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redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:49 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 73):
Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 66):
So the USAF did not say they were going to give extra credit, which is what I thought.

See the USAF motion to dismiss. pages 13 onwards.

Again, you didn't answer my question, which is where in the RFP did it say extra credit would be given? It didn't say it, so don't try to shift the focus to a post-contract award motion.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 73):
Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 66):
Why are you splitting hairs Zeke?

It is not splitting hairs. see https://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ms/military/read.main/91295/1/#485

We have had a lot of discussion after the GAO decision on what the way forward will be, I took the position that the USAF will follow the GAO decision to the letter, others said things like "Zeke, who are you kidding? This is definitely going to be a new RFP."

You're splitting hairs with me, Zeke. I never said that. If you have an issue with what someone else said, take it up with them.

By the way, Zeke, I'm curious who your source is for all this information you're posting on these tanker threads. Approximately one year ago when you and I had some heated debates on the issue of KC-X, your inputs were typical of most posters on A.net, which is to say very amateurish. Lately, though, you have some very nice and factual information. Obviously, we can assume you haven't joined the USAF as an officer with a tanker wing. And as a mere aerial bus driver, you wouldn't typically be privy to such information (at least, that is my experience in talking to bus drivers who ply their trade in the world's skies doing nothing but pushing buttons in the cockpit). So who is your source?

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 86):
At the last hearing, a specific question about criminal activity was asked, and the GAO said they found no evidence of such. This would lead one to believe that parties in Congress are choosing to ignore the GAO and to listen to someone else for whatever reason.

Interesting. When did the GAO start conducting criminal investigations?

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 97):
The plan would be to not bid in the expectation that congress forces the UASF to draft a completely new RFP.

You would think that would happen, since that is precisely what happened when NG/EADS threatened to no-bid back in late 2006. And my guess is, it just might happen this time around as well. I can't imagine certain members of Congress not pulling a John Sidney McCain to ensure the RFP isn't modified to allow for two bidders. What I will like to see if that happens is how NG/EADS and, in particular, certain rabid NG/EADS fans on this forum (not you) spin it.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 97):
However, no-bidding could be high-risk strategy for Boeing.

Overall, it might be the smart thing to do - IF Congress doesn't step in. It would be pointless to spend millions of dollars on a losing endeavor. That is precisely what NG/EADS would have done had the 2007 RFP not been modified.
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.
 
AirRyan
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:37 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 57):
If we're to believe the USAF plays by the rules and treats all vendors equally - very important to ensuring the public's trust and confidence in their decision making process - then they will not take such punitive actions against Boeing on the CSAR-X contract.

But, then again, we've seen that the USAF cannot play by the rules and treat all vendors equally, so maybe you've got something there.

The USAF will every reason to side with LM this time around, but again though let's be honest - one will always have a difficult time in getting another to award the product it just doesn't want.

Say you put out an RFI for a sports car and you're hit with bids from Corvette, Viper, Porsche, Mustang, etc. Technically they all fit the bill of what you are looking for and asking it to do, but let's be honest, you can't make a Chevy guy Ford just because you want to be fair! "Fair" is a four letter F-Word and has little place in civilized capitalistic economies - socialism is for poor, broke "lozers!" Big grin
 
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chrisnh
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:22 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 98):
The plan would be to not bid in the expectation that congress forces the UASF to draft a completely new RFP.

"We're going to pick up our bat & ball and go home until you come to your senses and ask for the kind of plane we want to build."
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:08 am



Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 102):
"We're going to pick up our bat & ball and go home until you come to your senses and ask for the kind of plane we want to build."

Isn't that what NG/Airbus did?  Smile
 
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Tugger
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:25 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):

Quoting Tugger (Reply 36):
The KC-30 very likely is the better over all value.

So, how do you know the KC-30 is the better value, if no one has an idea about what the cost is?

Welllll, there is the extraordinarily obvious fact that the KC-30 won the KC-xX competition the first time around. So that is some of it, now I'm sure some will say that the protest invalidates that, so then you can move onto the real world economics of the A330 platform. It is an excellent aircraft.

And finally, as you may have noticed I qualified my statement with "likely" to indicate the fact that I do not have direct knowledge of the bids and can not be certain but the evidence leans that way.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
WRONG.... The USAF trains at planned combat levels and capacities. During the Vietnam war, the largest combat fuel off-loads were given to the B-52D, which carried up to 108 Mk. 82 bombs, including 24 externally. The average fuel off-loaded was 103K-105K lbs, all from the ineffecient KC-135A/Q. The average combat fuel off-loaded during OIF and OEF is only 80K lbs, from more effeinct KC-135E/R/Ts and KC-10As. This is about the same as these tankers off-load at Red Flag Exercises.

Yes, and since they only had a certain capacity to plan for that was all they could train to. Pretty simple really. When they have a different platform to train with that may change.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
Furthermore, in combat, you don't put all your eggs in a few baskets, (gas in tankers). The KC-135 is successful because of numbers. If one KC-135 is mission lost, or is shot down, you only loose the 80K off-load to it's mission packages, and it is easier to re-target only a few other packages to cover those targets. Fewer larger tankers, if one is mission lost or shot down, means you lost a greater number of strike packages, and complicated your problem to cover the highest priority targets/missions.

So you are saying that its OK if a KC-767 gets shot down because we gots lots more of them? That is silly. ANY asset you have you use effectively and appropriately with appropriate support, escorts, and positioning. Neither asset is OK to lose nor is it not planned for as an option. There will be backups for either.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
Why not? You and many others seem to say, the KC-30 is better than the KC-767 BECAUSE it is bigger. So, by your reasoning, a even more capable KC-777 (over the KC-30) should be even BETTER.

I didn't say that, and that is classic Boeing cheerleader spin. For the criteria specified in the bid, the 330 is a much better fit than the 777. THAT is what I said.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
Then why wasn't the A-330's bigger engines over the B-767 considered to large? The USAF said nothing about engine size. .


You know as well as anyone that its about cost of the engine and the support netwrokks that are necessary to maintain and transport.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
BTW, contrary to what all the EADS/NG cheerleaders say here, the KC-30 cannot operate from a 7,000' runway at maximum weight, either, and the GAO said that.

From the GAO report:

[the] KC-767 used [Deleted]% more ramp space (without requiring additional bases), burned [Deleted]% more fuel and was able to accomplish the scenarios with [Deleted] fewer aircraft when taking the aerial refueling receptacle into account. Additional aircraft were needed if every runway in the scenario were interdicted to 7,000 feet. In the base denial scenarios, when a base was closed, [Deleted]% of the Air Tasking Order (ATO) could be completed by basing KC-767s within the remaining bases’ ramp space. Within the scenarios, [the] KC-767 offloaded between [Deleted]% and [Deleted]% of its fuel.

Id. at 45. With respect to Northrop Grumman’s aircraft, the agency stated:

[the] KC-30 used [Deleted]% more ramp space (needing some additional bases), burned [Deleted]% more fuel and was able to accomplish the scenarios with [Deleted] fewer aircraft when taking the aerial refueling receptacle into account. In the base denial sensitivity assessment, in some cases when a base was closed, the [Deleted]. [The] KC-30 has exceptional short field capability if the runway is interdicted to 7,000 feet (as noted in Subfactor 1.1). Within the scenarios, [the] KC-30 offloaded between [Deleted]% and [Deleted]% of its fuel.

Id.

I don't see what you are referring to. The section you are referring to states for the 767:
" Additional aircraft were needed if every runway in the scenario were interdicted to 7,000 feet. "
While for the 330 it said:
" [The] KC-30 has exceptional short field capability if the runway is interdicted to 7,000 feet (as noted in Subfactor 1.1)." So what am I missing?

