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scbriml
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:17 am



Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 39):
The RFP did not state that AF wants medium sized tanker.

I didn't say it did, I was simply busting the persisting myth that the KC-30 is a "large" tanker.

Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 39):
If AF gives much more points to capacity, then 777F will fit the bill just fine.

But it will face other challenges, not least Boeing's own admission it would take them 3 years to design and build a 777 based tanker.

Personally, I don't think they really want to offer a KC-777 just now -
1) Civil sales are just too good to dilute the 777 line with tankers.
2) The KC-767 was the obvious tanker of choice for Boeing given how much closer to end of production the 767 is.
3) The money Boeing has already sunk in the KC-767.
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zeke
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:17 am

This seems like good news, 45 days seems like more than enough time to get the areas from Boeing protest sorted out.
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EPA001
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:58 am



Quoting Curt22 (Reply 42):
Quoting EPA001 (Reply 31):
Well she is from Washington, and she points out the typical Boeing points! It is clear what she wants, give the order in closed hearings to Boeing right away

And what of Sen Shelby's comments from Alabama? Why do you pretend that only those who represent regions where Boeing operates are the only ones supporting one vendor over the other?

Sorry Curt22, but I am not pretending anything. This senator made a statement, it caught my attention, I evaluated it and I commented on it. That is all. I am sure many others are doing so when they favor the NG bid in this case more. Over here we do not get to read all the statements anybody is making on this issue. But sometimes, through A-net for example, we do get to see some comments. This one is one of them.

But what I was responding to was this fact. Anybody might proclaim how good it is or would be for his or her area or state if either NG or Boeing was going to be awarded with the order, there is nothing wrong with that.

What is wrong in my opinion is that when the GAO rules, and they ruled correctly as far as I know, and gives recommendations, they should be interpreted (and usually are) as guidelines.

Now this senator accepts (of course) the GAO basic ruling on the Boeing protest (which is in her favor), but does not want to accept the further recommendations from the GAO because that means that Boeing has not been directly awarded the contract, and that NG could very well still come out as the winner!

No, she wants to conduct thing behind closed doors! How democratic and controllable by the people is a mystery to me. And again such a request coming from a political friend of Boeing is giving me the impression that Boeing still has to hide many things. There reluctance to publicise many things still is remarkable, at least it is to me.

To try to continue the Tanker bidding process against the recommendations of the GAO, which this senator is doing, in not OK in my book

And I have not heard anyone from Alabama say "let us give the contract to NG right away, and at best we do this in secretly closed sessions". If someone does, I will be just as negative about that. Such important things should no be decided in such ways. Maybe I am a bit naive, but even so, I stand by my opinion on this.

Kind regards.
 
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zeke
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:26 am

Interesting development

"He said he learned from Pentagon acquisition chief John J. Young Jr., the man controlling the rebid, that the revised contract criteria will give credit to the larger Northrop-EADS plane for having more carrying capacity than Boeing's 767-based tanker."

"He said the new competition would be completed by the end of the year and that there would be only "minimal" changes in the bidding process to respond to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report."

from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm.../2008043091_tankercontract100.html
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
n1786b
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:43 am



Quoting Zeke (Reply 53):
"He said he learned from Pentagon acquisition chief John J. Young Jr., the man controlling the rebid, that the revised contract criteria will give credit to the larger Northrop-EADS plane for having more carrying capacity than Boeing's 767-based tanker."

Which of course will not matter if they take the current deployment criteria into account instead of adjusting it for the NG/EADS plane....

And let's see if they can remember THIS time to include on-site forward maintenance 2 years after initial production. Last time they got a "get out of jail free" card from the USAF because of an "administrative oversight".... And can they refuel all of the USAF planes? They may get credit for more capacity, but both of these issues should have disqualified the NG/EADS bid last time.

On a more serious note, this looks to me like a conscious effort to tip the competition in favor of the NG/EADS bid. Young also said he will not take into account the WTO and the industrial base/jobs.

- N1786B
 
deltal1011man
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:24 am



Quoting Curt22 (Reply 42):
My local area stands to create somewhere near 2,000 jobs should EADS/NG win the tanker deal, but I don't work directly or indirectly for BA, NG nor EADS so I have no vested interested in seeing the finally assemble work performed in Mobile AL...you on the other hand condemn the Washington Senator's comments, ignore the Alabama Senator's comments, so one is left to wonder what YOUR economic interest is with this contract?

Wait lets look at this
In AL there could be 2,000 jobs opening up but in WA there would be 9,000 people out of a job and in Kan. there would be 1,000 jobs lost so lets look at the numbers shall we?
NG wins 8,000 job losses
BA wins 0 job losses (they don't lose a job they don't have)
Lets also look at this in 40 years the A330 will use 35B more fuel than the 767. The A330 cost more burns more fuel and puts 8,000 people out of a job. Now as a tax payer looking at these numbers WTF do you think I would pick? Lets see the 767 can do the job Cheaper and keep more American jobs. I say pick the dam 767 it will make more Americans happy and alot less b**ching in DC. (and again it does the job just fine)

But knowing out great US Government they will pick the Airbus. 10T in debt wtf lets just see how far we can go before we end up in BK like the USSR.

All info comes from here : http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm.../2008043091_tankercontract100.html (PS thanks for the link Zeke)
 
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scbriml
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:07 am



Quoting Zeke (Reply 53):
from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm....html

Also in the same piece:

Quote:
It's unlikely, however, that with the schedule outlined for the new competition, Boeing would have the time, money and people to create a proposal based on its larger 777 airplane.

Not surprising in all honesty.
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keesje
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:41 am

The 767-200 has its 30th birthday this month. It was first offered for sale in July 1978 with an order for 30 airliners by United Airlines.



Ordering the KC767 now would be like ordering the KC135 in the late eighties.

The KC135s were reengined after 20 years.

 Wink
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rheinwaldner
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:55 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 57):
Ordering the KC767 now would be like ordering the KC135 in the late eighties.

The analogy is not sound.

Better analogy:
There would never have been a KC135 and in the late eighties the 707 is offered as platform for a new tanker.
- or -
There was a KC-135 and in the late eighties MD offers a new tanker on the DC-8 platform
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deltal1011man
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:51 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 57):

Why in the blue hell should tax dollars go to by a a plane burns more fuel and puts 8,000 Americans out of work? Hell i don't care where the plane comes from but to get a new tanker should not mean an end to 10,000 people.
I don't pay taxes (yes i pay them) for my money that I work my ass off for to go pay someone in France. Period.
We are looking for a replace ment for the KC-135s.Its like we are trying to replace a 733 with a dam 752. when the is a 738 that burns less fuel closer to the same size and its Freaking Cheaper!!!!! This is starting to look like we are buying the plane for the size just to say we have it. A little stupid if you ask me. Good to no that tax dollars are going down the crapper.
This is getting stupid. Buy the plane that will help this county and that means not taking jobs. We have to many people out of jobs as is and we don't need to add 10,000 more.

All the DOD is doing is shooting there self's in the foot and dragging it on. If NG wins again and the GAO lets it go the good people in DC will kill it.  banghead 
 
deltal1011man
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:55 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 57):
Ordering the KC767 now would be like ordering the KC135 in the late eighties.

The KC135s were reengined after 20 years.

BTW Keesje If the 762ER is a bad choice then why did CO order them so that most are newer than the there 777s and 764s?
 
