two of the KPPs that they did not meet. These where part of the minimum requirements that an entry had to meet or exceed in order to be considered the winning bid.

Not wanting to put the cat amongst the pigeons, and I understand what you are saying, but......

If the KC30 is unable to satisfy the requirements of the USAF, I really, really fail to see why the USAF would "skew" the results in favour of the EADS bird.

If it was the other way round, and it was skewed in the favour of Boeing, I could understand that there may be a certain amount of patriotism involved, which would be perfectly understandable, but to skew in favour of the "European" aircraft is something that leads me to believe that they really wanted it, because they felt that it was the best plane for them!!!

I may be wrong of course!
 
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moo
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:45 pm



Quoting Alien (Reply 304):
The EADS tanker cannot refuel every aircraft in the AF inventory

You keep repeating that, even though it has been pointed out multiple times that that was not what the report said.

Getting dizzy, Alien?
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:46 pm

There is nothing in the GAO report that says the KC-767 would hav

Quoting Smeg (Reply 305):

Not wanting to put the cat amongst the pigeons, and I understand what you are saying, but......

If the KC30 is unable to satisfy the requirements of the USAF, I really, really fail to see why the USAF would "skew" the results in favour of the EADS bird.

If it was the other way round, and it was skewed in the favour of Boeing, I could understand that there may be a certain amount of patriotism involved, which would be perfectly understandable, but to skew in favour of the "European" aircraft is something that leads me to believe that they really wanted it, because they felt that it was the best plane for them!!!

I may be wrong of course!

I don't think you're wrong. I've been saying this for a while. The USAF knew the political outcome of them selecting NG/EADS - but they chose it anyway. This leads me to believe that their proposal was far far superior to Booing's offering.
 
withak
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:50 pm



Quoting Smeg (Reply 305):
Not wanting to put the cat amongst the pigeons, and I understand what you are saying, but......

If the KC30 is unable to satisfy the requirements of the USAF, I really, really fail to see why the USAF would "skew" the results in favour of the EADS bird.

If it was the other way round, and it was skewed in the favour of Boeing, I could understand that there may be a certain amount of patriotism involved, which would be perfectly understandable, but to skew in favour of the "European" aircraft is something that leads me to believe that they really wanted it, because they felt that it was the best plane for them!!!

I totally agree with this. I find it hard to believe that any military branch (or business organization for that matter) would select a product that they didn't see having a place in their inventory.


Quoting Smeg (Reply 305):
I may be wrong of course!

Sometimes it feels like everything I say is followed by that statement.

WithaK
 
dk1967
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:57 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 306):
You keep repeating that, even though it has been pointed out multiple times that that was not what the report said.

Although it did say, "3. Protest is sustained, where the record does not demonstrate the reasonableness of the agency’s determination that the awardee’s proposed aerial refueling tanker could refuel all current Air Force fixed-wing tanker-compatible receiver aircraft in accordance with current Air Force procedures, as required by the solicitation."
 
arluna
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:11 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 306):


Quoting Alien (Reply 304):
The EADS tanker cannot refuel every aircraft in the AF inventory

You keep repeating that, even though it has been pointed out multiple times that that was not what the report said.

What the report said was that the KC30 couldn't refuel every aircraft in the inventory using current Air Force proceedures. It further stated that the reason was that the KC30 couldn't achieve the speeds necessary to perform over runs and emergency breakaways. Apparently the only way the KC30 can achieve these speeds is to be in a dive and that would be very dangerous seeing as how the receiver aircraft is "BELOW" the tanker. I don't know about you but I certainly wouldn't want to be in either aircraft if the only way to get out of a bad situation is to dive toward the airplane that's below you or have the airplane above you dive at you!

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

Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:24 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 306):



Quote:
Protest is sustained, where the record does not demonstrate the reasonableness of the agency’s determination that the awardee’s proposed aerial refueling tanker could refuel all current Air Force fixed‑wing tanker‑compatible receiver aircraft in accordance with current Air Force procedures, as required by the solicitation.

How else would you interpret this finding?

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 307):
This leads me to believe that their proposal was far far superior to Booing's offering.

The aircraft may itself may be superior but what is important is which bid better fits the requirements set out in the RFP.

