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A5XX
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:36 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:13 pm

Is there anyone here who really thought that the outcome of this contract would be different than what it is now? And for those who are afraid of the delivery delays of the KC-767AT to the USAF, well, don’t worry. Given the increasing number of 767’s that are going to bake in the desert in the coming years, i’m pretty sure the delivery delays wont be so long after all. Boeing will just re-purchase these old birds, polish them a little, convert them, and then resell them to the US government, at a premium price.

This contract was just a Boeing boomerang contract in disguise. Sorry guys.  Wink

They want an inferior product... so be it, they’ll get one. The fleecing of the american taxpayer continues.  Wink

A5XX

[Edited 2008-09-10 15:15:49]
 
dougbr2006
Posts: 287
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:25 pm

I wonder if Boeing will actually do anything over the coming months with respect to looking at another airframe than the 767-200 or will they want another six months when a new RFP finally hits the streets.

Boeing are only damaging the servicemen who need these new machines, oh ! and guess who wins by keeping those dilapidated 135's flying, how many millions will Boeing make out of a new support package !!!!!
 
gsosbee
Posts: 365
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:49 pm

Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 52):
I wonder if Boeing will actually do anything over the coming months with respect to looking at another airframe than the 767-200 or will they want another six months when a new RFP finally hits the streets.

Boeing is now considering this as their contract. Doesn't matter what the new RFP says, they will roll out the -200AT as the airplane the Air Force is going to get (despite the fact that the Air Force has said they do not want that airplane).

I thought Boeing's protest put a strain on Air Force/Boeing relations. This action will take it to an even higher level as Boeing knows the politicians have their back.

The DoD's only hope is a McCain victory. Otherwise they might as well classify the Pentagon as a division of Boeing.  Wink

[Edited 2008-09-10 15:50:47]
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:51 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 48):
Nope. Congress (with their masterful 17% approval rating) would have never funded the NG airplane. That is the "politically charged" part of Gates' comments.

I said it'd be on its way to be funded, not that it'd be funded. But the currently stalled contract for 4 development frames would have been in effect, and when it was time to fund the next step, I think it would have been hard for Congress to go against the USAF's wishes. Hard, but not impossible.

USAF should have known once they were leaning towards the EADS product that it'd be very controversial, and should have double/triple checked their RFP. They had issued several drafts along the way, why not one more to clear up any possible issues?

Once the flawed RFP went forward, and was found to be flawed, they were in a bad way. I didn't realize how bad a way it was till the DoD threw in the towel.
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:02 pm



Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 52):
guess who wins by keeping those dilapidated 135's flying

What makes you think they are dilapidated? They have low hours/cycles and good maintenance.

Quoting Dougbr2006 (Reply 52):
how many millions will Boeing make out of a new support package !!!!!

Probably a lot, but a lot less than if there was an all-new airframe instead, presuming the USAF can write a contract better than it can write an RFP.

USAF itself says the frames are good to 2035 or so (or another 27 years or so), and up-to-date avionics and engine packages have already been developed.

Somehow when I think the next administration takes a step back and looks at their funding priorities, I don't think tankers will rise to the top.
 
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par13del
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:21 pm

Well if there are any loosers on this one it is the Bush administration, my opinion is that they have been using the Military Industrial Complex to push funds to foreign companies in the hope that they will either go along or not be as vocal in their opposition to their foreign policy.

Once Marine One was given to a foreign supplier I knew all cards were on the table and they wanted to give the tanker contract to the NG/EADS group, somehow they got McCain involved with his snippet on the WTO ruling.

Now for the future, if EADS were really truthful about using a US line to produce their cargo variant, no reason why that cannot continue.

NG now has a opening to build their own a/c albeit at a greater cost but thats the breaks, I think they were being optimistic to think they could just rebadge another companies a/c to obtain the largest military contract and walk away with huge profits.

Unfortunately, as it relates to Boeing, the same incompetent US Air Force who along with the Bush Administration is responsible for this debacle will be around when the new RFP comes in, if Boeing throws out a inferior product, I do not have any confidence in the US Air Force rejecting the product and request new build a/c and not just off the shelf, new build will bring more US manufacturers in to increase competition.