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zeke
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:56 pm



Quoting N1786b (Reply 54):
Which of course will not matter if they take the current deployment criteria into account instead of adjusting it for the NG/EADS plane....

Works both ways, means the 7000' runways, and 9500 nm unrefulled range comes into play as well. No one has identified a single airport that the KC-30 could not operate out of that is currently in use.

But from what I am reading, the IFARA will not be reevaluated, the GAO did not have a problem with the virtual fly off the USAF did.

Quoting N1786b (Reply 54):
And let's see if they can remember THIS time to include on-site forward maintenance 2 years after initial production.

This is what the RFP said about maintenance...no "on-site forward maintenance 2 years after initial production" requirement.

"The long-term support concept for the KC-X is organic two-level maintenance (2LM)—Organization level (O-level) and Depot level (D-level) using the FAA approved manufacturer’s maintenance program. For the purposes of this program, all maintenance other than O-level shall be referred to as D-level. O-level maintenance will be accomplished by uniformed personnel. O-level capability for the cadre of maintainers involved in formal testing will be in place no later than 30 days prior to start of initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E). Initial organic D-level maintenance will be in place within two years following delivery of the first production delivered aircraft. The Government plans to separately compete the development, deployment, and sustainment of both the aircrew and maintenance training systems. The KC-X contractor will be responsible for Type I training only and will not deliver any training hardware to the Government."

Quoting N1786b (Reply 54):
On a more serious note, this looks to me like a conscious effort to tip the competition in favor of the NG/EADS bid.

Is it ?

1) Boeing complained to the GAO that NG got extra credit for fuel offload
2) The USAF said to the GAO that it was their intent to allocate extra credit
3) The GAO upheld Boeing protest on the procedural error
4) GAO tells the USAF to amend the documents to reflect what they wanted and reopen discussion
5) They do exactly what the GAO recommends and make a new decision

Seems they are following the GAO recommendation to the letter :

"We recommend that the Air Force reopen discussions with the offerors, obtain revised proposals, re-evaluate the revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision, consistent with this decision. If the Air Force believes that the RFP, as reasonably interpreted, does not adequately state its needs, the agency should amend the solicitation prior to conducting further discussions with the offerors."

Quoting N1786b (Reply 54):
Young also said he will not take into account the WTO and the industrial base/jobs.

WTO issues were already taken into account in the RFP

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 55):
NG wins 8,000 job losses

Boeing should not have a single job loss from a production factory as a result of a decision going to NG, the 767 production should continue for as long as it is commercially viable for Boeing. If anything I expect Boeing to increase the number of people at its plants regardless of the outcome of this decision, 737, 744/748, 787, and 777 production is strong.

Boeing is not presently building tankers for the USAF, a decision going to NG would not result in any loss of production capacity.

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 55):
Lets also look at this in 40 years the A330 will use 35B more fuel than the 767.

The GAO did not agree with Boeing's fuel assessment in their protest, I doubt that will come into play again.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:15 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 61):
Boeing is not presently building tankers for the USAF, a decision going to NG would not result in any loss of production capacity.

The people on the 767 line would be reassigned to the 737, 747, 777, and 787 lines, instead of new people being hired from the street to fill those vacancies. In a way those jobs are still being lost.

I still think the Air Force should be forced to look at life time costs of the program including the facility upgrades. It might not matter to the Air Force, but it does matter to the tax payer. If the Air Force wanted a tanker the size of the KC-30, they should have written the RFP that set the minimum requirements at the KC-30 level. That would have forced Boeing to compete with 777, which most likely would have lost. Or if the extra credit rule was applied then it would have smoked the KC-30.
 
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Revelation
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:27 pm



Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 14):
I'm afraid I must agree with you AustrianZRH. Why can't all concerned just pull their heads out of their asses and give our Warfighters the tanker they need...NOW!

Because it's the taxpayers that are paying for the tankers?

Quoting Zeke (Reply 61):
1) Boeing complained to the GAO that NG got extra credit for fuel offload
2) The USAF said to the GAO that it was their intent to allocate extra credit
3) The GAO upheld Boeing protest on the procedural error
4) GAO tells the USAF to amend the documents to reflect what they wanted and reopen discussion
5) They do exactly what the GAO recommends and make a new decision

Yes, it looks like this is the way things are going, and if so, Boeing will be out of the running. However, it's all really fishy to me. They "intended" to give extra credit, but didn't tell that to Boeing? And that's deemed to be a "procedural error"? And now they only have a few months to come up with a new proposal that will be scored totally differently than the way they had been told about for years?

If the original RFP was set up this way ("extra credit" for bigger planes, not factoring in the cost of new hangars and runways or fuel use, etc), I think it would have been Boeing who would not have bothered to submit an entry.

Somehow I think this is all going to get a lot more ugly if Undersecretary Young proceeds along the lines discussed in the Seattle Times article above. I think he'll need both his helmet and his body armor too!

As mentioned much earlier, the reissued RFP can be written to preselect either of the two products. It seems it will be written to preselect the NG product, and this will raise holy hell in Congress. The usual outcome of this is that the Boeing side will be tossed a bone of some sort, i.e. somehow funding will appear for some sort of Boeing product that the USAF isn't asking for. That way the folks in WA and the folks in AL will both get what they want.
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zeke
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:36 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 62):
The people on the 767 line would be reassigned to the 737, 747, 777, and 787 lines, instead of new people being hired from the street to fill those vacancies. In a way those jobs are still being lost.

The 767 line will remain open for some time yet. If Boeing genuinely thinks they have a viable product in the 767-200LRF, nothing is stopping them from putting it to the market and still developing it.

If the market does not think the 767 is a viable aircraft, that is not the fault of the USAF, NG, or Airbus.

In my view, Boeing killed the 767 with the 787 and sent those jobs overseas all on their own undertaking.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 62):
That would have forced Boeing to compete with 777, which most likely would have lost. Or if the extra credit rule was applied then it would have smoked the KC-30.

At US$100,000,000 more PER frame, over 179 frames, I don't think so Tim. BTW, have a look at how much of the 777 is made in the good old USA.
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zeke
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:51 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 63):
They "intended" to give extra credit, but didn't tell that to Boeing?

They did tell Boeing, prior to the RFP being issued, this is from the USAF document to the GAO :

"The fuel offload data, XXX in the Pre-FPR briefing chart and spreadsheet, demonstrated theXXX aspect of the Boeing proposal that exceeded the minimum Threshold requirement in a way that is advantageous to the Air Force. See AR, Tab 135, KC-X Source Selection Pre-FPR Briefing (Boeing), 29 November 2007, Slide 30 and spreadsheet, Aerial Refueling, Reference Line # 4. Thus, the KC-X SSET placed Boeing on notice that it was evaluating the Objective for fuel offload in SRD § 3.2.1.1.1.2 as an unbounded requirement for which a strength would be assessed by the amount to which the proposal could exceed the threshold minimum requirement."

they went on further to say

"Despite the obvious conflict, Boeing allegedly based its proposal on its own interpretation and is now attempting to protest the issue as an unreasonable evaluation, when it is in fact a solicitation interpretation problem where Boeing is to blame. Boeing should have raised the matter with the Air Force during the Mid-Term update and PreFPR briefing when it learned the Air Force did not interpret the requirement the same way, but they did not."

pages 17-20 from the USAF document to the GAO.
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norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:57 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 64):
At US$100,000,000 more PER frame, over 179 frames, I don't think so Tim. BTW, have a look at how much of the 777 is made in the good old USA.

