I feel that I need to add my 2cents to this most lively "debate"
To be honest, I could not really care less who makes the tanker. In theory, if the tanker is right for the job, then that is the one that should be picked.
However, to all our European stalwarts who are raising merry hell over this, please understand, there is a world of difference between a government RFP/contract and a civilian one.
To a certain degree cost is irrelevent (despite what all the goverment agencies say) They work to very different standards and requirements. I have worked on Govmt contracts before, and if they want a certain machine, then that is the one that they will have. I could offer them an overspecced machine, but the overspec was as big a problem as if it had been underspecced. If that sounds assinine and old fashioned, it is. There has to be some way of justifying the obscene number of government depts, and red tape is one of those things. Lets be honest, there have been more people working on the admin for this RFP than will ever fly/work on them!!
However, that is the way that both US and European governments work. Therefore I say to my European chums - Accept it and get over it.
The blame lies squarely at the door of the USAF
. If they wanted the NG
/EADS bird, then that is what they should have specced in the RFP. In black and white. It was the black and white that the GAO investigated, and it is in the black and white that the USAF
have been found wanting.
The GAO is not a quango, but a respected team of attys and accts who look at figures, processes and procedures, NOT MTOW and MZFW etc.
Again it is in the processes and the procedures that the flaws have occured. Solely the fault of the USAF
, not the manufacturers.
The GAO have not said that the wrong plane was picked, but that the way it was picked was wrong. They have not said that the USAF
have to pick the KC
-767, but that the bid needs to be repeated within the legal guidelines. Therefore the KC
-30 may still be picked, but it will be done so fairly.
They are quite right in that respect, and should be applauded for it. The USAF
should be dragged through the mire and have a complete re-shuffle in certain departments.
To my American chums, this is certainly not the time to be gloating. The only losers in this tawdry affair are American citizens, both civilian and military. While this drags through the "courts", huge amounts of money are being spent on worthless arguments, that could be far better spent elsewhere, whether it is on military or civilian requirements, there are far more important places to spend that money.
There is also the time factor. Sure, whack a few new engines on the KC
-135 until this is sorted out. Again, it is the waste of money that is the problem.
Also, time is an issue. Many people have posted that there is nothing wrong with the KC
-135. Well if there was nothing wrong with it, then why are they looking for replacements. The US (and indeed all military forces) deserve the best equipment that money can buy. Whether that equipment is American, or European is irrelevent. If it saves lives, then that is the one to go for.
Both the NG
and Boeing proposals would have created jobs - In America. Those jobs will now be delayed, thus affecting even more people.
The political wrangling that will now occur, could actually mean that the USAF
are effectively forced to indeed award the contract to Boeing. Whilst that will no doubt be met with howls of delight from certain posters, it also means that your military MAY not get the plane that is right for them. To me, that is a bigger negative than the Boeing award is a positive. Same would apply if they were forced to award it to NG
I could not care if UK military personnel have US or UK arms/planes/vehicles. So long as they have the equipment that is right for them, and they come home safely because of it. I am a little surprised at some of our American posters for wanting only their beloved Boeing to have the contract awarded to them. (I expect it on the Civ Av forum (and indeed the reverse from the Airbus boys) but not on this forum)
If Boeing win it fair and square, based EXACTLY and ONLY on the RFP then great. If NG
/EADS win it fair and square, based EXACTLY and ONLY on the RFP then great.
If Military personnel get inferior equipment because of Political blunderings, then no one should be at all happy about it.
Sorry, rant over!!!