|Quoting Zeke (Reply 202):|
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 195):
Which objectives, that the KC-X is intended to fly, have not been thought of by the USAF that Airbus had to "educate" them on?
Post cold war stuff, when you have fewer multi role aircraft doing more.
Unfortunetly that (Post Cold War) is only one consideration. The political world constantly evolves (sometimes regresses), and that is what drives military planners. You can count on the US Military having several planned options considering a wide range of political instability for the future. Fewer assets, no matter how technoligically advanced they are is not always the best answer. WWII Germany found that out the hard way. They had the most advanced weapons of anyone during WWII, but got pounded by the Allies by some advanced technoligy, but mostly by shear numbers. Two great examples of this are the P-51s vs. the Me-262 and the Sherman Tanks vs. the Tiger Tank.
But, either way, both the KC
-30 and the KC
-767 are considered as multi-role aircraft.
|Quoting Zeke (Reply 202):|
From the GAO report
"The Air Force calculated a MPLCC for Boeing of $108.044 billion and a MPLCC for Northrop Grumman of $108.010 billion.
In comparing the firms%u2019 evaluated costs, the SSAC noted that Northrop Grumman had a lower evaluated MPLCC, but that the firms%u2019 evaluated MPLCCs were within $34 million of each other (approximately a .03-percent difference). The SSAC noted, however, that Boeing%u2019s slightly higher evaluated MPLCC was %u201Cdriven%u201D primarily by the firm%u2019s much higher SDD costs, %u201Cwhich reflected Boeing%u2019s more complex design, development, and integration activities.%u201D AR, Tab 55, PAR, at 43. In addition, the SSAC accepted the SSET%u2019s evaluation that Boeing%u2019s proposal presented a moderate cost risk for SDD. Northrop Grumman%u2019s proposal was assessed as a low cost risk for SDD costs. The SSAC viewed this difference in cost risk for the SDD phase to be the discriminator under this factor. Id. at 44."
But, the USAF
later (after Boeing filed a protest with the GAO) "revised" their most probible life cycle costs for the KC
-767, lowering it significantly. The original MPLCC for the KC
-767 of $108.044B, IIRC was revised down to $108.006, slightly below the MPLCC of the KC
-30. But, this is not a significant difference, and shows how tightly each aircraft compares to one another. What the MPLCC does not include is the cost of fuel, as on tankers, you can predicte flying hours, but not offloads, which will dictate the fuel load per mission. It is here the KC
-767 has an advantage (because of size and lighter weight), burning between $25B and $40B over 40 years. Nor does the MPLCC take into consideration the USAF
will need to buy ground cargo loading equipment to load/unload the lower cargo decks on the KC
-30, as no USAF
aircraft (except VIP aircraft) use the lower cargo decks. In both the KC
-135 and KC
-10 there are fuel cell bladders that make up the body tanks there.
The GAO also said:
"SSAC’s Mission Capability Factor Evaluation
Northrop Grumman’s evaluated advantage under the mission capability factor was largely based upon the firm’s perceived superiority under the key system requirements and program management subfactors; the two firms were found essentially equal under the remaining three subfactors. Id. at 46-47."
The key word being "perceived".
The report also says:
"In the aerial refueling area, the SSAC also identified five “discriminators offering less benefit” for Boeing that were assessed under 14 different SRD requirements and one such discriminator for Northrop Grumman that was assessed under 2 SRD requirements. Id. at 15-16.
The SSAC found that Boeing’s proposal had no weaknesses in the aerial refueling area, but identified the following two weaknesses in Northrop Grumman’s proposal:
The first weakness is related to the specified lighting around the fuel receptacle of the KC
-30. The specified lighting for refueling as a receiver may provide [Deleted]. The second weakness is related to Northrop Grumman’s boom approach. The [Deleted].
Id. at 16. The concern that Northrop Grumman’s [Deleted] was assessed under a KPP No. 1 threshold; the other weaknesses were assessed under non-KPP/KSA requirements. No schedule or cost risk was assigned by the SSET or SSAC for either of Northrop Grumman’s evaluated weaknesses. See AR
, Tab 46, SSET Final Briefing to SSAC and SSA
, at 196, 198; Tab 55, PAR
, at 16.
So, there is a question, in the mind of the GAO, as to why the SSET or SSAC did not consider the two EADS/NG air refueling weakness a cost (read development) or scheduling risk.
In the airlift area, the GAO says there is only one KPP, and both offers were found to meet all the threshold requirements:
"In the airlift area, the SSAC found that both offerors met all threshold requirements for the airlift KPP (there was only one KPP in this area), and that both offerors exceeded the threshold requirement for efficiently transporting equipment and personnel. AR
, Tab 55, PAR
, at 16. There were no KPP objectives identified by the SRD in the airlift area.
This is the part I find most disturbing, as it says the USAF
actually did play favoritsim here.
"We did not, and do not now, agree with the Air Force and Northrop Grumman that Boeing’s protest is a challenge to the ground rules established by the RFP for this procurement. We find that Boeing, rather than objecting to any of the RFP’s requirements or evaluation criteria, is instead protesting that the Air Force failed to reasonably evaluate proposals in accordance with the RFP’s identified requirements and evaluation criteria. We also do not agree with the agency and intervenor that, because Boeing was informed during the competition of the agency’s view of the merits of its proposal and/or how the proposals were being evaluated, Boeing was required to protest the agency’s evaluation or evaluation methodology prior to award and to the protester’s receipt of its required debriefing. Even where the protester is apprised of agency evaluation judgments with which it disagrees or where it believes the evaluation is inconsistent with the solicitation’s evaluation scheme, our Bid Protest Regulations require that these protest grounds be filed after the receipt of the required debriefing. See 4 C.F.R. sect. 21.2(a)(2); see also 61 Fed. Reg. 39039, 39040 (July 26, 1996) (“to address concerns regarding strategic or defensive protests, and to encourage early and meaningful debriefings,” a protester shall not file an initial protest prior to its required debriefing); Rhonda Podojil--Agency Tender Official, B‑311310, May 9, 2008, 2008 CPD para. 94 at 3 (application of debriefing exception to A‑76 competitions conducted on the basis of competitive proposals).
|Quoting Zeke (Reply 202):|
Now it's up to the Pentagon to distinguish more from less, and to "show its work" to the satisfaction of the fussiest teacher. More fuel en route to the battle front is undeniably better than less. More fuel delivered for each gallon consumed to deliver it is more efficient, not less."
Nice piece written by someone who has no idea what they are talking about, (usually a reporter, but in this case it is even worse, Jerry Cox is a former US Senate Staffer, in other words, a politician).
As I have mentioned there is something called "Boom Saturation", and it would also apply to recievers reciving fuel from WARPs. that is the point where the first receiver that refueled has less fuel, than when he started, because someone else is on the Boom. That ratio remains constant at 6:1 receivers per tanker. That ration does not change with the tanker type, whether it is a KC
-30 or KC