This has nothing to do with US jobs, the only reason I even mentioned it is that you quote that no US jobs would be lost is misleading. The jobs might not be lost tomorrow, but they will be lost when new guys can't be hired because old guys are now working on the 737, 747, 777, and 787 line. Bringing the 777 into the discussion was just a way to prove how ridiculous the extra credit clause is. The 777 is probably not the best aircraft for the job, but just because it is bigger than the KC-30, it would win the competition.


I want the Air Force to get a tanker that can do the job and from all indications it seems that both tankers can do the job. Now things like total cost should be taken into consideration. If the USAF only wanted the KC-30 they should have written the RFP that set the minimum requirements at the KC-30 level. The extra credit thing is just ridiculous.

The Air Force should also be forced to do a lifetime cost analysis including the required upgrades to bases. There are billions of dollars of tax payer money at stake and total cost should come into the equation.
 
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:20 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 32):
. The Air Force might want to get the biggest tanker they can, but if there is a smaller cheaper alternative that meets their requirements then they should buy that. It is the financially responsible thing to do.

The financially responsible thing to do is procure the best value. Buses cost a lot more in trip costs than minivans, but if you've got enough to fill a bus, the bus is the better value.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 33):
By the end of this year EADS will have the four test KC-30s flying.

Exactly. Booing's Frankentanker isn't even off the drawing board yet.

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 55):

Wait lets look at this
In AL there could be 2,000 jobs opening up but in WA there would be 9,000 people out of a job and in Kan. there would be 1,000 jobs lost so lets look at the numbers shall we?
NG wins 8,000 job losses
BA wins 0 job losses (they don't lose a job they don't have)
Lets also look at this in 40 years the A330 will use 35B more fuel than the 767. The A330 cost more burns more fuel and puts 8,000 people out of a job. Now as a tax payer looking at these numbers WTF do you think I would pick? Lets see the 767 can do the job Cheaper and keep more American jobs. I say pick the dam 767 it will make more Americans happy and alot less b**ching in DC. (and again it does the job just fine)

The decision by the USAF will not put anyone out of work. The inferrior product relative to others in the marketplace may, but I suspect that most of those workers would be reallocated to other production lines.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 58):
Why in the blue hell should tax dollars go to by a a plane burns more fuel and puts 8,000 Americans out of work? Hell i don't care where the plane comes from but to get a new tanker should not mean an end to 10,000 people.

If it burns more fuel but can offload enough to compensate, then it is a better value. Read what I wrote above about putting the 767 workers out of work. These job loss figures aren't sticking, however, because Boeing says their proposal will support 44,000 American jobs, while the NG/EADS proposal will support 48,000 AMERICAN JOBS. The project will be administered from NG's MLB office; the planes will be assembled in MOB at BFM; the engines will be built in NC, the boom will be built in WV....

This project creates the chance for there to be a third center of aerospace excellence in the world, right here in the USA.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 62):

The people on the 767 line would be reassigned to the 737, 747, 777, and 787 lines, instead of new people being hired from the street to fill those vacancies. In a way those jobs are still being lost.

If they are reallocated, how are they lost? They still get a check, right? You can't expect the government to subsidize an inferior product offering.
 
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keesje
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:21 pm



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 59):
Why in the blue hell should tax dollars go to by a a plane burns more fuel and puts 8,000 Americans out of work? Hell i don't care where the plane comes from but to get a new tanker should not mean an end to 10,000 people.

Sounds good if you if ignore the US are #1 weapon exporter for decades. How many jobs are created / maintained in the US by tax dollar of European citizens you think?

Now its there is a big deal the other way people get isolationist. I think that's how a good part of the rest of worlds industry / politics are looking at it.

Specially Lockheed Martin is nervous, they are on the brink of big sales to Europe..
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zeke
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:55 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 66):
The jobs might not be lost tomorrow, but they will be lost when new guys can't be hired because old guys are now working on the 737, 747, 777, and 787 line

If NG gets the contact, US jobs will be made as well. Boeing is not the only employer in the US.

Boeing made a corporate decision to outsource job overseas, if Boeing was genuinely concerned about US jobs, that would have a higher US content on the 777/787.

EADS is the single biggest export customer for the US aerospace industry.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 66):
The 777 is probably not the best aircraft for the job, but just because it is bigger than the KC-30, it would win the competition.

It may win that one KPP point, but that is far from saying it would win overall. The requirement was not only to offload so much fuel at a distance, but also to do it efficiently.

Aerial Refueling Efficiency = (fuel offloaded) / (fuel burned + fuel offloaded)

Quoting NorCal (Reply 66):
I want the Air Force to get a tanker that can do the job and from all indications it seems that both tankers can do the job.

I agree, that is why 767 based tankers are going to Italy and Japan, and A330 based tankers are going to UK, Saudi, Australia etc.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 66):
Now things like total cost should be taken into consideration.

That is what MILCON is supposed to do.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 66):
If the USAF only wanted the KC-30 they should have written the RFP that set the minimum requirements at the KC-30 level. The extra credit thing is just ridiculous.

The US only knew what minimum requirements it wanted. If you were to believe all the posts on here, apparently the USAF really wanted the KC-767 over the KC-30 before the RFP was submitted, it was only after they evaluated them they came to the conclusion that the KC-30 was more capable.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 66):
The Air Force should also be forced to do a lifetime cost analysis including the required upgrades to bases. There are billions of dollars of tax payer money at stake and total cost should come into the equation.

What bases will be opened or closed ? Where will the next big conflict be ?

Currently about 100 KC-135s are in maintenance at any one time, how will those facilities be used in the future ?

What was taking into account on previous contracts ? B-2, F-117, KC-10 ? Are these costs only taken into account during "open" tanker competitions ?
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norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:54 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 67):
The financially responsible thing to do is procure the best value. Buses cost a lot more in trip costs than minivans, but if you've got enough to fill a bus, the bus is the better value.

Do you buy an SUV if a sedan will do the job?

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 67):
If it burns more fuel but can offload enough to compensate, then it is a better value.

If you are using it to that end most of the time.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 69):
The US only knew what minimum requirements it wanted. If you were to believe all the posts on here, apparently the USAF really wanted the KC-767 over the KC-30 before the RFP was submitted, it was only after they evaluated them they came to the conclusion that the KC-30 was more capable.

There was never any doubt that the KC-30 could haul more stuff than the KC-767. The debate has always been rather that extra capability was really needed and how much it would cost to get it. I don't believe the Air Force suddenly decided they needed a bigger tanker. I think hard lobbying by NG/EADS/McCain told them they did.

Alternatively there is another theory available to why NG got the bid. Boeing and a lot of other experts thought Boeing had the bid in the bag, but NG lobbied enough to get the extra credit clause added. They said they were going to walk away from the competition if the bid wasn't adjusted to give them a chance of winning. NG has just as powerful of a lobby as Boeing does.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 69):
Aerial Refueling Efficiency = (fuel offloaded) / (fuel burned + fuel offloaded)

If you look at average fuel offload rates of the KC-135 fleet you wonder why the larger KC-30 was chosen. The Air Force could have bought the KC-10 in large numbers decades ago if they felt they needed a large tanker with large offload. This was even during a time when we had hundreds of gas thirsty B-52s along with C-141s and C-5s. Even at that time the USAF decided that they didn't need a large tanker. Why now? We are moving towards smarter weapons, surgical strike packages, and UAVs. If we do buy the KC-30, in 50 years time we probably will find it much too large for the job.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 69):
What was taking into account on previous contracts ? B-2, F-117, KC-10 ? Are these costs only taken into account during "open" tanker competitions ?