And your own quote states the following:

Quote:
Two “major discriminators” were also identified for Northrop Grumman: (1) the KC‑30 could operate from a 7,000-foot runway carrying approximately [Deleted] percent more fuel than the KC-767,[28] and (2) the KC-30 provided a ferry range of [Deleted] nautical miles as compared to the KC-767’s ferry range of [Deleted] nautical miles.[29] Id. at 21‑22.

And:

Quote:
No proposal weaknesses were identified for either offeror in this area.

And further in the report:

Quote:
The capability to operate from a 7,000-foot runaway at sea level at the aircraft’s maximum gross weight was a non-KPP/KSA trade space requirement, see RFP, SRD sect. 3.2.1.1.4.2, which both Boeing and Northrop Grumman satisfied. AR, Tab 55, PAR, at 21.

And from this I conclude that you are wrong on the 7,000 runway performance and that "No proposal weaknesses were identified for either offeror in this area."

It appears that the 330 could operate from a 7,000 runway carrying more fuel than the 767. So when you say:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
BTW, contrary to what all the EADS/NG cheerleaders say here, the KC-30 cannot operate from a 7,000' runway at maximum weight, either, and the GAO said that.

http://www.gao.gov/decisions/bidpro/311344.htm

In the operational utility area, the SSAC found that both offerors satisfied the three KPP thresholds identified in this area, and partially met the one KPP objective identified.[27] The SSAC also found that both offerors met the KSA thresholds and objectives in this area. Id. at 20. Two “major discriminators” were identified for Boeing in this area: (1) [Deleted] and (2) [Deleted]. Id. at 21. Two “major discriminators” were also identified for Northrop Grumman: (1) the KC‑30 could operate from a 7,000-foot runway carrying approximately [Deleted] percent more fuel than the KC-767,[28] and (2) the KC-30 provided a ferry range of [Deleted] nautical miles as compared to the KC-767’s ferry range of [Deleted] nautical miles.[29] Id. at 21‑22.

Actually you are doing what the "Boeing cheerleaders" are doing (if you are going to accuse other of being cheerleaders you should at least identify yourself as one when you do it as well).

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 68):
Quoting Tugger (Reply 61):
The whole problem, the whole lie, and what makes Boeing redirection to the bid into "It's not fair!" so brilliant, is the fact that Boeing simply does not have a direct competitor for this bid.

Do you know how stupid that sounds?

I could have been more clear but if the USAF does want the larger aircraft then Boeing does not have a direct competitor to the KC-30 for this bid. That is why the Washington congressional delegation is going nuts (because if it is not re-written to favor a smaller bird then it’s over. It’s the problem with the whole requirement now, depending on how it is written, the bid favor one platform or the other).

Additional consideration on the accuracy of my statement may be gleaned from Boeing contemplating not bidding:

Quote:
Boeing may not bid on $35 bln tanker deal

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssI...tilitiesNews/idUSN1136906720080811

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 68):

Quoting Tugger (Reply 61):
The 777 simply does not meet the criteria better than the 330.

By who's definition?

By the “definition” of the bid criteria.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
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scbriml
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:08 am



Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 102):
"We're going to pick up our bat & ball and go home until you come to your senses and ask for the kind of plane we want to build."

Big version: Width: 453 Height: 318 File size: 75kb
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bennett123
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:51 am

frankly find this issue of giving credit for exceeding the requirement somewhat baffling.

A guy goes into 2 car dealers and says I want a car with 100 BHP and I want to pay £10,000.

The first dealer says "yes I can give you exactly that", the second says "I have a car that will give you 120BHP, I will let you have it for £10,000".

Who in their right mind is going to say "no, thank you. I does not match the specs".

Providing that it is not going to cost more, surely you can not have too much capacility.
 
smeg
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:47 am



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 106):
frankly find this issue of giving credit for exceeding the requirement somewhat baffling.

A guy goes into 2 car dealers and says I want a car with 100 BHP and I want to pay £10,000.

The first dealer says "yes I can give you exactly that", the second says "I have a car that will give you 120BHP, I will let you have it for £10,000".

Who in their right mind is going to say "no, thank you. I does not match the specs".

Providing that it is not going to cost more, surely you can not have too much capacility.

That is fine, but what if, whilst the initial cost may not be more.... the running costs such as fuel, insurance, tax etc are more for the 120BHP car? Then in the long run, the 120bhp option does not look quite as favourable.

But that is a private transaction, not a military/government RFP.

However, I am not sure that cost is the be all and end all in this situation. Mission suitability is. The planes will be in service for the next 25 plus years or so. They are an integral part of the American war machine, and therefore the correct tanker for the job must be picked. If that is the Boeing bird then great, if it is the NG bird, then that is also great.

Both the 767 and the 330 are "medium" by definition. The KC30/45 is just more so. The 777 is large and will not be offered. It would have too much of an impact on the current civilian line. Boeing will re-bid using the 767, and they will lose under the requirements of this latest draft 6. What happens then is unknown. Will Boeing once again protest and say that the new draft was skewed in favour of NG? Possibly. They are already essentially lodging a protest by saying that there is no point in bidding because they cannot win. However, why can't they win. Is it because the process was flawed, or is it really because they have no medium platform that can fulfill the requirements as well as the NG one, and to be honest, does it really matter? If they can protest, they will. NG would do the same.

One thing that is for certain is that this farce is no way near to being finalised. This will run on and on. The precedent has been set already. There is no real way of avoiding this now. Each amendment will skew the competition in favour of one bid or another. Another protest will follow. So, now the best thing to do is to pick the plane that is best for the USAF and ride out the inevitable flak that will follow.

The sh_t is goint to hit the fan regardless and they are going to get flak either way. By picking the bid that they want now, at least this means that the USAF can have their a/c while the political wranglings go on in the background. At the present moment, the whole process is stalled. That is not good for anyone, except the lawyers.

Of course, this assumes that Congress does not withold funding........ but that is another can of worms for another thread.
 
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scbriml
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:31 am



Quoting Smeg (Reply 107):
Will Boeing once again protest and say that the new draft was skewed in favour of NG? Possibly.

They have the opportunity to protest the RFP before bidding. If they wait till they lose again, and the USAF's process and evaluation is OK, then it's game over for them.

My personal opinion is that they will bid, and it will be the KC-767 again. I'm sure they'll sharpen their pencils to try and maximise the difference in costs, but the KC-30 will easily beat it on the core requirements.

I think a no-bid from Boeing is too risky a strategy for them to adopt. The AF could decide to award a single-source contract to NG. Their argument will be they selected the KC-30 last time and, having addressed the procedural issues that the GAO identified, Boeing's decision to no-bid leaves them no choice. There would be howls of protest from all the usual suspects of course, but, IMHO, the AF will at least be able to argue their side from a position of strength.
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RayChuang
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:06 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 68):
If EADS/NG submits a KC-45 powered by an engine not currently in service, the program risks go sky high. The KC-45 will be eliminated, then.

I should remind you the GENx engine--unlike the rest of the Boeing 787 program--has already reached flight test stage and we could see FAA-certified engines within a year or so. As such, that makes it more likely that we could see a GENx derivative on the KC-45, especially if they can up the power to around 68,000 lbs. thrust.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:21 pm



Quoting Tugger (Reply 104):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):

Quoting Tugger (Reply 36):
The KC-30 very likely is the better over all value.

So, how do you know the KC-30 is the better value, if no one has an idea about what the cost is?

Welllll, there is the extraordinarily obvious fact that the KC-30 won the KC-xX competition the first time around. So that is some of it, now I'm sure some will say that the protest invalidates that, so then you can move onto the real world economics of the A330 platform. It is an excellent aircraft.