Now the vaunted Air Force who attempted to convince all that the KC-135 were falling out of the sky and could not go for another year or so, are now saying that they can do just that????? Who accused the US Air Force of playing politics, go to the head of the class.
 
Lumberton
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:28 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 56):
Now for the future, if EADS were really truthful about using a US line to produce their cargo variant, no reason why that cannot continue.

True. They just announced a deal in Tunisia to produce "components". However, moving an entire line outside Europe might be a bit too much to bite off at once, without the cover of a very large order (A320 assembly in China for example).
 
redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:45 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 48):
Nope. Congress (with their masterful 17% approval rating)

Gsosbee, if you're going to throw around statistics, at least get the numbers right. Congress' approval rating is 11%, not 17%.  Wink

Quoting Revelation (Reply 54):
USAF should have known once they were leaning towards the EADS product that it'd be very controversial, and should have double/triple checked their RFP.

 checkmark 

And on a bid with so much money involved, it didn't take a lot of brains to know that an appeal would be involved regardless of who the winner or loser was.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 56):
if EADS were really truthful about using a US line to produce their cargo variant, no reason why that cannot continue.

I always did wonder why EADS didn't go through with the ground-breaking ceremony back in June after the GAO's ruling. 179 tankers built over a 10 year period would surely be a small portion of airframes that they expect to put out of that line.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 46):
In the end, no frauds were found.

It doesn't take fraud to over turn an award. Only a finding that either the the RFP was not followed or that the appellant was not treated fairly. And both counts were found by the GAO.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 46):
Just deviations from the original specs.

JUST deviations from the original specs??? So if you go to buy a car and the specs say the car has a six cylinder engine and you find out later that it only has four, that would amount to JUST deviations from the original specs and you'd have no reason for complaining?

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 46):
I repeat that no frauds were found, contrary to the earlier USAF-Boeing practices with the famous corrupt lease deal.

I repeat that fraud is not the only criteria to overturn an award.
 
A5XX
Posts: 220
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:25 am

So, what will happen next?

Since Boeing has no viable airplane to compete against the current EADS offering, and can't win the competition, the only solution is to submit the KC-777 as a replacement to both the KC-135, and the KC-10, leaving only one big tanker in the USAF inventory. One size fits all. 

Don't laugh.  

The fight's been arranged. Boeing must win... no matter what.   

 

A5XX

[Edited 2008-09-10 17:39:53]
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:35 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 58):
JUST deviations from the original specs??? So if you go to buy a car and the specs say the car has a six cylinder engine and you find out later that it only has four, that would amount to JUST deviations from the original specs and you'd have no reason for complaining?

I am sorry, but that comparison is way out of proportion. Boeing opted with the GAO protest for a totally new RFP, or a heavily changed one. And for a lot more time. The GAO ruled only 8 points in favour of Boeing out of a 100 or so. Although 1 or 2 points were serious enough to make the changes to the RFP necessary.

The result was the latest RFF which had only very, very little deviations from the original specs of the previous RFC which was protested by Boeing. Meaning the USAF did not do so bad as Boeing would want us to believe ( I have stated that they actually did very well all considering, not perfrect, but very well), meaning Boeing could still not win on merits, and it certainly is way off from the comparison of a 4 or 6 cylinder car you are making!
 
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Moose135
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:01 am



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 60):
The GAO ruled only 8 points in favour of Boeing out of a 100 or so

People keep throwing that line around, like it comes out of the EADS talking-points memo. What if Boeing had protested 8 points and all 8 were upheld? Would that make it "serious" in your opinion? If Boeing had protested 500 points, and only 1 was upheld, that would still be enough to overturn the award.
 
sphealey
Posts: 328
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:51 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 58):
Gsosbee, if you're going to throw around statistics, at least get the numbers right. Congress' approval rating is 11%, not 17%

Which I think tells you far more about human nature than it does about the US Congress. In the US, "Congress" does not stand for a single national election; 435 individual congressmen stand election in individual districts. And the typical return rate is 95%; even a supposed landslide year like 2006 doesn't see many incumbents voted out (it takes a 1974 or 1932 to do that). So the vast majority of Americans are dissatisfied with some amorphous blob known as "congress" while thinking that their own guy is a fine upstanding citizen who is in there fighting for the interests of his district.

sPh
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:06 am

I wonder what EADS will do with the two non-modified KC-30 airframes that have already been built?
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:48 am



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 57):
Quoting Par13del (Reply 56):
Now for the future, if EADS were really truthful about using a US line to produce their cargo variant, no reason why that cannot continue.