Those were procured during the Cold War when the Air Force had a pretty much limitless supply of money, today that isn't the case. All the armed forces are in competition with each other for money. If the Air Force has the choice between two qualified bids, then they should choose the cheaper one and leave more money available for other projects like more F-22s, F-35s, C-17s, etc.

Or maybe we'll have money available for other non-military projects like health care, green technology, education, etc.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 69):
Boeing made a corporate decision to outsource job overseas, if Boeing was genuinely concerned about US jobs, that would have a higher US content on the 777/787.

Boeing is concerned with making money, just like EADS. EADS is not concerned with American jobs whatsoever. None of this changes the fact the KC-767 will support more jobs than the KC-30. Once again I am not trying to make this a jobs argument. I want to discuss the total costs of the program.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 67):
This project creates the chance for there to be a third center of aerospace excellence in the world, right here in the USA.

NG is just going to be a contractor assembling planes. This will not give them the know how or financial resources to build a commercial jet. As soon as the contract is filled and the A330 goes out of production, the assembly line and the aerospace center disappears. NG will just go back to what they are really good at, building aircraft carriers.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 68):
Sounds good if you if ignore the US are #1 weapon exporter for decades. How many jobs are created / maintained in the US by tax dollar of European citizens you think?

Europe is quickly trying to change that with programs like the Eurofighter and A400
 
redflyer
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:55 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 61):
No one has identified a single airport that the KC-30 could not operate out of that is currently in use.

Being able to "operate" from an airfield is a little different than being able to operate out of it efficiently or maintaining the same operational tempo. For example, the 161st ARW is located here in PHX. The ANG ramp on the south side of PHX can currently accommodate, I believe, 8 tankers. Of course, the KC-30 can operate from PHX, but without structural enhancements those 8 tanker pads will be able to accommodate not more than 5 KC-30s.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 61):
Is it ?

1) Boeing complained to the GAO that NG got extra credit for fuel offload
2) The USAF said to the GAO that it was their intent to allocate extra credit
3) The GAO upheld Boeing protest on the procedural error
4) GAO tells the USAF to amend the documents to reflect what they wanted and reopen discussion
5) They do exactly what the GAO recommends and make a new decision

The procedural errors were not the only reason Boeing appealed nor were they the only reason the bid was reopened. There were prejudicial errors that also necessitated canceling of the February 29 award.
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.
 
MOBflyer
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:42 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 70):
NG is just going to be a contractor assembling planes. This will not give them the know how or financial resources to build a commercial jet. As soon as the contract is filled and the A330 goes out of production, the assembly line and the aerospace center disappears. NG will just go back to what they are really good at, building aircraft carriers.

You are quite incorrect. Airbus and Northrop Grumman will have separate, adjacent facilities at BFM. Airbus itself, not NG, will assemble A330Fs for both NG (for militarization) and airlines (for commercial use). Airbus has committed to shifting at least all A330 freighter production to BFM, and are believed to be evaluating the possibility of moving the A330 line completely, inclusive of passenger jets to BFM. Long term possibilities include other aircraft lines at BFM. Airbus already has a presence in the Mobile area, as they have their newest US facility here, Airbus North America Engineering - which works on the interior of the A350XWB line.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 70):

If you are using it to that end most of the time.

I would argue that if there is EVER a need for it, then it should be in the AF inventory.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:12 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 72):
You are quite incorrect. Airbus and Northrop Grumman will have separate, adjacent facilities at BFM. Airbus itself, not NG, will assemble A330Fs for both NG (for militarization) and airlines (for commercial use). Airbus has committed to shifting at least all A330 freighter production to BFM, and are believed to be evaluating the possibility of moving the A330 line completely, inclusive of passenger jets to BFM. Long term possibilities include other aircraft lines at BFM. Airbus already has a presence in the Mobile area, as they have their newest US facility here, Airbus North America Engineering - which works on the interior of the A350XWB line.

This is exactly what Boeing is afraid of: Airbus opening a major production facility in the Dollarzone. Suddenly Airbus will not anymore have the currency exchange disadvantage to Boeing (Selling their planes in constantly devaluating USD, while having to pay all the expenses in Euros).
The USAF contract is needed to convince the European trade unions that a production facility in the US is necessary (in the end the jobs created in the US will be lost in Europe).
If the factory gets set up, I expect in the long run that also components, like fuselage sections, will be built there and not just prefabricated parts assembled.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 70):
Quoting Keesje (Reply 68):
Sounds good if you if ignore the US are #1 weapon exporter for decades. How many jobs are created / maintained in the US by tax dollar of European citizens you think?

Europe is quickly trying to change that with programs like the Eurofighter and A400

If not, ALL western military high end planes would be made in the US. This would make us too depending on the US. We need to keep an industrial base to keep our independence.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:15 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 72):
You are quite incorrect. Airbus and Northrop Grumman will have separate, adjacent facilities at BFM. Airbus itself, not NG, will assemble A330Fs for both NG (for militarization) and airlines (for commercial use). Airbus has committed to shifting at least all A330 freighter production to BFM, and are believed to be evaluating the possibility of moving the A330 line completely, inclusive of passenger jets to BFM

A330s won't be built forever the assembly line will shut down once A330s aren't being built anymore. As soon as the dollar recovers Airbus will decrease their investment in the area. The only reason Airbus is interested in the area is the relative cheapness of the labor. Once that disappears, so will Airbus.

767s won't be built forever either but once that project concludes those workers can move to the 737RS ot Y3 down the road. What aircraft project after the A330 is Airbus planning on assembling in Mobile?

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 72):
I would argue that if there is EVER a need for it, then it should be in the AF inventory.

So if there is one mission that requires a KC-747 then we should be buying those?
 
norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:17 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 73):
This is exactly what Boeing is afraid of: Airbus opening a major production facility in the Dollarzone. Suddenly Airbus will not anymore have the currency exchange disadvantage to Boeing (Selling their planes in constantly devaluating USD, while having to pay all the expenses in Euros).
The USAF contract is needed to convince the European trade unions that a production facility in the US is necessary (in the end the jobs created in the US will be lost in Europe).
If the factory gets set up, I expect in the long run that also components, like fuselage sections, will be built there and not just prefabricated parts assembled.

You are assuming the dollar will stay weak forever. As soon as the dollar regains its strength Airbus will cut ties and run.
 
MOBflyer
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:53 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 74):
The only reason Airbus is interested in the area is the relative cheapness of the labor. Once that disappears, so will Airbus.

The south is known for its relatively cheap labor, on a national scale, as well as a (major, developed country) international scale. Minority union membership, and cost of living keep the costs low. And thats NOT the only reason they are looking at the area. I think logistics of the area had to be one of the factors. Labor is not the only cheap thing - the land is already cheap, and the weak dollar helps. I know the dollar won't stay weak forever, but if they can get some one-time set up expenses with the favorable exchange rate, they'll be in good shape.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 74):
767s won't be built forever either but once that project concludes those workers can move to the 737RS ot Y3 down the road. What aircraft project after the A330 is Airbus planning on assembling in Mobile?

As I said, they have a functioning engineering design center, and are looking at bringing other lines to MOB for assembly. Airbus has said that this is "only the beginning"

Quoting NorCal (Reply 74):

So if there is one mission that requires a KC-747 then we should be buying those?