The GAO report said the infastructure requirements and the 2 year heavy maintenance agreement (beginning two years after delivery of production airplane #1) were both refused by EADS/NG.

I agree that real world airline operation is very good for the airline version of the A-330, but it is (was) also true for the B-767. But, we are talking about new build tankers here, that have little to do with airliner operations.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 104):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
WRONG.... The USAF trains at planned combat levels and capacities. During the Vietnam war, the largest combat fuel off-loads were given to the B-52D, which carried up to 108 Mk. 82 bombs, including 24 externally. The average fuel off-loaded was 103K-105K lbs, all from the ineffecient KC-135A/Q. The average combat fuel off-loaded during OIF and OEF is only 80K lbs, from more effeinct KC-135E/R/Ts and KC-10As. This is about the same as these tankers off-load at Red Flag Exercises.

Yes, and since they only had a certain capacity to plan for that was all they could train to. Pretty simple really. When they have a different platform to train with that may change.

There is excess capability now with both the KC-135 and KC-10, as far as individual tanker off-load capability goes. Remember, the KC-X is replacing retiring KC-135Es, not the retained KC-135R/Ts or KC-10s. So, those airplanes, and the new tanker will continue to be used as they are now.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 104):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 67):
Then why wasn't the A-330's bigger engines over the B-767 considered to large? The USAF said nothing about engine size. .


You know as well as anyone that its about cost of the engine and the support netwrokks that are necessary to maintain and transport.

Since neither the offered GE CF-6-80E1 (for the KC-30) or the PW-4062A (for the KC-767) are not currently USAF engines, it should make no difference. What I was talking about was the comment that the GE-90-110/-115 fan section was so big and if it was to big, why wouldn't the larger fan CF-6-80E1 fan be considered too big (compared to the current USAF inventory of CF-6-50/-80 engines or the proposed PW-4062A).

Quoting Tugger (Reply 104):
(if you are going to accuse other of being cheerleaders you should at least identify yourself as one when you do it as well).

I have never hid the fact I support the Boeing proposal.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 104):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 68):
Quoting Tugger (Reply 61):
The whole problem, the whole lie, and what makes Boeing redirection to the bid into "It's not fair!" so brilliant, is the fact that Boeing simply does not have a direct competitor for this bid.

Do you know how stupid that sounds?

I could have been more clear but if the USAF does want the larger aircraft then Boeing does not have a direct competitor to the KC-30 for this bid.

Actually, the RFP asked for a "medium" sized tanker. The A-330 tanker and B-767 tanker both fit into this catagory. The problem is the Rand Corp. came up with the deifinition of small, medium, and large tankers, only based on the MTOW of each airplane. In this respect, the KC-30 would be unique, because it fits (because of its MTOW) into the medium cat., but it's wingsapn and lenght would make it the second largest airplane in the USAF inventory, bigger than the E-4B/VC-25A (by wingspan), and smaller than only the C-5A/B/M.

Quoting Smeg (Reply 107):
Both the 767 and the 330 are "medium" by definition.

Yes, but see above. The USAF let Rand Corp. define their tankers.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:27 pm



Quoting Smeg (Reply 107):
By picking the bid that they want now, at least this means that the USAF can have their a/c while the political wranglings go on in the background.

While I agree with you to some degree I also believe that the KC=X will only get "X" Dollars over the next decade - at least. Picking the less expensive (regardless of which plane it turns out to be after both A & B sharpen their pencils) would result in more tankers purchased.

There is going to be some serious battles over money in future budgets - in both the military and non-military areas of the Federal budgets.

The DOD is going to have to fight harder for every dollar they get, regardless of who is elected President. The Federal deficit is simply too large to generously fund Defense and there are other programs (can we say Veterans Affairs?) that need the money as much as Defense does,

Within the DOD budget the AF is going to need to fight for dollars against the other branches who will need some serious re-building after Iraq. Even within the AF itself there will be battles for which planes or equipment or weapons need the money the most and a tanker doesn't have the star power that a fighter or new missile does.

The only way I can see NG/Airbus winning the bid without the AF getting cuts in other areas is for NG/Airbus to ensure their bid comes in at a lower cost that Boeings. That would be the protection the AF needs in future years and, let's face it, NG/Airbus will have cost overruns that will provide the profits they want.
 
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zeke
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:45 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 110):
2 year heavy maintenance agreement (beginning two years after delivery of production airplane #1) were both refused by EADS/NG.

The RFP does not ask the vendors to do maintenance, nor did NG "refuse". All maintenance was to be done by the USAF, the vendors were to help the USAF setup their own maintenance system.

Failing to formally commit, is not the same as formally refusing. The GAO found that NG put forward a plan which covered the requirement, they however did not commit to a time frame (even when pressed). Why I have no idea, one possible reason is that none of the aircraft would need a C check that soon.

In any case, this was not a KPP point, nor did it have a threshold or objective level.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 110):
There is excess capability now with both the KC-135 and KC-10, as far as individual tanker off-load capability goes.

Not all the time.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 110):
What I was talking about was the comment that the GE-90-110/-115 fan section was so big and if it was to big, why wouldn't the larger fan CF-6-80E1 fan be considered too big (compared to the current USAF inventory of CF-6-50/-80 engines or the proposed PW-4062A).

The CF6/PW4000 will fit in a C130, like all the other USAF engines, apparently the GE90-110 will not.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 110):
Actually, the RFP asked for a "medium" sized tanker.

No it does not, nor does it say it is to replace KC-135Es. Remember the RFP is the formal contract document, not some USAF fleet plan.

The only reference to "medium" in the RFP is

"The contractor shall provide the technical data and computer software having the characteristics (e.g., content, format, and delivery medium)"

Which has nothing to do with the size of the aircraft, they never limited the size of the aircraft in the RFP, nor what role the aircraft would undertake once it is in the USAF inventory.

This is a basic premise I think Boeing has had wrong from day 1, from what I am seeing they ASSUMED that the USAF wanted an aircraft that replaced the KC-135R 1:1, but the RFP clearly is looking for a multi role aircraft. With shrinking fleet size with lower staffing levels, they want fewer aircraft that can do more.
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:43 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 112):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 110):
There is excess capability now with both the KC-135 and KC-10, as far as individual tanker off-load capability goes.

Not all the time.

When was the USAF tanker force not able to support the USAF strike force, and all the other assets?

Quoting Zeke (Reply 112):
This is a basic premise I think Boeing has had wrong from day 1, from what I am seeing they ASSUMED that the USAF wanted an aircraft that replaced the KC-135R 1:1, but the RFP clearly is looking for a multi role aircraft. With shrinking fleet size with lower staffing levels, they want fewer aircraft that can do more.

I don't think Boeing assumed anything, certinetly not replacing the the "R", when it was the "E" having the engine strut corrosion problems.

For tankers, air refueling is the reason the airplane gets built, and flys, everything else is secondary. Adding additional capabilities, to any airplane is nice, but it does not always reduce the size of the fleet needed. For new bombers or fighters with new additional capabilities, you could do more missions with fewer aircraft. But, tankers and cargo airplanes are different. They not only support the "shooters", but other airplanes, and ground forces. In the case of tankers, other air forces, too. So, reducing the fleet size of tankers, actually reduces your capability.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:43 pm



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 106):

frankly find this issue of giving credit for exceeding the requirement somewhat baffling.

A guy goes into 2 car dealers and says I want a car with 100 BHP and I want to pay £10,000.

The first dealer says "yes I can give you exactly that", the second says "I have a car that will give you 120BHP, I will let you have it for £10,000".

Who in their right mind is going to say "no, thank you. I does not match the specs".