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

Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:34 pm



Quoting Smeg (Reply 305):
If the KC30 is unable to satisfy the requirements of the USAF, I really, really fail to see why the USAF would "skew" the results in favour of the EADS bird.

I'm sorry to say it but there is a more malicious way to interpret this. The US Air Force acquisition team was demonstrated to be corruptible during the initial tanker acquisition process. Such inattention to the second acquisition attempt leaves me wondering whether they somehow remained corruptible.
 
withak
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:38 pm



Quoting Calags (Reply 312):
I'm sorry to say it but there is a more malicious way to interpret this. The US Air Force acquisition team was demonstrated to be corruptible during the initial tanker acquisition process. Such inattention to the second acquisition attempt leaves me wondering whether they somehow remained corruptible.

Although yes it is possible that the acquisition team was corruptible I think for now it is best to assume that in this case they weren't. Until there is proof that the team was corrupted (awarding the contract to NG/EADS is not proof by the way) the presumption of innocence until proven guilty should be exercised.

WithaK
 
Ken777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:49 pm

SecDef has his first say:

"I haven't made any decisions yet, but I would say that I take the GAO report very seriously," Gates told reporters. "They clearly pointed out some areas where we were deficient."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/govern...tFilingsNews/idUKN2635758920080626

So we still wait to see what SecDef end up doing, but I would be surprised if he gives the generals an easy ride and turns his back on the GAO.
 
Alien
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:32 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 306):
You keep repeating that, even though it has been pointed out multiple times that that was not what the report said.

Getting dizzy, Alien?



Quote:
Protest is sustained, where the record does not demonstrate the reasonableness of the agency’s determination that the awardee’s proposed aerial refueling tanker could refuel all current Air Force fixed‑wing tanker‑compatible receiver aircraft in accordance with current Air Force procedures, as required by the solicitation.

With regard to the overrun issue, the record shows that Northrop Grumman was twice informed by the Air Force during discussions that the firm’s initially identified maximum operational airspeed of [Deleted] Knots Indicated Air Speed (KIAS) would not be sufficient under current Air Force overrun procedures to achieve required overrun speeds

Not only did EADS not meet two of the nine KPP thresholds, the GAO found the following about the discriminators.

Quote:
or to account for the fact that Boeing proposed to satisfy far more SRD requirements than did Northrop Grumman.

The more the GAO report is read the more it looks like Boeing should have won. I suggest you read all of it Moo before you go making comments.
http://www.gao.gov/decisions/bidpro/311344.htm
 
TropicBird
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:48 pm

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

Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:23 am

I forgot to mention - check out page 9 of the decision - it explains how the "Trade Space" concept works.
 
Beta
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:43 am

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. Most troubling reading through the report was how the AF violated some of the most basic, fundamental principles of the negotiated procurement process. I don't know whether it is due to ineptitude, or something more sinister. The whole thing just does not pass the smelling test here. What is frightening is the evaluation team leader's lack of knowledge, or understading of "maximum operating limit speed" in evaluating the mission capability of each aircrafts in his testimony, and many other similar instances. Are the AF top brass that stupid, or are they simply bought?
 
banjo76
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:28 am



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 116):
Nobody who has any knowledge of the facts has denied the fact that the Boeing plane would result in more American jobs than the NG plane. The fact is that the design of the airframe is owned by EADS, which is a European country. In the case that the EU disapproved of something that the US was doing with its military, it is entirely possible that they would embargo spare parts (or further deliveries of aircraft) for the tankers. That is the primary reason why I think it should be domestically sourced. And looking at the state of international politics, I see such a disagreement between the EU and the US as more likely than not in the future. I object to giving them that kind of leverage over us.

There is a US law, voted by your congressmen and signed by your president that says that some coutries (including the countries that develop the A330) have to be considered the same as the USA in RFPs.
If you don't like this, ok, but then change the law you Americans decided to pass.

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

Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:47 am



Quoting Banjo76 (Reply 319):
If you don't like this, ok, but then change the law you Americans decided to pass.