Yes. If there is a need, then it should be procured. Most definitely. We should have the most prepared armed forces. Care to argue with that? I know that budget constraints prohibit that, but in a perfect world, we would have a machine for every need.

I also think that the members here are downplaying the applicability of the KC-30.
 
norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:25 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 76):
The south is known for its relatively cheap labor, on a national scale, as well as a (major, developed country) international scale. Minority union membership, and cost of living keep the costs low.

That might be now, but as soon as they start getting their high paying assembly jobs they will unionize and will become no different than aerospace workers in the rest of the country.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 76):
As I said, they have a functioning engineering design center, and are looking at bringing other lines to MOB for assembly.

More assembly lines? Over the dead bodies of the European workers representing Airbus employees and the governments giving Airbus RLI. They don't want that money to fund American jobs.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 76):
Airbus has said that this is "only the beginning"

Airbus is trying to win one of the largest defense contracts in history, they will say a lot of things to get support. It'll be hard for them to justify moving an A320, A350, or A380 assembly or sub-assembly lines to Mobile at the expense of European jobs.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 76):
Yes. If there is a need, then it should be procured. Most definitely. We should have the most prepared armed forces. Care to argue with that?

No I don't, but if the USAF writes a RFP that the KC-767 meets and the KC-767 is cheaper to own and operate then they should procure it. If the Air Force feels they need something bigger then they should have written the RFP to reflect that plain and simple. They should be honest about what they need, instead of putting in something dubious like the extra credit clause.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 76):
I also think that the members here are downplaying the applicability of the KC-30.

I haven't seen a convincing argument to show us why we need a bigger tanker. The fleets of large Cold War bombers are gone and even when we did have them we chose not to buy KC-10s. In the future as we move to smarter weapons and UAVs the argument could be made that we need smaller tankers.
 
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scbriml
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:36 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 77):
A320, A350, or A380 assembly or sub-assembly lines to Mobile at the expense of European jobs.

Well, as we speak, the Chinese A320 FAL is in the process of preparing to receive its first A320 sub-assemblies. If NG wins the tanker rebid, an A330 FAL will be built in Alabama.

Unless I missed it, the Earth is still spinning, and every Airbus employee that had a job before either of these FALs started, still has one.
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.
 
MOBflyer
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:41 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 77):
That might be now, but as soon as they start getting their high paying assembly jobs they will unionize and will become no different than aerospace workers in the rest of the country.

Just like the autos, refineries, and other manufacturing positions? They've all come to the south for this cheap labor, and the mast majority are still enjoying it.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 77):
They should be honest about what they need, instead of putting in something dubious like the extra credit clause.

Thats right, don't reward someone for giving you bang for your buck.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 77):
Airbus is trying to win one of the largest defense contracts in history, they will say a lot of things to get support. It'll be hard for them to justify moving an A320, A350, or A380 assembly or sub-assembly lines to Mobile at the expense of European jobs.

Airbus needed not say anything more than they are competing and will build only tankers in BFM, and they've got the full support of the AL, MS, FL, NC, and WV congressional delegations. But they did, which leads me to believe that they mean it.
 
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EPA001
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:46 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 77):
I haven't seen a convincing argument to show us why we need a bigger tanker. The fleets of large Cold War bombers are gone and even when we did have them we chose not to buy KC-10s. In the future as we move to smarter weapons and UAVs the argument could be made that we need smaller tankers.

Well that would rule out the B767-AT as well since it is also quite a bit larger than the current KC-135! Some are suggesting here a B767-400X based tanker in an effort to make the capacity gap with the KC-30 smaller. Not a bad move in my opinion by the way. The USAF seems to think they need a bigger tanker. And no smaller options are available at this time!

Kind regards.
 
norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:18 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 79):
Thats right, don't reward someone for giving you bang for your buck.

Stop looking at just the sticker price (which the 767 is still cheaper btw) and look at the overall cost of ownership. The KC-30 is going to be one of the largest and heaviest aircraft in the fleet, it is stupid to think there won't be millions and millions of dollars spent on upgrading bases around the country and around the world to support it.

That is a real cost and it is easy for Europeans to ignore it because it isn't their tax money be spent. It is also easy for you to ignore it because you are from Mobile and it benefits you directly.

I'm from Northern California so neither deal really benefits me, so I want to purchase the tanker that meets the USAF's requirements for the cheapest price. I was surprised when NG was announced the winner because from a lot of sources it seemed Boeing had it in the bag. I thought the Air Force really wanted the KC-30. However after the GAO report and looking back at the history of the extra credit clause it seems that the win is a product of NG/EADS/McCain lobbying. The Air Force started out looking to replace the KC-135 and then magically when NG/EADS threatened to pull out they all of the sudden decided they wanted something much bigger. The Air Force had plenty of opportunities to buy a larger tanker in the past and never did at a time when we had hundreds of large bombers. I don't see any weapon aircraft in development or on the horizon that warrants such a large tanker. If you look at the average loads of the KC-135 fleet you will see that it is far below the max capacity of the KC-135. So why do we need this large tanker?

If there is the occasional mission that warrants a KC-30 sized aircraft then we should purchase some (we do have a relatively small fleet of KC-10s to do the missions the KC-135 should) but that doesn't mean we should base our tanker fleet around an aircraft that is perfect for 3-5% of missions and way too big for the others. We didn't replace the entire KC-135 fleet with KC-10s because their was the possibility of a mission arising that only a KC-10 can do. It is a waste of tax dollars to operate in such a way.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 78):
Unless I missed it, the Earth is still spinning, and every Airbus employee that had a job before either of these FALs started, still has one.

How many new applications will Airbus now have to turn away because they are moving jobs to other countries? How will they make a case for RLI when they are planning on moving more of those jobs overseas.
 
MOBflyer
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:50 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 81):
Stop looking at just the sticker price (which the 767 is still cheaper btw) and look at the overall cost of ownership. The KC-30 is going to be one of the largest and heaviest aircraft in the fleet, it is stupid to think there won't be millions and millions of dollars spent on upgrading bases around the country and around the world to support it.

I wasn't talking about prices or costs, i was inferring that you SHOULD receive bonus points for going above and beyond. It quantifies value.

I just wrote a letter to Senator Murray of Washington State:

Quote:
Senator Murray,
I am writing in response to your numerous inferences that the Northrop Grumman/EADS KC-30 tanker offering would effectively "outsource American jobs." This could not be further from the truth.
As a citizen of the city of Mobile, Alabama; I take terrific offense to your statement. Northrop Grumman maintains that its proposal would support 48,000 jobs nationwide, many of which would be anchored by two separate facilities Mobile's Brookley Field: an aircraft assembly center and a tanker militarization center. Other substantial centers of operation include Melbourne, Florida (program engineering and administration); Parkersburg, West Virginia (where the boom will be built); North Carolina (where the engines will be built); among many many others. Boeing maintains that its proposal, however, will support fewer jobs, at 44,000.
I understand that there is worry that Boeing's 767 line will close without this contract. That is likely true, but it is a product of market forces. Boeing should be ashamed to offer a tanker to the United States Air Force that they cannot sell to commercial airline customers. The B767 has lost in the commercial arena to the A330, as it also has in military procurement competitions. Most recent tanker orders from America's allies have been awarded to A330 based designs; and of those the Boeing has been awarded - they have yet to deliver a single one that met all agreed upon stipulations, or even remotely on-time.
As I called your office to inquire as to since when Mobile, Alabama was no longer part of America; I was told by your staffers that the primary contractor for the award was a foreign entity - which is blatantly false. The primary contractor is Northrop Grumman, which has its world headquarters in Los Angeles, California.(which is part of America) A sub-contractor for the contract is EADS North America, which is headquartered in Virginia, (which is part of America) and is a subsidiary of the Holland-based EADS. EADS most recognizable subsidiary is Airbus, which is headquartered in Toulouse, France. (NOT Paris, as I was told by your staffers). I would urge you to inform your employees of the facts regarding the program, because they are unnecessarily ignorant of them at the present time. Both your Seattle and Washington offices responded the way I described.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response,
Joshua R. Stone

 
norcal
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:04 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 82):
I wasn't talking about prices or costs, i was inferring that you SHOULD receive bonus points for going above and beyond. It quantifies value.