Providing that it is not going to cost more, surely you can not have too much capacility.

It matters when one is a full size car and the other is a dumptruck. The KC30 is LARGER THAN A B52.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 112):
The RFP does not ask the vendors to do maintenance, nor did NG "refuse". All maintenance was to be done by the USAF, the vendors were to help the USAF setup their own maintenance system.

Zeke, you AGAIN fail to comprehend the basic english and the facts that are written in it. NG intentionaly failed to agree to provide assistance to the USAF to have the KC30 maintained at USAF facilities within 2 years of the contract signing. This isn't a small point. Its not a trivial point. Its a point that by the rules of the contest should have excluded them from winning it. NG was asked multiple times to agree to the 2 year provision. They were warned it was a requirement multiple times. NG has even said that it WASN'T an oversight that they didn't include an agreement for the 2 year provision.

NG by refusing to agree to this would be off the hook if the KC30 had to return to Airbus faclities for repairs/MX/etc past the 2 year point. They wouldn't have to assist in integrating a parts inventory and repair procedures that are currently UNKOWN TO EVEN THEMSELVES.

I'd ask that you stop posting factualy incorrect "facts" but we all know thats not going to happen.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 110):
The A-330 tanker and B-767 tanker both fit into this catagory. The problem is the Rand Corp. came up with the deifinition of small, medium, and large tankers

I would even disagree with the assertion that by the USAF's "standards" the 767 and A330 are medium tankers. Since currently the KC135 is occuping the medium role, and the KC10 is sitting alone in the "large" tanker section. The RFP was written to replace the KC135, thus it should make the best replacement for a KC135 the winner. This is a complex task given there is no frame in production that is remotely close to the KC135 in attributes. To those that base the "size" of a tanker on only payload or MTOW, unfortunately the actual physical size of the aircraft matters and this is where the KC30 fails miserably. Yes, the KC30 would be the winner if it was the same footprint as the KC767 and had all those other benifits intact. Sadly though its bigger than a B52 and thus only the USAF's refusal to pay lipservice to even the minimal infrastructure costs they DID include in the RFP let it win this last round. The cost to upgrade every tanker base in use to effectively be B52 bases isn't exactly free people. Concrete costs money. People cost money. Time to widen runways, taxiways, parking aprons, etc isn't free. Hangers are not free.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 104):

It appears that the 330 could operate from a 7,000 runway carrying more fuel than the 767

Yes, however one should realise that Zeke and others have been saying since the start of the RFP that the 767 COULD NOT take off from a 7K ft runway while the KC30 can. From the wording of the GAO summery, its apparent that the KC30 and KC767 both can not do so at thier respective MTOW which makes clear that the statements to the contrary for the KC30 are false.

That said, yes the KC30 has more payload than the KC767 off a 7K foot runway. It is unclear to me since we don't have the charts for the different mission types if that means the KC767 is less effective as a tanker. Regardless both will be better than the KC135E they replace. Both will be better than the KC135E that takes off below MTOW and lands with surplus fuel on nearly all missions done.
 
redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:05 pm

Looks like Boeing will stay in the competition after all.

Quote:
Boeing signaled Tuesday it will remain in the competition for a disputed $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, saying talks with the Pentagon were the start of a "continuing dialogue" over the latest round of bidding on the aerial refueling plane.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080812/tanker_fight.html?.v=1
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gsosbee
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:55 am

Of course they were going to stay in. Look what their stock price did on Monday when it was reported they might be thinking about pulling out. Can you imagine what would have happened if they did pull out. Can you say a loss of a minimum of 50% of their market value and downgrading their bonds to junk level?

Would not have been fair, but nothing in the financial markets is fair.

Now they have to work out a way to make their offering more competitive. They will win a close battle if their airplane is competitive with the A330.
 
sxf24
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:37 am



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 116):
Of course they were going to stay in. Look what their stock price did on Monday when it was reported they might be thinking about pulling out. Can you imagine what would have happened if they did pull out. Can you say a loss of a minimum of 50% of their market value and downgrading their bonds to junk level?

Are you stupid?

The KC-X program represents a tiny piece of Boeing's business - won or not. The loss of the tanker program is already priced into the stock and any fluctuations are just that.
 
redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:30 am



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 116):
Of course they were going to stay in. Look what their stock price did on Monday when it was reported they might be thinking about pulling out. Can you imagine what would have happened if they did pull out. Can you say a loss of a minimum of 50% of their market value and downgrading their bonds to junk level?

 Yeah sure

Quoting Sxf24 (Reply 117):
Are you stupid?

The KC-X program represents a tiny piece of Boeing's business - won or not. The loss of the tanker program is already priced into the stock and any fluctuations are just that.

 checkmark 
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zeke
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:29 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 113):

When was the USAF tanker force not able to support the USAF strike force, and all the other assets?

I have heard of it numerous times, either a lack of aircraft at the right place, not enough fuel at the right place, or the wrong sort of tanker (e.g. no hose, or hose fitted when you need a boom). Another a.net post not long back posted how he was turned away from KC-135s due to lack of fuel available.

Tankers have had operational shortcomings just like every other type of aircraft, the KC-135 has not been perfect.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 114):
This isn't a small point. Its not a trivial point.

It is a small trivial point if a one line statement from NG can rectify it, this is not a fundamental problem with the airframe like the inability to fly unrefueled 9,500 nm like the KC-767AT. It was not a KPP threshold.

The GAO found that NG did plan for this, they just failed to formally commit to it, even when pressed. See the full GAO decision page 52 para 1.

If they formally commit to it to the plan they already presented in the initial RFP response (which could be a one liner), this whole discussion is trivial.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 114):
Yes, however one should realise that Zeke and others have been saying since the start of the RFP that the 767 COULD NOT take off from a 7K ft runway while the KC30 can.

Rubbish, the 767 CAN takeoff from a 7000' runway (as I have said before), it just basically needs to be very empty to do so, which is next to useless as a tanker.

The KC-30 can takeoff from that length of runway with its full fuel payload, which is exactly what you want a tanker to do. The other difference was that the KC-30 could fly the required 9500 nm unrefueled, and the KC-767 could not, they were the material differences the USAF identified in its submission to the GAO.

Boeing said in its submission to the GAO

"The KC-30's 7,000 Foot Runway Performance Provides Illusory Benefit."

"Furthermore, both aircraft are fully capable of receiver aerial refueling, so there is no operational need for the KC-X to be able to fly 9,500 nm unrefueled."

Both of these were requirements of the airframe, and Boeing just pushes them under the carpet, or tried to tell the USAF how it should rewrite the RFP to suit Boeing's idea of what is important..they did that in 2002. see https://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/military/read.main/18742/
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scbriml
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:38 am

It seems Boeing is becoming more feminine. They appear to be changing their mind about a couple of things. cutie 

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/...12/business/NA-US-Tanker-Fight.php

Quote:
Boeing signaled Tuesday it will remain in the competition for a disputed $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, saying talks with the Pentagon were the start of a "continuing dialogue" over the latest round of bidding on the aerial refueling plane.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/374741_air13.html

Quote:
The company did not elaborate, but the implication is that it is at least studying the possibility of offering the Air Force a plane bigger than its 767-200 tanker. Its only options would appear to be either a tanker based on the 777, or one based on the 767-400, which is a much bigger version of the 767-200.