True. They just announced a deal in Tunisia to produce "components". However, moving an entire line outside Europe might be a bit too much to bite off at once, without the cover of a very large order (A320 assembly in China for example).

Airbus needs a big foreign order to be able to justify setting up a new production line in another country to the European trade unions.

Jan
 
AirRyan
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:48 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):

Maybe we should wait for a new Congress!

With a single digit approval rating the US taxpayer should be able to fire the entire Congress and tell them not to both coming back from vacation.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 43):
As I see it, the USAF is to blame entirely for this mess because they didn't adhere to their own RFP requirements.

Don't be so naive, Devil Dog! The GAO nit-picked the award and the USAF should have ignored them and went ahead with the award. Next thing we'll hear is that CSAR-X is cancelled, too but hell, if there was ever a program actually worth cancelling that'd be the one to do it - cancel it and give it to the Army.

The taxpayer is not happy.
 
Ken777
Posts: 10197
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:19 am



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 42):
If the USAF, after so many years, still does not know what it wants, they better stop operations.

I think that the AF knew what it wanted when it originally wrote the RFP, but then they started changing their minds when they started considering the multi-purpose potential.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 42):
They now do know what they want, they selected their winner (and rightly so based on the qualities of the winning bid), but sadly made small minor mistakes in the procedures. For that the GAO "punished" them.

they now know what they want, but 6 months from now those specs may well change as they start taking a fresh look at what is ahead economically. I'm almost in favor of giving each branch of the military X billions of dollars per year and let them take responsibility for their decisions. If they screw up, like the Navy did with the DDG 1000 then they don't have the money for other capital expenses. For the AF, that might mean buying tankers and not having the funds for both infrastructure updates and new fighters, bombers or weapon systems.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 44):
Why should it matter how well the USAF follows its RFP?



Their are minor things like laws, policies, procedures, etc.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 46):
In the end Boeing cooked up over 100 supposedly serious errors or frauds in the bidding process.

All lawyers for big companies tend to include everything, including the kitchen sink. The addition protest points only carry weight in the area of presenting an overall problem. The core 8 points were what counted in the end and those 8 made the AF look rather bad.

Another thing that also carried weight with me was the fact that this was the first Boeing protest in 30 years. Thirty years is a lot of time, with Boeing failing to win how many big competitions over those years. For Boeing to have filed on the tanker is a fair indication that the standards of the AF was far below what they met for those 30 years.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 46):
I think the work of the USAF has actually been of a very, very high quality.

The GAO sure didn't think so and that is the gold standard that the DoD (including the AF) has to focus on. If it doesn't get pass the GAO it's a failure.

There are a lot of emotions over the award, the protest, the GAO and now the DoD decision. The new administration that takes office in January will face a deficit of half a trillion dollars and a lot of demands on the limited funding that will be available. Congress and the President will have to work out how much money goes to the DoD and those funds will have to be distributed to all branches of the military. We're not talking emotions at that point, we're talking hard dollars and hard decisions.

I believe it's time to forget the emotions and start worrying about how much money will be available to the DoD under either candidate. Just like the other departments, the DoD will have to fight for funds and then face the challenge of allocating those limited funds to unlimited needs.
 
Alien
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:55 am



Quoting United787 (Reply 32):
What a disaster this whole thing has been...as an American, I am embarrased.

As an American I am proud of what has happened. All of it from the 2002 tanker lease deal to now. The system worked as it is supposed to. DOD has to play by the rules. You cannot have sweetheart deals in 2002 and you cannot ignore your own RFP in 2008.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 43):
Quoting EPA001 (Reply 42):
but sadly made small minor mistakes in the procedures. For that the GAO "punished" them.