Only if that extra capability is needed and only if it doesn't cost more, neither of which have been proven.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 82):
I just wrote a letter to Senator Murray of Washington State:

Good for you to exercise your constitutional rights! (I am being serious btw and not sarcastic)

However do you honestly believe those NG/EADS numbers? I don't believe either of the numbers published by Boeing or EADS, but I do believe that Boeing offers more American jobs. However this isn't about jobs for me personally, this is about how my tax dollars are being spent.
 
pygmalion
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:22 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 79):
Thats right, don't reward someone for giving you bang for your buck



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 82):
I wasn't talking about prices or costs, i was inferring that you SHOULD receive bonus points for going above and beyond. It quantifies value.

Tell that to all the Suburban owners. That Suburban did cost more but it has so much more capability than that Chevy Malibu. You never know when you might need to carry the whole soccer team and their gear. Support American Soccer, buy a Suburban. Don't leave the soccer moms with 2 kids without the right equipment to do the job!!!!.

Everyone knows you should buy the extra capability if available. Sure they don't need a Bluebird bus but they should have the best medium passenger car they can get. Buy the Suburban, support the war fighter!!! Oops I mean soccer mom!

And they are "American Made" right across the border in Silao Mexico
 
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EPA001
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:24 pm

@ MOBflyer: that is a good letter. I am curious about the response. Keep us posted. One small correction though: Holland is a part of the Netherlands. It is made up what are now our provinces "Noord (north) Holland", "Zuid (south) Holland" and "Utrecht".

Noord Holland is dominated by the Amsterdam metropolitan area and is the largest economic centre of my country. Zuid Holland is dominated by the Rotterdam metropolitan area and is on an economic scale not that far behind, especially since it still has one of the most important ports in the world. It has been until recently the largest port in the world for 40 years. Also in Zuid Holland is our government which is located in Den Haag (The Hague) which is the third city of my country.

But many foreigners and even many fellow countryman of mine still use the term Holland. I for sure will not hold it against you Big grin

Kind regards!
 
TristarAtLCA
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:11 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 81):
How will they make a case for RLI when they are planning on moving more of those jobs overseas.

RLI is for development costs on new projects.

That is not going to leave Europe unless the Chinese or our good friends in the US feel like picking up the tab  Big grin
If you was right..................I'd agree with you
 
dw747400
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:32 pm



Quoting Pygmalion (Reply 84):

Everyone knows you should buy the extra capability if available. Sure they don't need a Bluebird bus but they should have the best medium passenger car they can get. Buy the Suburban, support the war fighter!!! Oops I mean soccer mom!

So your opinion is we should all drive large, expense vehicles on the outside chance we might occasionally need the capability? You might want to stay away from the global warming threads in non/av!

It is about tailoring the capability to the mission, not buying the maximum capability. A suburban is a pretty substantial step up from a Malibu in terms of cost, and if you don't need the capability it makes no sense. Same with the aircraft--does the USAF need a plane as large and capable as the A330?

Just because you can afford something with more capability (or "superior" as a few of are particularly die-hard NG/EADS supporters like to say) doesn't mean it is the best choice.

Apparently the USAF feels they will use the extra capability of the NG/EADS offering, but we will now see if their analysis holds up to additional scrutiny.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 82):
I was told by your staffers that the primary contractor for the award was a foreign entity - which is blatantly false. The primary contractor is Northrop Grumman, which has its world headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

Does anyone have a break-down of responsibilities for EADS and NG assuming the contract is awarded as it currently stands. The fact that EADS is able to deliver tankers without NG's help certainly lends credence to the belief that EADS is effectively the primary contractor, with NG tacked on for public appearance and expertise in working with the US Military, not actual engineering. IIRC, even the new US facilities would be EADS facilities, not NG.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
MOBflyer
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:06 pm



Quoting Dw747400 (Reply 87):

Does anyone have a break-down of responsibilities for EADS and NG assuming the contract is awarded as it currently stands. The fact that EADS is able to deliver tankers without NG's help certainly lends credence to the belief that EADS is effectively the primary contractor, with NG tacked on for public appearance and expertise in working with the US Military, not actual engineering. IIRC, even the new US facilities would be EADS facilities, not NG.

I don't have a breakdown per se, but the proposal to the USAF was done by NG. Northrop Grumman is offering the KC-30 tanker, which is a militarized conversion of the Airbus A330F. The primary contractor, by definition, is NG. NG is sub-contracting out the airframe to EADS. Their will be two separate, but adjacent facilities at BFM: Airbus's assembly line, and Northrop Grumman's tanker conversion line. That will bring Airbus's facility count at MOB to two: they already have an engineering and design center.
 
Beta
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:20 pm



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 82):
The primary contractor is Northrop Grumman, which has its world headquarters in Los Angeles, California.(which is part of America) A sub-contractor for the contract is EADS North America, which is headquartered in Virginia, (which is part of America) and is a subsidiary of the Holland-based EADS. EADS most recognizable subsidiary is Airbus,

Come on! Do you seriously expect any self-respecting person with an intact frontal lobe to believe in that Northrop Grumman is actually "the heavy lifter" in this partnership? Northrop Grumman's job is to integrate the military systems and being a PR front man. After all, EADS is doing fine producing tanker for the British and Australian militaries without Northrop Grumman. So don't serve up the notion that Northrop Grumman is the primary contractor because it says so on a piece of paper. No one is fooled by that. NG's primary responsibility is for domestic political consumption, and there is nothing wrong with that. It's SOP in a military procurement.
Back to topic, I believe in the revised RFP and in the re-bids if it's about capability, capability, and more capability, with cost being secondary, then EADS/NG will likely come out winner again. However, if cost is given a renewed emphasis, then Boeing stands a great chance, and cost would be given as a justification in going with Boeing this time around IMHO.
 
Ken777
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:51 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 52):
Over here we do not get to read all the statements anybody is making on this issue.

Try using thepaperboy.com to find stories in any city you want. It's free, but I think you can pay for translated versions.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 52):
No, she wants to conduct thing behind closed doors!

Closed doors means they get the full GAO report, with no redactions. Might be nice since Congress has the responsibility to fund the program and the right to investigate irregularities.

Quoting N1786b (Reply 54):
Young also said he will not take into account the WTO and the industrial base/jobs.

The key for the WTO issue is that Airbus cannot pass on any charges, or increases in related costs, that they may get hit with if the WTO rules against them.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 65):
pages 17-20 from the USAF document to the GAO.

Which the GAO didn't accept as relevant. If they had they would not have found in Boeing's favor.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 76):
I think logistics of the area had to be one of the factors.