If they do bid anything other than the KC-767AT, it will be interesting to see how they spin the size issue. Of course, they'll have to think up some new reasons why the KC-30 is still the wrong plane.  spin 

Boeing is clearly pushing for more time, but the AF look to be on schedule to publish the final RFP by the end of this week. Dull it isn't.
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:30 am

A different plane, even based on a B767 frame, would for sure be a much greater risk for Boeing and the USAF. The time line for having the first four SDD airframes ready and converted would certainly not be met by Boeing if they would propose some (completely?) different. On the other hand, EADS Airbus continues to prepare the four SDD airframes up to a certain level. If they lose the bid in the end, these A330's can be finished for civilian commercial operations. If they win, they can proceed with the modifications by handing them over to NG! Even the B767-AT SDD aircraft are far from reaching that stage, since parts of the airframe are still on the designers table! Here NG has a major advantage which will be appealing to the USAF.

Like I wrote before, right now Boeing does not have the right alternative to provide the USAF with compared to the A330-MRTT based KC-45. In 5-6 years or so, based on the B787 airframe, they might have the superior platform, as they did 10 years ago since there was no A330-MRTT at that time. I do not see the B777 coming into play. Much larger by volume and much more expensive in purchasing and operating the airframes, meaning much less booms in the air! That will hurt its chances as is the fact that it has not been designed as a tanker yet!

Unless the process gets stalled again for several years, I still see NG-EADS win this in the end. If the process gets stalled over more and more years, the chances of a B787 bid would increase. That is maybe the tactics Boeing is going after. Still I hope to see the NG-EADS bid win. Under the previous and current amended RFP it remains the superior plane. The USAF will not regret its selection, they know that already because they already did select it after evaluating the bids for the previous RFP.

Kind regards!
 
art
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:35 am

Just a thought but if both Airbus and Boeing submitted binding offers in round 1, what matter if either of them withdraws from the contest? You just reactivate the offer the other contestant made.

Should Airbus withdraw, the politicians are going to approve the Boeing proposition. Should Boeing withdraw, are the politicians going to ditch the USAF's aerial refuelling capability by refusing funding?
 
gsosbee
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:42 pm



Quoting Sxf24 (Reply 117):
Are you stupid?

No. Look at reality - Boeing's share price tanked on Monday when a rumor of not continuing hit the news wire. If they would have pulled out it would have taken the financial markets a while to figure out that Boeing not participating on the KC-45 would be the best thing to have happened to Boeing. Unfortunately when the financial community sees bad news things tank - before rebounding. I assumed that most people understood this - obviously my mistake.

I will stand by the position I have held all along - Boeing not producing the KC-45 would be the best thing to happen to Boeing as it will enable them to focus on their other activities. Yes the 767 line is paid for, but the profit return on government contracts is no where near the return on commercial activities. If Boeing didn't have the 777, 737, 787 and 747 backlogs, then yes keeping the 767 line going would have paid to keep the lights on, but that is not the case.
 
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Stitch
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:39 pm

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 121):
A different plane, even based on a B767 frame, would for sure be a much greater risk for Boeing and the USAF.

I maintain the position that a tanker based on the 767-400ERX would be less of a risk then the "Frankenstein" plane Boeing is offering with the 767-200LRF. It should more closely match the cargo and fuel volume and passenger count of the A330-200, which will help address the disparity between the current planes. And the extra fuel carried in the horizontal stabilizers will improve the range.

Field performance will still be an issue, but perhaps Pratt can get some more thrust out of the PW4000. Or perhaps Boeing can source the 72k GE CF60-80C - an extra 10K of thrust should do wonders.  Smile

Another possible advantage of the 767-400ERX is it might appeal to 787-8 customers who need interim lift while they wait for their 787-8s.



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 123):
I will stand by the position I have held all along - Boeing not producing the KC-45 would be the best thing to happen to Boeing as it will enable them to focus on their other activities. Yes the 767 line is paid for, but the profit return on government contracts is no where near the return on commercial activities.

But the return on a government contract is stable across each frame, whereas with commercial sales it can vary greatly. So winning the KC-45 RFP would not only keep the 767 line working, but would ensure a stable rate of return on each frame delivered which makes it easier for Boeing to plan for future expenditures.

[Edited 2008-08-13 07:47:56]
 
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zeke
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:19 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 123):
If they would have pulled out it would have taken the financial markets a while to figure out that Boeing not participating on the KC-45 would be the best thing to have happened to Boeing.

It is the thin edge of the wedge that the market is looking at, the KC-X would just be the start. I don't think long term giving up market share is good for any company, unless of course that market is not profitable.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 124):

Field performance will still be an issue, but perhaps Pratt can get some more thrust out of the PW4000. Or perhaps Boeing can source the 72k GE CF60-80C - an extra 10K of thrust should do wonders.

Pretty sure the Boeing people at Farnborough briefing said the 767-400 was out due to the limitation of reaching the correct takeoff attitude with a boom attached, think they said the same for the 767-300 as well. Engine thrust is not the issue.
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:32 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 120):
If they do bid anything other than the KC-767AT, it will be interesting to see how they spin the size issue. Of course, they'll have to think up some new reasons why the KC-30 is still the wrong plane.

It's clear to everyone (now) that the USAF wants a bigger plane since the newest clarified RFP is giving the "extra credit". Had they eliminated that, they would have signalled they want the smaller plane. Sticking with the smaller plane may allow Boeing the dignity of standing on principle, just like hari-kari does, and with the same result.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 121):
A different plane, even based on a B767 frame, would for sure be a much greater risk for Boeing and the USAF.

Yes, but what choice do they have? Stick with the current plan, which is certain to loose the RFP?

Bottom line: it looks like Boeing is screwed with regard to the RFP. Sticking with the current plan will loose. Going to a new 767 configuration probably won't be good enough to win, and will mean a lot more risk too, so it isn't gonna win. 777 is a non starter: it's too big, and it's too much development risk. It appears the market won't even allow them to take their ball and go home. Ahh, the indignity of it all.

Their only hope is political shenanigans in Congress, but that'd be a greater indignity, and I really don't see Congress doing anything decisive. The end result will probably be that the NG bids go through, but Congress will throw Boeing some sort of a bone, like more funding for C-17 or P-8, etc. Win-win for the corporations, lose-lose for the taxpayers.
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gsosbee
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:02 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
Their only hope is political shenanigans in Congress, but that'd be a greater indignity, and I really don't see Congress doing anything decisive. The end result will probably be that the NG bids go through, but Congress will throw Boeing some sort of a bone, like more funding for C-17 or P-8, etc. Win-win for the corporations, lose-lose for the taxpayers.

Well said.
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:03 pm

Some interesting articles:

Boeing said discouraged by U.S. tanker chances

Quote:
"Boeing fears that the Bush administration has made up its mind on what tanker it wants and so all of these meetings will have no real bearing on the outcome of the competition," said Loren Thompson with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute, who has close ties to the defense industry.

Boeing: More Heat Over Tankers

Quote:
The Chicago-based aircraft maker, which in June got the military to void an initial award (BusinessWeek.com, 6/18/08) of the contract to rival Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Airbus-maker European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EAD.PA), said it is pressing for a "realistic timetable" for a new award—suggesting that the Pentagon's plan to have the contract sewn up by New Year's Day is not practical.

Also:

Quote:
Democrats in general are believed to lean toward Boeing, while Republicans—including presumptive Presidential nominee John McCain—are believed to tilt toward Northrop. Why? Analysts say a Boeing award might create more jobs in Washington State, while a Northrop bid would create more in Republican-dominated Alabama.

Perhaps betting on a Democratic victory in this fall's elections, Boeing seems to want to push the decision over to a new Administration, outside observers say. "It's a very aggressive posture," says Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with Teal Group, an aerospace research consultancy in Fairfax, Va. "This is a muscular approach. This is an effort to try to get the RFP weighted in a different way. And it's also probably just the opening salvo in a long war."