The GAO did not view the mistakes as "minor". Had the mistakes been minor the award would not have been over-turned. And the GAO does not "punish" anyone. They provide an unbiased forum. Woe the government agency or political lackey that ignores what the GAO says.

Absolutely correct Flyer. It is obvious that some people have no understanding of how the various agencies of the government work. They have no idea that the GAO is a non political organization composed of professionals in the field of procurement, project management, engineering and law. They may even have a few people more expert than those sage forum members we have here protesting the "stupidity" of the procurement process. It really does not matter if there was one or one hundred errors in the selection process. It was the type of errors and the severity of errors that made the DOD (not the GAO and not Congress) decide to re compete the contract.

See it's quite simple, if the air force wanted a larger plane then they should have stated it in the RFP. If the air force was going to give greater weight to fuel offload and cargo capacity then they should have stated it in the original RFP. Once they changes their mind then a new RFP should have been issued and the vendors given enough time to field a suitable entry.

Why the Air Force tried to sneak the changed requirements through without updating the RFP is anyone's guess.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 65):
With a single digit approval rating the US taxpayer should be able to fire the entire Congress and tell them not to both coming back from vacation.

Congress did the right thing. Below is the letter from my Congressman:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Air Force's KC-X Tanker contract. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.

While I believe that the Air Force should be able to pick its equipment, any contract, particularly for equipment as vital as the KC-X, which is awarded in whole or in part to foreign companies must be thoroughly examined to determine that doing so will not undermine our national defense and the economy. As you know, the Air Force originally awarded a $35 billion contract for midair refueling tankers to a partnership between Northrop Grumman and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS) Company, which is the parent of Airbus. Defense Secretary Robert Gates reversed that decision on July 9, 2008 and reopened part of the bidding, following a Government Accountability Office report that found part of the bidding process to be flawed.

I am very concerned about how the original contract was awarded. Any contract to build equipment for our military must serve our national interests. I am concerned that outsourcing our military could hurt our national security. I will continue to monitor the Air Force's contract bidding and keep your thoughts in mind should any legislation related to it come before the House for a vote.

If I can assist in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 65):
Don't be so naive, Devil Dog! The GAO nit-picked the award and the USAF should have ignored them and went ahead with the award.

Secretary Gates did not think so. In fact he said the Air Force screwed up. In fact just about everyone in the press thought they screwed up. Do you really think that Congress would have funded the tanker if they ignored the GAO? Are you really that ignorant?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 54):
USAF should have known once they were leaning towards the EADS product that it'd be very controversial, and should have double/triple checked their RFP. They had issued several drafts along the way, why not one more to clear up any possible issues?

Absolutely correct. They needed to do this right and they did not.

In the long run I think this is good even for the Air Force. They get money to properly maintain the KC-135Rs and they get money to upgrade the KC-135Es to Rs as well. No harm done.
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:24 am

The most worrying for me so far is the economical impact the whole process had...

...just count all the hours the fellow a.nutters spent on this topic (of course including me). Just COUNT the opportunity cost. I can see the cast burning, literally.
 
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moo
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:16 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 47):
One must agree that if the USAF made zero errors, the KC-45A would be on its way to being funded in the next budget. And people keep thinking 8 out of 100 errors means the 8 were insignificant, but that's far from the truth. GAO found these errors were significant, and DoD had no choice but agree.

I hope this has taught the USAF a lesson and their next RFP will be as close to error free as humanly possible.

Given any mildly complicated process, anyone can find a significant number of issues to raise complaints about - its the nature of the beast, there will be no acquisitions proposal that isn't subject to complaint.

The only difference has been the recent change in the mindset of the defense contractor to 'win at all cost' - in the 'good old days' you didn't hear about every contract award being challenged, now did you?
 
GDB
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:36 am

EADS would be mad to set up a line in the US, if they really have no chance here.

Then they can say, 'look, good old flag waving Boeing are denying a chance for a new large aircraft line in the US-and when was the last new one from them or any other US planemaker? While off they go moving as much as they can of their own production, off-shore'.