Lets not forget the financial incentives to locate there. If you offer the best financial deal you generally get the plant.
 
gsosbee
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RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:02 pm

I watched the House subcommittee meeting this afternoon, and I must say it was not one of the House's better efforts. Members from Kansas and Washington were basically reading from the Boeing script with the members from Florida and Alabama attempting to get on record what exactly the GAO said.

Some interesting points from the afternoon:

* No evidence of intentional criminal activity as alleged by Boeing in one of the 8 protests they filed.
* The economics of the two airplanes are very close.
* The Air Force did not document how they concluded that the NG airplane could refuel all
aircraft in the inventory; not that the NG airplane could not refuel all aircraft. (The same thing for the break-away and runway issues.) The GAO representatives indicated that as far as they knew there were no operational issues with either airplane - just in these instances the Air Force did not document how they came up with the answer (i.e. they did not show their work).
* NG never said they would not do the generic maintenance for the first two years. The
reply was that they would do what was necessary - which was a "non" answer so the
GAO assumed the answer was no, but qualified the answer with the statement that is in
the GAO report.
* Throughout the entire process - the RFP and the Protest - each side had/has the option
of filing a complaint with the Federal Claims Court if they feel they are being unjustly
treated. Neither has done so.
* One of the Washington Representatives tried to introduce jobs and WTO into the discussion and the GAO people said that would have been against the law.
* The current Air Force AMC generals prefer bigger airplanes.

The meeting went so long that the Young DOD session was not televised.

Conclusion: Much like what has been written - Boeing probably cannot gain enough ground to win the award on its merits. HOWEVER, I would say there is a 75% to 80% chance that the policital decision will be made to only fund if Boeing is awarded the contract.
 
MOBflyer
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:42 am

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:03 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 83):

However do you honestly believe those NG/EADS numbers? I don't believe either of the numbers published by Boeing or EADS, but I do believe that Boeing offers more American jobs. However this isn't about jobs for me personally, this is about how my tax dollars are being spent.

I think that both numbers are grossly exaggerated, yes. But I think that they will each support about an equal number of jobs. 48k vs 44k is essentially a statistical dead heat. My point in the letter was to merely use what each company was maintaining.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 90):
Lets not forget the financial incentives to locate there. If you offer the best financial deal you generally get the plant.

Of course! Alabama, Mobile County, and the City of Mobile bent over backwards for the plant, as they also did for ThyssenKrup, and all the autos in the Central/North part of the state. The general economy, financial incentives, and logistics of the area were unmatched. At BFM you have onsite interstate connection, rail connection, some Port of Mobile terminals, and of course the Downtown Airport. (Formerly Brookley Air Force Base)

As an incentive for Airbus to open an engineering and design center in Mobile, the Mobile Airport Authority foot the bill for the facility, and leases it to Airbus for $1 annually, for ten years.
 
MOBflyer
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:42 am

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:08 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 91):
I watched the House subcommittee meeting this afternoon, and I must say it was not one of the House's better efforts. Members from Kansas and Washington were basically reading from the Boeing script with the members from Florida and Alabama attempting to get on record what exactly the GAO said.

Some interesting points from the afternoon:

* No evidence of intentional criminal activity as alleged by Boeing in one of the 8 protests they filed.
* The economics of the two airplanes are very close.
* The Air Force did not document how they concluded that the NG airplane could refuel all
aircraft in the inventory; not that the NG airplane could not refuel all aircraft. (The same thing for the break-away and runway issues.) The GAO representatives indicated that as far as they knew there were no operational issues with either airplane - just in these instances the Air Force did not document how they came up with the answer (i.e. they did not show their work).
* NG never said they would not do the generic maintenance for the first two years. The
reply was that they would do what was necessary - which was a "non" answer so the
GAO assumed the answer was no, but qualified the answer with the statement that is in
the GAO report.
* Throughout the entire process - the RFP and the Protest - each side had/has the option
of filing a complaint with the Federal Claims Court if they feel they are being unjustly
treated. Neither has done so.
* One of the Washington Representatives tried to introduce jobs and WTO into the discussion and the GAO people said that would have been against the law.
* The current Air Force AMC generals prefer bigger airplanes.

The meeting went so long that the Young DOD session was not televised.

Conclusion: Much like what has been written - Boeing probably cannot gain enough ground to win the award on its merits. HOWEVER, I would say there is a 75% to 80% chance that the policital decision will be made to only fund if Boeing is awarded the contract.

WOW! Thanks for the update!
 
Lumberton
Posts: 4176
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:34 am

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:38 pm

I watched Secretary Young's appearance before the committee. Sorry, the link has gone away, but you might be able to find it on the House Armed Services Committee website. One thing that caught my interest was that when asked why it was necessary to "re-bid", rather than "re-score" the RFP in accordance with the GAO findings, Secretary Young deferred the answer to the "closed" session.

Another disclosure, and one learns something everyday, is that any revised RFP is "protestable". Secretary Young disclosed that if this happens, then the goal of a source selection by the end of the year or early January will not be met.

All in all, a very interesting exchange. There can be no misunderstanding here that every step that the Defense Department takes will be under the Congressional microscope. Frankly, the odds that this will be done before the Bush Administration leaves office are slim to none IMO.

Edit: link.
http://www.house.gov/hasc/
Click on the link on the left of the page. Probably very perishable....

[Edited 2008-07-10 16:43:01]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Curt22
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:43 am

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:00 am



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 52):
Maybe I am a bit naive,

No shame in being naive...we all are in some ways...but to reply to the veil of secrecy versus the open competition. I don't know how other nations do it, but US DoD competitive selections are done in what may be perceived as secret.

The reason while not well know is a simple one...This method is used to protect the vendors who must provide a huge volume of vendor proprietary data as part of the proposals and not all vendors with this info to be released to their competitors or others in the general public. (information such as labor rates, cost of the bid, sources of materials, sub-vendors, and technically unique methods and practices come to mind.

While it sounds good on the surface to have all info in the open for all to see, truth is neither the US nor the source selection process is a "democracy" (We are a representative republic). These decisions aren't to be made in the court of public opinion by the masses who in most cases (unlike those on A-Net) don't know what they are hearing since they are not professionals in the field of aviation, acquisition or contract law, and are easily swawed by the marketing magic of slick advertising.
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:38 am

What I picked up from listening to the hearing:

1) The Pentagon (Mr. Young) will be giving more points/credit to the platform that provides the most fuel offload. He was clear that the Pentagon does not believe the USAF was in error in giving extra credit for a larger fuel offload as interpreted by the GAO. He stated the requirement document was clear on this and they will continue to use that document. The Boeing supporters are very unhappy with that stance as it favors the larger A330.

2) Can Boeing or NG/EADS offer a larger airplane..Yes (but it will be difficult under the new time-line)

3) Rep. Dicks was adamant that he was misled by former AF Sec . Wynne and his assistant Ken Miller on the aircraft size issue. A larger aircraft is a complete waste according to Rep. Dicks.

4) Mr. Young expects the loser will protest.

My take -- Boeing's supporters have two options - try to influence the new RFP to benefit the 767 by limiting fuel offload credits or push to have the time-line changed to allow the 777. The NG/EADS supporters want the RFP left alone and get on with the new competition, but if the time-line is changed -- what will NG/EADS do to compete with the 777? Offer the A340?

What a mess!
 