I suspect we will. Why should I pay for European jobs?
 
banjo76
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:29 am



Quoting Arluna (Reply 310):

What the report said was that the KC30 couldn't refuel every aircraft in the inventory using current Air Force proceedures. It further stated that the reason was that the KC30 couldn't achieve the speeds necessary to perform over runs and emergency breakaways. Apparently the only way the KC30 can achieve these speeds is to be in a dive and that would be very dangerous seeing as how the receiver aircraft is "BELOW" the tanker. I don't know about you but I certainly wouldn't want to be in either aircraft if the only way to get out of a bad situation is to dive toward the airplane that's below you or have the airplane above you dive at you!

My thought is:
how can an accountability office decide if a plane can do or can't do something, what do accountants and attorneys know about flight and aircraft requirements?
How can they say that a plane to achieve a certain speed has to dive?
Isn't this the job of the AF?
Ok GAO can use consultants, but it looks to me that GAO has not to be involved in technicalities.
It only has to verify that laws were followed.
This smells of political interest to me.

Just my  twocents 
 
withak
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:41 am



Quoting Banjo76 (Reply 321):
My thought is:
how can an accountability office decide if a plane can do or can't do something, what do accountants and attorneys know about flight and aircraft requirements?
How can they say that a plane to achieve a certain speed has to dive?
Isn't this the job of the AF?
Ok GAO can use consultants, but it looks to me that GAO has not to be involved in technicalities.
It only has to verify that laws were followed.
This smells of political interest to me.

The GAO didn't actually determine for themselves whether the KC-30 fulfilled the mission requirements. What the GAO found was that there was no evidence in the KC-30 bid that could refuel all aircraft in the USAF inventory.

Quote:
In sum, despite having identified, as an issue for the hearing, the capability of Northrop Grumman’s proposed aircraft to satisfy the airspeed requirements of this KPP threshold, we have been presented with no testimony or documented analysis that explains why simply [Deleted] on the KC-30 would ensure that the proposed aircraft would achieve required overrun airspeeds that are in excess of its FAA certified maximum airspeed.

Those [deleted] are really stating to give me the [deleted].

WithaK
 
smeg
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:56 am

Quoting Alien (Reply 320):

I suspect we will. Why should I pay for European jobs?

Finally, this I suspect is the reason for the majority of the anger from some of our US Airnetters.

Many will spin it up with regards to the "leverage" and the "hold" that the great European beast EADS will have over the USAF, ignoring the fact that NG is an American company, long term jobs will be created in America, and that maybe, just maybe the KC-30 is the better platform for future USAF operations. The thought of having a "Foreign" aircraft in the USAF is just too much for some to bear.

The fact that many US civilian operators seem to manage with Airbus products, maintaining them in US, and are very happy with them is also apparently ignored. They dont seem to be worried that Europe is about to switch off the supply chain. No, the problem here is the fact that the USAF might dare to use something that is not created by Boeing and therefore perceived to be foreign, and accordingly by definition "inferior". Fine, go with Boeing, good luck to you, and enjoy.

As I have said before I could not really care which platform the USAF use. If they want the Boeing one regardless of capability then fine. I also could not care less what platforms the Royal Air Force use here in the UK, so long as it is the best for the job, and gives our military personnel the best chance of making it home alive.

You can pick apart a long report such as the GAO one and find arguments that suit both sides. (as has been done ad nauseum above) The truth is that the process was flawed. Therefore the only way to know what is the best platform is to have a "fair" run off with the best platform being selected at the end. If it is still the NG/EADS offering then I am sure that these arguents will occur once again.

I actually think that the best way forward for this debacle is to ignore the runoff, have Boeing create your tankers, and let the rest of the world sleep well on one hand because they know that they have the best platform for the job with their respective Air forces, but on the other hand quake in their boots every night just in case they wake up one morning to find that the terrible EADS have pulled the plug on the supply chain.

[Edited 2008-06-26 22:02:53]
 
Ken777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:32 am

So now I'm reading that three will be hearings in the House of Representatives:

"The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a July 15 hearing in connection with a federal auditor's recommendation the Air Force hold a new bidding competition for a $35 billion tanker refueling contract."

"Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House panel, said the July 15 hearing would "examine the actions of the Air Force" in awarding the contract to Northrop. Testifying at the hearing will be Gene Dodaro, the acting head of the GAO . . ."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssIn...tilitiesNews/idUKN2642214320080626

If the head of the GAO is the first person testifying and Waxman is driving this investigation then I would be rather concerned if I was involved in any of the problems noted by the GAO. I can see the committee getting comprehensive information from the GAO - especially as the problems that pertain to the laws and policies that were not correctly followed. I also expect them to obtain all letters sent by McCain as Waxman is a democrat and it's an election year.

When they have expanded their base of knowledge it will be time to call in the generals and others involved in the tanker decision. That is going to be a very uncomfortable position for any of the AF's witnesses. By the way, Waxman is a very sharp guy, regardless of what you think of his politics.
 
osiris30
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:41 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 324):
So now I'm reading that three will be hearings in the House of Representatives:

As I said earlier in this thread.. the fastest way for the AF to get a tanker right now is to start all over on the whole process. Any attempt by the AF to fight the GAO is going to end very very very badly for all involved. Both B and A fans should be praying the AF just starts over. Otherwise there will be years of congressinal hearings, no funding, etc. and the end result will STILL be the AF starting over.. except that will be 3-4 years from now...

Regardless of which side anyone here is cheering for, the whole process should prove rather disappointing. One would have hoped the AF could have followed their own rules.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
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EPA001
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:35 am



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-EADS.

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 Big grin) 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-EADS bid.

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.

NG-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?

Kind regards.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:50 am



Quoting Smeg (Reply 305):
If the KC30 is unable to satisfy the requirements of the USAF, I really, really fail to see why the USAF would "skew" the results in favour of the EADS bird.

Important point: If the procurement was tweaked intentionally it is clear that the USAF really, really wanted the KC30.

Quoting Alien (Reply 320):
Why should I pay for European jobs?

Even in Europe people seldom pay taxes for jobs anywhere. We pay taxes to finance state services. Do you live under communism?

That means if better military goods come from US most European countries say not "why should I pay for US jobs?". They say: "we buy it because it suits better".
Many things are difficult, all things are possible!
 
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Stitch
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:29 pm



Quoting Alien (Reply 320):
Why should I pay for European jobs?



Quoting Smeg (Reply 323):
Finally, this I suspect is the reason for the majority of the anger from some of our US Airnetters.

To be fair, why did Europe create EADS, Airbus, Eurocopter, and other companies?

Because, in part, they likely didn't like their airlines and governments paying for US jobs at Boeing, KM, NG, and other commercial and defense aerospace companies.
 
Curt22
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:34 pm



Quoting Smeg (Reply 323):
The fact that many US civilian operators seem to manage with Airbus products, maintaining them in US, and are very happy with them is also apparently ignored. They dont seem to be worried that Europe is about to switch off the supply chain.

Airbus isn't likely to "switch off" the spare parts pipeline to corporate clients because of political decisions nations make. However, some EU nations have taken these against US military actions withholding support when they did not agree with our nation's policy so the precedent has been set.

That said, the possibility that grandma's flight to visit the grandkids is cancelled because EADS didn't want to sell a spare part to a US civil customer is not a matter of national security.
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:43 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 327):
Important point: If the procurement was tweaked intentionally it is clear that the USAF really, really wanted the KC30.

Exactly. And they knew exactly what would happen, politically. But they wanted the KC30 so much they went ahead with the choice.
 
redflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:30 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 327):
Important point: If the procurement was tweaked intentionally it is clear that the USAF really, really wanted the KC30.

With all due respect, using that logic then it could just as well be said that since the procurement was tweaked intentionally on the 2002 tanker RFP then the USAF really, really wanted the KC-767.

But with the benefit of hindsight and a Congressional investigation, we know that wasn't the case back then, and I seriously doubt it's the case now.
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.
 
Alien
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:04 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 328):
To be fair, why did Europe create EADS, Airbus, Eurocopter, and other companies?

Exactly. If it where in any way a reciprocal situation or if Europe did not do exactly the same in that they always prefer to buy "European" in military equipment. Europe goes one step further, they will often develop at greater expense and often at less capability something for which they can buy from the US. So again, why should we bother buying European when there is a comparable (if not superior according to the RFP) product at a lower price domestically. Add to that the fact that our defense budget could be much less if we did not have to be involved defending Europe and this really becomes a no brainer. So again, why should I as a taxpayer send money and jobs offshore when there is a perfectly good alternative at less cost here?