And:

Quote:
Boeing seems to want to leave all its options open—including the gambit of not offering a bid at all in hopes that Congress would bridle at the idea of a noncontested award to Northrop. Asked whether plans to keep talking with the Pentagon mean a no-bid stance is unlikely, spokesman Beck said, "any decision on Boeing's path forward would be premature and further speculation would be counterproductive."

In other words, outsiders suggested, if Boeing doesn't get clarified bidding terms that are to its liking, a no-bid remains possible.

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Stitch
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:05 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 125):
Pretty sure the Boeing people at Farnborough briefing said the 767-400 was out due to the limitation of reaching the correct takeoff attitude with a boom attached, think they said the same for the 767-300 as well. Engine thrust is not the issue.

I imagine this is due to the gear clearance, which cannot be changed.

So Boeing might as well just throw in the towel or get Congress to award it to them directly and bypass the RFP since the KC-767 Advanced is not going to win on merit because it's too disadvantaged.

EDIT: Looks like Boeing might be considering a larger 767 variant.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/374741_air13.html

I suppose Boeing could allow the boom to retract into the tailcone of the 767-400 to provide clearance? Or use anti-tail-strike software to prevent too much rotation (with a new wing profile and/or more engine power to counteract the lower lift from lower angles of attack)?

[Edited 2008-08-13 10:16:33]
 
Flighty
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:29 pm

Why doesn't Lord Boeing just clarify exactly what his highness wants, so we can endeavor to satisfy Him more fully?

Bowing low, your highness! May all your wishes come true!

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scbriml
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:44 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 129):
EDIT: Looks like Boeing might be considering a larger 767 variant.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/374741_air13.html

I suppose Boeing could allow the boom to retract into the tailcone of the 767-400 to provide clearance?

Yes, I referred to the same article earlier. Looking at photos of both the KC-30 and KC-767, having the boom retract doesn't look to be a realistic option (they are pretty big!)
KC-30 boom:

KC-767 boom:
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TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:17 pm

Funny how this contest has evolved....

1. Boeing said they would offer what the USAF wanted.

2. A small company (NAKOA) approaches Boeing to partner with them in offering the 747 because they believe from reading the RFP a large platform would best meet the USAF needs. Boeing says no way because according to their contacts, the USAF does not want a large platform and thus will not provide the sales information. So the small company cannot continue to compete with the large 747 platform which would also probably have provided more American jobs than the 767 tanker candidate.

3. NG-EADS wins with the larger A330. Since then it has been made very clear the USAF wanted "more" capabilities and size was not the issue that Boeing and their supporters repeatedly told the public it would be.

So now we have Boeing being wrong and NG-EADS and NAKOA being correct in assessing the needs of the USAF. Boeing's solution? Getting their supporters in Congress to fight for changing the RFP language so the smaller 767 will eventually win. Doesn't sound like Boeing really wants to sell what the USAF wants and needs. Instead they want the USAF to buy what Boeing needs to sell and to shut up and like it.
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:58 pm

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 132):
Funny how this contest has evolved....

1. Boeing said they would offer what the USAF wanted.

3. NG-EADS wins with the larger A330. Since then it has been made very clear the USAF wanted "more" capabilities and size was not the issue that Boeing and their supporters repeatedly told the public it would be.

So now we have Boeing being wrong and NG-EADS and NAKOA being correct in assessing the needs of the USAF. Boeing's solution? Getting their supporters in Congress to fight for changing the RFP language so the smaller 767 will eventually win. Doesn't sound like Boeing really wants to sell what the USAF wants and needs. Instead they want the USAF to buy what Boeing needs to sell and to shut up and like it.


Very well said. The timing for this deal under this RFP is just most unfortunate for Boeing. They just do not have the best and the right plane for job at the moment under the conditions of this RFP. Maybe that is the final repercussion of the former corrupt lease deal after all?

If they in the end lose again, and I expect them to, they will have lost more prestige then necessary since they trumped this up to the highest level. They better concentrate on the B787, that is where the big money really is for Boeing. Contrary to major customer the USAF with the proposed B767-AT, the civilian customers sure seem to like this product (B787-8/9) very much, and as far as I can judge it, they are correct. It will be a fantastic plane once it is in service.
And there is an improved B777 to develop as well as a successor to the B737-NG! So they have their work cut out for them, If they go at it with the right attitude, Boeing will create great planes out of these challenges, as they always have. I sure hope they do this.

But maybe some gain lies in this, Boeing probably will go after further military deals less arrogant than before. Pre-celebrating a win before the result of the competition has been announced, and then having to interrupt and call-off the festivities because they lost the competition (which was the situation earlier this year), was not a good signal as well! As was fighting with a big potential customer about the needs they have or the needs Boeings thinks they should have!

Kind regards.

[Edited 2008-08-13 12:02:36]

[Edited 2008-08-13 12:03:03]
 
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Stitch
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:37 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 131):
Yes, I referred to the same article earlier. Looking at photos of both the KC-30 and KC-767, having the boom retract doesn't look to be a realistic option (they are pretty big!)

I wonder if you could push the boom farther back, so the end of it with the winglets would then rise up and behind the horizontal stabilizers? But then I wonder if that would affect the clearance and/or effectiveness of the elevators...



Quoting TropicBird (Reply 132):
Doesn't sound like Boeing really wants to sell what the USAF wants and needs. Instead they want the USAF to buy what Boeing needs to sell and to shut up and like it.

Well what other option does Boeing have? The 777 line continues to sell strongly so Boeing could only deliver a few tankers a year to the USAF for some time. And they can't deliver any 787 tankers to the USAF before 2020.

And as well as it is selling now, the A330 program as a passenger plane will start winding down, so Airbus has a strong incentive to land the KC-45 RFP to ensure they can keep building them for years (if not decades) to come.



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 133):
If they in the end lose again, and I expect them to, they will have lost more prestige then necessary since they trumped this up to the highest level.

But maybe some gain lies in this, Boeing probably will go after further military deals less arrogant than before.

Boeing has already lost a number of major aerospace defense contracts to Lockheed-Martin and Northup-Grumman. Losing the JSF contract has ended their future as a producer of manned fighters once the F-15 and F-18 programs wind down. Losing the KC-45 program could end their future as a transport company once the C-17 program is shuttered, resulting in the final and complete closure of the Long Beach facility.

Soon enough, they may no longer be a player in US aerospace defense contracting at all, which will have huge repercussions for the members of Congress in states like California, Kansas and Missouri with large Boeing IDS facilities.

And can Boeing survive as just a commercial airline company? Especially when Airbus also has a strong aerospace defense unit generating plenty of monies and R&D to help support their commercial operations?
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:33 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 134):
Well what other option does Boeing have? The 777 line continues to sell strongly so Boeing could only deliver a few tankers a year to the USAF for some time. And they can't deliver any 787 tankers to the USAF before 2020.

The AOA for the KC-X program said that the Boeing 747 is an acceptable candidate aircraft and Boeing has not had much luck in selling as many of the 747-8 models as they wish. It just so happens that today Boeing began construction of the first 747-8.

Seems to me that if the USAF wants an aircraft with more, Boeing has it. All they had to do was take the tanker technology developed for the 767 and transfer it to the 747. This is Boeing's other option.

Before it gets brought up - I should also mention here that the AOA has determined that the A380 was too large for this competition. Besides the A330, the only other EADS aircraft the AOA allows for is the A340.

Link to article on 747-8 construction...

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/

AOA Report....

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2006/RAND_MG495.pdf
 
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Stitch
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:16 am

I tend to think the KC-X program might not well get funded, especially if the KC-30A wins the RFP again and is actually put into production. At that point, there really is no need for a KC-X since the KC-45 will be able to perform enough of that mission, as well. Especially if Obama wins the election and goes on to a second term, I can see (and certainly hope) defense spending sees significant cuts.