Beta
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:56 am

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:53 am

Here is an interesting take on the mess:

Quote:
Boeing officials seemed to sense defeat early in the Air Force's KC-X aerial tanker competition and began building a "Pearl Harbor file" they could later use to force the Pentagon to reopen the bidding, says Michael W. Wynne, former Air Force secretary. "Here's one of those cases where Boeing had probably assessed their prospects were dimming. I would say that they systematically began to build a case, and I'm not sure they shared everything they could have shared with the Air Force along the way," said Wynne, fired last month by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Boeing officials "were essentially building a 'Pearl Harbor file' that they could use later. That's probably part of this." To Wynne, it seemed Boeing was preparing a Plan B in case it lost the contract, in part by withholding information on some costs that caused the Air Force to make its own estimates.

"There's a feeling in the Air Force that maybe we were as transparent as we could be, and maybe Boeing wasn't as transparent as it could be," Wynne said. "We do not feel they were as transparent as they could have been."

At the time of this posting, a Boeing spokesman had not yet provided an official response to those charges.

Asked for a specific example, Wynne pointed to Boeing's unwillingness to submit "commercial rates on their support organizations."

Link:

Quote:
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3620611&c=AME&s=TOP

What a pathetic way to "own-up" to your screw up! No wonder with such wonderful leadership, the USAF's procurement is in such a mess.
 
Ken777
Posts: 10044
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:30 am

I can see Boeing building a "Pearl Harbor file" as soon as the RFP was changed after Airbus threatened to walk away from the bidding. That and McCain;s letters (and close ties with Airbus lobbyists) would be sufficient to generate concern within any reasonable company.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 91):
The current Air Force AMC generals prefer bigger airplanes.

Of course the AF generals wants bigger planes, regardless of the costs. As far as I'm concerned they have their head in the clouds when it comes to costs. Why settle for a plane that can do the job when you can buy a bigger plane for more money? One should not dare to ask them if the KC-10 can handle those rare and unique jobs the 330 can do, but the 767 can't.

All the patriotic talk about needing to get the best for our fighting men is basically a pile of oats that have been processed through a horse.

The military elite could care less about the troops - especially those that have left the service because completion of their enlistment, retirement or for medical reasons. At that point the troops are a liability that the military wants to minimize. The blow up at Walter Reed caused currently injured vets to be taken care of as a high priority, but that's 2% of the vets alive today. The other 98% get the shaft so the Generals in the clouds can spend more than is needed.

There is a rather embarrising post on the 98% getting the shaft at

http://www.vawatchdog.org/08/nf08/nfAPR08/nf042808-1.htm

After reading it one tends to feel that additional funds for more than is needed can be better spent taking care of the troops that have already served.
 
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zeke
Posts: 14946
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: AF To Rebid Tanker Replacement

Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:20 am



Quoting NorCal (Reply 70):
If the Air Force has the choice between two qualified bids, then they should choose the cheaper one and leave more money available for other projects like more F-22s, F-35s, C-17s, etc.

They had the same choice between the upgraded F-15 and the F-22, history shows which was they went there, and now you are suggesting they should buy more F-22s, the aircraft with more capability.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 70):
None of this changes the fact the KC-767 will support more jobs than the KC-30.

Yes the KC-767 might, but the 767 line will not employ more people than the A330 line in the US. The KC-30 also brings the A330F.

The 767 line has a small backlog, plus whatever tankers, the A330 line would be for 400 odd freighters and the tankers (and possibly for A330 passenger aircraft when the A350 goes into production).

Quoting NorCal (Reply 70):
NG is just going to be a contractor assembling planes.

No, NG is doing the US military conversion of the aircraft.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 71):
Being able to "operate" from an airfield is a little different than being able to operate out of it efficiently or maintaining the same operational tempo. For example, the 161st ARW is located here in PHX. The ANG ramp on the south side of PHX can currently accommodate, I believe, 8 tankers. Of course, the KC-30 can operate from PHX, but without structural enhancements those 8 tanker pads will be able to accommodate not more than 5 KC-30s.

5 KC-30s provide the capability of about 9-10 KC-135R aircraft, even more if the KC-135s have wing pods installed. The KC-135 will be with the USAF for another 30 years, ANG units like the ones you mentioned I think will be some of the last people to get their hands on a KC-30, if the base remains open.

The other aspect of the post which you are obviously inferring is the KC-767 would fit 8 aircraft, that is also false, they would see a reduction in numbers, but they have lower capability compared to the KC-30.


The bases that are earmarked for the KC-X are :

* Altus Air Force Base, Okla.
* Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
* Bangor International Airport, Maine
* Birmingham International Airport, Ala.
* Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
* Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
* Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
* Forbes Field, Kan.
* Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.
* Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind.
* Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
* Lincoln Municipal Airport, Neb.
* MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
* March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
* McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.
* McGhee Tyson Airport, Tenn.
* McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.
* Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H.
* Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Ariz.
* Pittsburgh International Airport, Pa.
* Rickenbacker International Airport, Ohio
* Salt Lake City International Airport, Utah
* Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
* Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich.
* Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
* Sioux Gateway Airport, Iowa
* Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

of which the following are AFR

* Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
* Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind.
* MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
* March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
* McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.
* Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
* Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

http://www.afrc.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/080116-F-9999R-001.jpg

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 71):
The procedural errors were not the only reason Boeing appealed nor were they the only reason the bid was reopened. There were prejudicial errors that also necessitated canceling of the February 29 award.

It was a procedural error with the net-ready discussion, they should have kept Boeing informed and the discussion open. They did not use a different assessment standard or specification for NG and Boeing.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 74):

A330s won't be built forever the assembly line will shut down once A330s aren't being built anymore. As soon as the dollar recovers Airbus will decrease their investment in the area. The only reason Airbus is interested in the area is the relative cheapness of the labor. Once that disappears, so will Airbus.

That is very true, but that plant is already involved with the A330/A340/A350/A380.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 74):
What aircraft project after the A330 is Airbus planning on assembling in Mobile?

Same could be said about Boeing in Seattle, lots of talk has been made of them moving the future 737 assembly where it cheaper, and the majority of the 787 is made elsewhere.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 81):
The KC-30 is going to be one of the largest and heaviest aircraft in the fleet, it is stupid to think there won't be millions and millions of dollars spent on upgrading bases around the country and around the world to support it.

Large wing span yes, highest weight, no. Depending on the surface, the KC-30 actually has a lower ACN than the KC-135 (look at the lower grade flexible pavements)

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 90):
Which the GAO didn't accept as relevant. If they had they would not have found in Boeing's favor.

The GAO case law the USAF used was correct, and their intent was made clear to everyone. Boeing should have raised their concerns over that assessment when it was supposed to do. What the GAO upheld was the wording in the RFP, they did not say Boeings actions were correct, or that the point the USAF raised was incorrect.

If Boeing genuinely believed what they said to the GAO, there was no need to increase the fuel capacity of the KC-767AT above the KC-767, the KC-767 could have exceeded the threshold, by their interpretation, if you exceed the line by 1 lb, you meet the requirement.

Exceeding the threshold by the amount the did, improved their IFARA scores, it improved the KC-30s more.

Quoting Beta (Reply 89):
After all, EADS is doing fine producing tanker for the British and Australian militaries without Northrop Grumman.

I thought NG was doing the "net ready" aspects of those aircraft as well, the Link 16 data link. military comms etc ? NG has been working with EADS on military projects for some time http://www.eads.com/1024/en/pressdb/...rchiv/2001/2001/en_lb_dcs_nor.html I think their first big project together was the NATO AWACS upgrade.
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