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 327):
Important point: If the procurement was tweaked intentionally it is clear that the USAF really, really wanted the KC30.

That is not necessarily the case. I would suggest you do a bit of research into how the Air Force came up with the requirements for KC-X and KC-Y. The air force does not work this way. The most likely reason why they inadvertently chose the EADS tanker is incompetence in evaluating the planes against the RFP on the evaluation teams part. stay tuned there will be hearings by Congress to bring all of this to light.
 
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:08 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 328):
To be fair, why did Europe create EADS, Airbus, Eurocopter, and other companies?

Because, in part, they likely didn't like their airlines and governments paying for US jobs at Boeing, KM, NG, and other commercial and defense aerospace companies.

? I think EADS was not created, it was formed as a combination of various (old) European aerospace manufacturers who could do design, development and production all by them selves no longer.. Names like Saab, Dornier, Fokker, Shorts, Brequet, BAE dissapeared as aircraft integrators.



Some as in the US. difference is that the old name Boeing is still present.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Ken777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:02 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 326):
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.

Well said. It may be that over time (and it had better be a short time) the AF may determine what they need is not only a KC-135 tanker (the plane closest in size to the KC-1135), but also a plane between the smallest available replacement (the 767) and the KC-10, which may well be the 330.

Sort of like when someone goes to but a modest car and the salesman moves them up to a more expensive model because "it only costs $20 more a month" - not bothering to mention that they will be paying an extra year or so.

If the AF actually believes there is a need for a mid size plane then they should take that need to congress and get approval for a split decision on the current RFP, ordering equal amounts from both NG/Airbus and Boeing. That takes care of immediate "needs". Then re-engine the KC-135's that need it and start on a longer term review of the 787 and 350. Might even consider the 777 (or its replacement) as well and make the review (finally) a long term review of the full tanker needs.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 326):
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.

That would probably end up with a NG/Airbus preference built in. Politically that is like covering yourself in BarB-Q sauce, walking into a yard full of pit bulls and start kicking a few.  biting 
 
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moo
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:41 pm



Quoting Alien (Reply 320):
I suspect we will. Why should I pay for European jobs?

With that statement, you have just destroyed the trillion dollar US defence export market. Why should other countries pay for US jobs?
 
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Stitch
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:00 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 333):
I think EADS was not created, it was formed as a combination of various (old) European aerospace manufacturers who could do design, development and production all by them selves no longer.. Names like Saab, Dornier, Fokker, Shorts, Brequet, BAE dissapeared as aircraft integrators.

Created. Formed. You say "toh-may-toh" and I saY toh-mah-toh".  Smile

Those companies, as separate entities, could no longer compete with their US counterparts (who indeed had undergone rounds of consolidation which helped strengthen them). By forming their own large consortiums by merging the smaller players, Europe did not that expertise and excellence become lost.

My point is that we must be careful when we start to phrase arguments as "us" versus "them", sometimes "them" are "us", as well.  Wink
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:01 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 331):

With all due respect, using that logic then it could just as well be said that since the procurement was tweaked intentionally on the 2002 tanker RFP then the USAF really, really wanted the KC-767.

And what else did they have to choose from?
 
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Stitch
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:04 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 337):
And what else did they have to choose from?

The A310 tanker might still have been an option.

The USAF also could have just said "no, we'll stick with the KC-135 for now".
 
Alien
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:13 pm

EADS was a construct of the governments of UK, France, Spain and Germany and until very recently was still controlled by those governments those facts are irrefutable. Europe shows a clear bias towards locally made equipment. We should as well.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 334):
Well said. It may be that over time (and it had better be a short time) the AF may determine what they need is not only a KC-135 tanker (the plane closest in size to the KC-1135), but also a plane between the smallest available replacement (the 767) and the KC-10, which may well be the 330.