Back to the boom, considering how tight it conforms to the tail of both planes, would a tail-strike really be that much of a worry? I don't know how far a 767-400 rotates on take-off, but I imagine clearance may not be that much of an issue since it looks like the end of the boom snuggles right up under the back.
 
art
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:29 am

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 132):
Doesn't sound like Boeing really wants to sell what the USAF wants and needs. Instead they want the USAF to buy what Boeing needs to sell

Nicely put!

In fact neither Airbus nor Boeing is starting with a blank piece of paper and designing precisely what the USAF wants. The USAF would not want to foot a $5+ billion development cost in the price paid for each tanker, so both companies are offering modifications of existing designs ie both companies want the USAF to buy more or less what they already have available to sell.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 134):
Quoting TropicBird (Reply 132):
Doesn't sound like Boeing really wants to sell what the USAF wants and needs. Instead they want the USAF to buy what Boeing needs to sell and to shut up and like it.

Well what other option does Boeing have? The 777 line continues to sell strongly so Boeing could only deliver a few tankers a year to the USAF for some time.

They could increase 777 production. Ramping up production is a normal response to increased demand.

If they chose to field a 767 variant because of spare production capacity on the 767 line (rather than thinking the 777 was too large for the requirement), Boeing should not have felt aggrieved by the customer choosing another aircraft that more closely approximated to its needs.

[Edited 2008-08-13 18:55:30]
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:23 am

From Reuters quoted above:

A Pentagon chart explains that the first five factors, "when combined, are significantly more important than Factor 6," which examines the development and acquisition costs.

Putting costs at the bottom of a list of priorities is not always a wise decision - especially in difficult economic times. Tends to show the public that the AF could care less about the taxpayers economic problems.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 136):
Especially if Obama wins the election and goes on to a second term, I can see (and certainly hope) defense spending sees significant cuts.

I believe that Obama (and also McCain to a certain degree) will make changes in the Federal budget that puts a lot of pressure on the tanker program. It it turns out that allocated funds will only cover 25 - 30 KC-45s then NG/Airbus will be stuffed, Same with Boeing in a way.

Both candidates will face a Congress that will have more influence in the budget than the current administration. Funds for the DOD will focus mainly on rebuilding the military after Iraq and (hopefully) taking care of vets through the Veterans Administration. I would be happy to see funds for 50 to 100 KC-45's shifted to the VA for care of Vets from ALL wars. I think public opinion would agree. Bottom line is that the AF had better go for the lowest cost option if they want the maximum number of tankers they will get under a new administration,

Actually, it may be a good idea to restrict the number of KC-X tankers to 50 - 75 planes. There is too much innovation going on right now with the 787 and 350 to make a major commitment when better better options are not that far away on a 40 year utilization plan. Reduced maintenance requirements from composites would, by itself, an important factor in a tanker fleet as it would provide more up time. Why blow 179 clots on either A or B's current offerings when far better options are not that far away?
 
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:35 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 138):
Putting costs at the bottom of a list of priorities is not always a wise decision - especially in difficult economic times. Tends to show the public that the AF could care less about the taxpayers economic problems.

Look at it the other way. If they say cost is super important, they will be heavily pressured to choose the "cheaper" (it is a matter of opinion sometimes) airplane.

Of course, what good is a few 100 million dollars if our strategic tanker capabilities are not where they need to be?.... Say we only have 5 days to get a ton of cargo moved and bombs dropped all over the world. To do this, we need lots of tankers. This is a requirement; capabilities must be met. Only then can we pursue savings on cost.

But again, in terms of protests, a prominent "cost" priority can tie the USAF's hands which is not what they want.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:37 am



Quoting Stitch (Reply 124):
I maintain the position that a tanker based on the 767-400ERX would be less of a risk then the "Frankenstein" plane Boeing is offering with the 767-200LRF. It should more closely match the cargo and fuel volume and passenger count of the A330-200, which will help address the disparity between the current planes.

I don't see why a bigger 767 version brings anything. Except for the strict cargo role tankers operate not volume restricted (only in this area there is a big advantage of an airplane that has a large fuselage = floorspace) but weight restricted. That means weights are critical and not size. And in this area the 767-platform lacks always against the A330 (the bigger variants MORE than the smaller). Choosing the smallest 767 type allowed maximized runway performance, offloading+payload capability and range. And still exactly these figures were still weak.

Going to the 763 or 764 means a strong emphasis on the cargo role at the cost of the other already inferior figures.

A 764 will always have inferior runway performance, range, payload (= fuel to offload) than shorter 767's. What you can do to the 764 to improve these things are even more rewarding if applied to a 762. I think that's what Boeing had in mind when they strapped their KC767 package.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 134):
Losing the KC-45 program could end their future as a transport company once the C-17 program is shuttered, resulting in the final and complete closure of the Long Beach facility.

IMHO these things are not connected. Tankers are not considered so much as high-tech. Boeing is hardly categorically excluded from future tanker-business even if this round is lost. As long as tankers are derivatives of passenger planes future success in this area depends mainly on the availability of competitive airliners-types. Something Boeing has not forgotten how to build. Making a 787 based tanker in 20 years would not be so complicated.
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scbriml
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:44 am



Quoting Stitch (Reply 134):
I wonder if you could push the boom farther back, so the end of it with the winglets would then rise up and behind the horizontal stabilizers? But then I wonder if that would affect the clearance and/or effectiveness of the elevators...

It looks as though the boom "winglets" are already at the same level as the horizontal stabiliser. I suspect a bigger issue would be APU exhaust if they were moved further back.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 136):
Back to the boom, considering how tight it conforms to the tail of both planes, would a tail-strike really be that much of a worry?

It isn't with the existing planes, but even Boeing have said that the boom on the back of a 767-400 causes too many issues. While a shallower, two-part rotation is perfectly feasible, it has a significant impact on field performance.

Quoting Art (Reply 137):
In fact neither Airbus nor Boeing is starting with a blank piece of paper and designing precisely what the USAF wants.

The Rand study concluded that modifying an existing design was by far the most cost effective route for the AF.
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bennett123
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:28 am

Ken777

The problem with that it that the USAF want/need to replace all of the KC135E's. I doubt that 25-30 new tankers will be sufficient.

Also when would the next tranche come.
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:40 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 138):
Actually, it may be a good idea to restrict the number of KC-X tankers to 50 - 75 planes. There is too much innovation going on right now with the 787 and 350 to make a major commitment when better better options are not that far away on a 40 year utilization plan.

I don't fully agree. While I think there lies some benefit having the innovations currently being achieved in focus, there is some evidence, that the 787 is not the technology leap to dwarf everything else. It is certainly more efficient than the 330 but will need for itself at least a decade to develop into the plane the 330 did from its birth.

And still then, the 787 would be a hell of a lot more expensive to buy (while maybe not to operate, we'll see).

What timeframe can be set to produce 50-75 planes? 10 years? shorter? longer?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 139):
Look at it the other way. If they say cost is super important, they will be heavily pressured to choose the "cheaper" (it is a matter of opinion sometimes) airplane.

Of course, what good is a few 100 million dollars if our strategic tanker capabilities are not where they need to be?.... Say we only have 5 days to get a ton of cargo moved and bombs dropped all over the world. To do this, we need lots of tankers. This is a requirement; capabilities must be met. Only then can we pursue savings on cost.

Exactly what I think!
Cost is important for military equipment. But the fulfilment of basic requirements are the ultimate factor. Of course, at some point, there must be made a trade-off, as one can argue that 400 F22 with a bit less capability would be more useful than 180 best of all classes fighters, but comparing the cost of the two tanker options, they seem not to be so far away.
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:57 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 140):
I maintain the position that a tanker based on the 767-400ERX would be less of a risk then the "Frankenstein" plane Boeing is offering with the 767-200LRF. It should more closely match the cargo and fuel volume and passenger count of the A330-200, which will help address the disparity between the current planes.

Ref: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/374741_air13.html

Quote:
The A330-200 tanker is 192 feet long with a wingspan of nearly 198 feet. The 767-200 tanker is 159 feet long with a wingspan of 156 feet. The 767-400 is 201 feet, 4 inches long with a wingspan of 170 feet, 4 inches.

I think there's no getting around the fact that the A330 wing is longer than any of the 767 proposal's wing, and is fully shaped to take advantage of that wing (as opposed to having add-on extensions) and is late 80s tech vs late 70s tech (a crucial difference in compute power for CFD).

It seems to be a given that the USAF doesn't care about the ramping/hangaring issues (if they did, wouldn't that mean they would never deploy any asset larger than its replacement?) and wants the extra fuel and cargo capabilities, and as usual, doesn't care about any price issues.

Given all this, Boeing is doomed. The 767 can't compete with the A330. The market has already shown that. Any tweaks it can propose won't bring it to parity with the A330 and will add risk which will yet again lead to doom.

It's interesting to opine if (A) Boeing really was being told all along that the 767 was the right sized plane to offer, or (B) Boeing knew the all along that the 767 could not compete with the A330 and so they let themselves believe that the 767 could/would win on the basis of it being the right sized tanker, or (C) USAF knew all along they wanted the A330 and ran a disinformation campaign on Boeing or (D) USAF didn't really know what they wanted till the RFPs came back and they then decided they wanted the A330.

It also seems clear the DoD won't humour Boeing's request for more time. There's an election coming on, and the DoD wants to push the process as far as possible under the current administration, and there really doesn't seem to be any need to delay the process, other than to humour Boeing.

Ahh, the soap opera continues, with several more episodes to come.

Boy, those tankers are expensive, but think of all the entertainment value they have provided already!  Smile
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Nicoeddf
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:07 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 144):
It seems to be a given that the USAF doesn't care about the ramping/hangaring issues

I agree, therefore I can't follow this argument,...

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 114):
KC30 is LARGER THAN A B52

...anymore than to admit that is it factualy true, but is of no importance.

Yes, the 330 is larger, and so?
I know concrete is expensive, hangars are expensive and so on. But obviously this is of no relevance to the AF in the light of the added capabilites. Or better said: It is another trade off. The bigger footprint is accepted for the added benefit.
Must a (former) strategic nuclear bomber be by definition (or pride) be the biggest aircraft (=dick?) in the fleet?

The operation requirements do ask for a specific aircraft. If this, as evolution process of half a century, determines that the new generation tanker will be bigger than any flying bomb truck, well, let it be so.

Quite amusingly many of the Boeing supporters (not meant to you specially XT6), would in an instant take the even larger triple 7 or 747AT.
Any moment the price for hangars or concrete would drop, due to the high demand following huge construction work on tanker bases. Compelling, no?  Wink
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scbriml
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:11 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 144):
It's interesting to opine if (A) Boeing really was being told all along that the 767 was the right sized plane to offer, or (B) Boeing knew the all along that the 767 could not compete with the A330 and so they let themselves believe that the 767 could/would win on the basis of it being the right sized tanker, or (C) USAF knew all along they wanted the A330 and ran a disinformation campaign on Boeing or (D) USAF didn't really know what they wanted till the RFPs came back and they then decided they wanted the A330.

(A) - I don't swallow this for one second. Boeing has produced no evidence to substantiate the claim. Why not?

(B) - It is entirely possible that Boeing considered the KC-30 would beat the KC-767 and launched a massive "propaganda campaign" to try to convince everyone that the KC-767 was "the right size".

(C) - While the GAO said the AF treated the bidders differently, I haven't seen any evidence to support the "disinformation" theory. If the AF had already decided they wanted the KC-30, they didn't do a very good job on the original RFP.

(D) - It's a wild suggestion, but could be true. It was reported when the KC-30 won, that the AF had been convinced by NG's presentations that the larger, more capable tanker was better for them. Who knows?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 144):
It also seems clear the DoD won't humour Boeing's request for more time.

Agreed. It looks as though the final RFP will be issued tomorrow or Monday.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 144):
Boy, those tankers are expensive, but think of all the entertainment value they have provided already!

Indeed!  smile 
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Stitch
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:43 pm



Quoting Art (Reply 137):
They could increase 777 production. Ramping up production is a normal response to increased demand.

One does not just snap one's fingers to produce more planes. You'd be looking at a doubling of current 777 production rates and that would require a massive investment not only in the suppliers, but Boeing having to immediately stop production of the 767 so they can refurbish that line into a new 777 moving FAL (since there is no way Boeing could double the speed of the current 777 FAL).



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 138):
Actually, it may be a good idea to restrict the number of KC-X tankers to 50 - 75 planes.

With respect, at that point, why even do an RFP? The costs of integrating the plane into the fleet isn't worth it.



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 140):
Boeing is hardly categorically excluded from future tanker-business even if this round is lost. As long as tankers are derivatives of passenger planes future success in this area depends mainly on the availability of competitive airliners-types. Something Boeing has not forgotten how to build. Making a 787 based tanker in 20 years would not be so complicated.

The USAF is unlikely to operate another tanker model then the KC-45 before the end of this century. The KC-135 fleet lasted for almost a half-century even with better options (A300, A310, 767) available. The KC-45 will "soldier forth" at least that long and likely much longer.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 140):
I don't see why a bigger 767 version brings anything. Choosing the smallest 767 type allowed maximized runway performance, offloading+payload capability and range. And still exactly these figures were still weak.

Well then Boeing really is stupid to bid. They should just work Congress to get a bill passed that requires the USAF to purchase the KC-767 Advanced or just accept they are also now out of the tanker business.
 
Flighty
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:49 pm

All this points to the winner being... the Lockheed Tristar.  Big grin

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 146):
It was reported when the KC-30 won, that the AF had been convinced by NG's presentations that the larger, more capable tanker was better for them. Who knows?

I believe this is what Boeing hated. The RFP alone did not make Airbus the winner. Airbus convinced the USAF that the KC-30 was better, and the USAF agreed. Potentially, Airbus showed that the heavier KC-30 achieves military objectives the USAF had never thought about before.

So in this sense, the USAF was open to new ideas. This is what Boeing hated most of all.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:51 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 139):
Look at it the other way. If they say cost is super important, they will be heavily pressured to choose the "cheaper" (it is a matter of opinion sometimes) airplane.

Of course, what good is a few 100 million dollars if our strategic tanker capabilities are not where they need to be?.... Say we only have 5 days to get a ton of cargo moved and bombs dropped all over the world. To do this, we need lots of tankers. This is a requirement; capabilities must be met. Only then can we pursue savings on cost.

But again, in terms of protests, a prominent "cost" priority can tie the USAF's hands which is not what they want.

My belief is that there is going to be heavy pressure on the Federal budget and that will filter down to the DOD. If the NG/Airbus bid comes in at the same price as the Boeing bid then go for it. If it is X hundred million more then the AF fully needs to understand and acknowledge they they will loose X hundred million dollars for other critical programs, or get fewer tankers. I'm sure the AF plans on taking that X million dollars from other branches of the DOD, but I believe that their chances are pretty poor in that area.

The DOD's hands are going to be tied and that means the AF's hands are going to be tied, regardless of which plane they eventually choose. That may well mean that they should look at "more planes for the buck" instead of "more bang for the buck".
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