Nonsense, KC-X was for an immediate replacement for the KC-135E. An off the shelf model aircraft that could perform all the refueling functions of the KC-135 yet have enhanced cargo capability. The Air Force did not get the writing of the RFP wrong, the procurement people got the evaluation wrong. In the words of the soon to be former Secratary of the Air Force:

Quote:
Wynne said he was ''disappointed'' because ''I thought we did everything we could'' to make the right decision with the help of outside teams of analysts in the selection process.

''We fell short of the mark,''

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...601103&sid=alnx2KwDP7TY&refer=us

It seems that even some in the Air Force realize that they screwed up conducting the RFP. This has nothing at all to do with what the Air Force really wanted and everything to do with a bunch of incompetents screwing up an evaluation.
 
atmx2000
Posts: 4301
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:35 am



Quoting Moo (Reply 335):
With that statement, you have just destroyed the trillion dollar US defence export market. Why should other countries pay for US jobs?

There is no trillion dollar defense export market to Europe for the US. There is no trillion dollar defense export market worldwide for the US. Total US defence exports from 1992 to 2001 were under $150 billion.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 327):
That means if better military goods come from US most European countries say not "why should I pay for US jobs?". They say: "we buy it because it suits better

Quit pretending that the European defense market is monolithic. Certain countries, particularly those partcipating in Airbus do not choose US products if they are superior or more readily available if they can procure from completely or partially domestic sources or justify development of a completely or partially domestic alternative.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 180):
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.



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 327):
Important point: If the procurement was tweaked intentionally it is clear that the USAF really, really wanted the KC30.

No, it only indicates that people in the procurement process wanted the tanker. Whether the reasons for whether those people in the procurement process really represented what the USAF wanted remains to be seen.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 326):
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-EADS.

Quit calling the A330 tanker superior. The the cost and value of any increased capability was not properly evaluated in the RFP, by not accounting for infrastructure costs for the A330 and by overestimating the costs of the 767. Not to mention not demonstrating that the A330 could fulfill all mission requirements.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
blackknight
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:33 am

People we have missed the real reason the KC-45X won. EADS is far better at winning contracts than Boeing. If EADS was seeking the olymipics they would win the next 3 and both summer and winter games all together. Boeing lacks in contract negotiations. EADS could offer a C172 and win with the right purchasing agents and time to research. Bottom line legal or not they have a winning team upfront reguardless of what they sell.
BK
 
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EPA001
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:33 pm



Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 340):
Quit calling the A330 tanker superior. The the cost and value of any increased capability was not properly evaluated in the RFP, by not accounting for infrastructure costs for the A330 and by overestimating the costs of the 767. Not to mention not demonstrating that the A330 could fulfill all mission requirements.

I certainly will not stop stating the facts if that is what you are asking of me! Big grin

Remember, the airplane is not responsible for not accounting for infrastructure costs, etc. That is the USAF! Nor is it responsible for any other not properly conducted evaluation. Also that is a USAF issue in this case!

Therefore this airframe will also be the superior tanker for the USAF and many other countries who all made the same comparison between the A330 and -B767 came to the same conclusion. They did so when evaluating which airframe should be the basis for their new tanker aircraft.

The A330-airframe by itself was, is and will always be superior to any B767 airframe. Nobody in the aviation business will deny that. And the markets have clearly shown that during the time frame where both airframes were available on the market (maybe the B767 still is?) the B767 has been outsold by the A330 by an enormous margin.

The success of the A330 is the main reason Boeing is developing the beautiful B787 right now, a very promising airframe that has set new records on sales before EIS. But even facing this stiff competition the A330 is also selling extremely well these days. Especially on the shorter stretches she will still hold an advantage over the B787. Continues improvements on an already very good airframe are the reason for this. And more improvements are underway!

So I will not stop stating the superiority of the A330 airframe compared to a B767, and I am not even sorry for it. Because there is no reason to deny all these facts!

Kind regards.
 
Venus6971
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:05 pm

It sounds or reads like that SOD Gates has no confidence in Sue Payton USAF aquistion chief
http://www.defensetech.org/archives/004273.html?wh=wh

Gates was asked Thursday point blank if he had confidence in Sue Payton, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, who led the team that decided to award the contract. "I have confidence in the team until I find evidence to the contrary," Gates said. Given the recent forced resignations of Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mike Moseley, Payton must be getting ready to move out if asked since Gates also said the Government Accountability Office’s report found that the "Air Force team made significant errors.” At the same time, Gates did say he “needs to get a better feel for the nature of criticisms" made by the congressional watchdog and had not made any decisions about the contract yet, adding that the "first indication" he had of trouble with the contract award was the GAO report.

IMHO this will come down to MILCON costs, the 767 can use existing infrusture and the 330 will need all new facilities.
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:52 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 338):
The A310 tanker might still have been an option.

The USAF also could have just said "no, we'll stick with the KC-135 for now".

I was under the impression that this contest was the first in which a team could be comprised of a foriegn based member. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the first go round had Boeing as the only possible contender for the tankers.
 
Ken777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:54 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 342):
So I will not stop stating the superiority of the A330 airframe compared to a B767, and I am not even sorry for it. Because there is no reason to deny all these facts!

Airlines generally agree with you, but this is a military RFP where the lowest option that meets the requirements should win. In determining lowest costs I'm in the group that believes that infrastructure upgrades should be included as this would then be the lowest cost.

There is a famous quote by one of our astronauts when asked how it felt just before blast off. His reply was, "You suddenly realize that you are sitting in something with a million parts built by the lowest bidders in government contracts". Surprisingly they made it to the moon and back!

While the NG/Airbus option may have advantages in certain areas it appears that costs are not one of those critical areas. The quality of the 330 is not the critical issue in the selection process.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:12 am



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 344):
I was under the impression that this contest was the first in which a team could be comprised of a foriegn based member. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the first go round had Boeing as the only possible contender for the tankers.

I imagine NG is the prime contractor for the KC-45A, even though the majority of the airframe is being sourced from Airbus (through EADS).

The original deal was ginned up between Boeing and the USAF because after 9/11, nobody wanted to fly so commercial airline sales collapsed and Boeing needed a new outlet to sell planes. And the USAF knew they'd be seeing a significant increase in operations (first Afghanistan and then Iraq) so they wanted new tankers to support it.

McCain felt the deal sucked, so he killed it and when that happened, the USAF was forced to dual-source, hence they modified the original RFP to allow the A330-200 to be offered (the original RFP was tailored for the 767).
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:49 am



Quoting Stitch (Reply 346):
McCain felt the deal sucked, so he killed it and when that happened, the USAF was forced to dual-source, hence they modified the original RFP to allow the A330-200 to be offered (the original RFP was tailored for the 767).

I wonder if the McCain advisors who were tied to EADS had anything to do with this feeling that the deal sucked. We have all heard this argument over and over and it keeps coming back to McCain and his EADS ties.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
Alien
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:36 am



Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 347):
and it keeps coming back to McCain and his EADS ties.

You are absolutely correct. In fact it seems that not all in the Air Force think that the EADS tanker is better for them than the KC-767.

In regard to John McCain, his top 5 campaign advisers are registered lobbyist for EADS.

According to Newsweek he wrote two letters to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Defense:

{quote]In the first letter, dated Sept. 8, 2006, McCain wrote of hearing from "third parties" that the Air Force was about to redo the tanker competition by factoring in European government subsidies to EADS—a condition that could have seriously hurt the EADS bid. McCain urged that the Pentagon drop the subsidy factor and posed a series of technical questions about the Air Force's process. "He was trying to jam us and bully us to make sure there was competition by giving EADS an advantage," said one senior Pentagon official, who asked for anonymity when discussing a politically sensitive matter. The assumption within the Pentagon, the official added, was that McCain's letters were drafted by EADS lobbyists. "There was no one else that would have had that level of detail," the official said.[/quote]

http://www.newsweek.com/id/142658

While Newsweek is not exactly in love with McCain they are not a publication to be taken lightly. This should put to rest argument that the Air Force thinks the KC-30 is the better choice. Clearly not all in the Air Force think so.
 
astuteman
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:10 am



Quoting Alien (Reply 348):
This should put to rest argument that the Air Force thinks the KC-30 is the better choice. Clearly not all in the Air Force think so.

How so? If "not all the airforce think so", then by definition, some "do think so" - in which case the arguments will continue....  Smile

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