Anyone who thinks Boeing have the best interests of the US industrial base in mind, as they claimed, is crazy.
But when they have politicians in their pocket who say the A330 is a 'French' aircraft, to stir up the xenophobes, what chance any rationality?

Welcome back to the $10,000 screwdriver sets.
A lot of tax $ are going down some (doubtless massively expensive) Pentagon toilets.
 
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zeke
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:02 am



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 49):
They had better hope that the KC135E's are in good condition.

The plan was to retire 50 of them this year, according to the USAF, KC-135s have been spending 400 days every 5 years in depot level maintenance. Boeing is doing that maintenance, it is in Boeing's interest for the older more maintenance intensive aircraft to remain in the fleet.

The USAF dont agree with that stance. They would prefer more aircraft that are available for use, than locked up in maintenance.

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 63):
I wonder what EADS will do with the two non-modified KC-30 airframes that have already been built?

I think you should ask the USAF, I think they own them. When the contract was awarded, the wheels started moving.

Quoting Alien (Reply 67):
As an American I am proud of what has happened. All of it from the 2002 tanker lease deal to now. The system worked as it is supposed to. DOD has to play by the rules. You cannot have sweetheart deals in 2002 and you cannot ignore your own RFP in 2008.

In my view you just come across that you are just happy that a tanker that was based upon the A330 is not getting into the USAF. I cannot recall once you ever recognizing that the KC-30 had even a single advantage for any air force over the KC-767, 6 air forces in a row could recognize that, it is not a conspiracy.

The rest of your post is nothing but window dressing to justify you anti-competitive, anti-anything not made in the US stance, you have made that clear in all your posts.

The process did not work in 2002, the courts sent people to gaol, and this process did not work, becuase the GAO recommendations have not been followed for political reasons.

Quoting Moo (Reply 69):
Given any mildly complicated process, anyone can find a significant number of issues to raise complaints about - its the nature of the beast, there will be no acquisitions proposal that isn't subject to complaint.

The only difference has been the recent change in the mindset of the defense contractor to 'win at all cost' - in the 'good old days' you didn't hear about every contract award being challenged, now did you?

This is very true, canceling the RFP may actually speed up the process. By restarting with a new RFP, the previous contract discussions and history all gets thrown out the window, as does the GAO protest.

The USAF could deliver draft 6 of the old RFP with a new contract number, and they will bypass any avenue Boeing had of protesting on the basis of a perceived chnge in specification, as it is a new contract. Their threat was we need more time, and even if we get more time, there is a strong chance of protesting.

If you look at the 6 months Boeing wanted, and then add 3 weeks for them to do contract deliberations, then add anther 100 days for the Boeing protest, you may as well start over, use the standard 60 day RFP reply period, and have a RFP which you already know is GAO proof.
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:19 am



Quoting Moo (Reply 69):
Given any mildly complicated process, anyone can find a significant number of issues to raise complaints about - its the nature of the beast, there will be no acquisitions proposal that isn't subject to complaint.



Quoting Alien (Reply 67):
Secretary Gates did not think so. In fact he said the Air Force screwed up. In fact just about everyone in the press thought they screwed up. Do you really think that Congress would have funded the tanker if they ignored the GAO? Are you really that ignorant?

That is exactly what I mean. This enormously complex process was always debatable due to the so many changes over the years. They went from a tailored B767-T suit t the what more open B767-AT / KC-45 suit over the years.

To find only 8 faults, and they were ruled minor by the GAO since it only took very small corrections for the USAF compared to the original latest version of the RFP to get back within the RFP contract rules again, means that he quality of the work was very, very good.

Anyone can easily say "they screwed up". But that is way too easy for all the work done over so many years. Of course in the end errors were made, but such a process is really impossible to complete without any errors at all. Anybody known with such highly complex procurement processes will tell you that.

That it is politically convenient to say "they screwed up" is a totally different matter. Again way too easy, but that is how politics work.

Quoting GDB (Reply 70):
But when they have politicians in their pocket who say the A330 is a 'French' aircraft, to stir up the xenophobes, what chance any rationality?

Again, that is how politics work. Sadly enough the xenophobic card was played way too often on this issue. Especially when it is played by a company which is outsourcing so many jobs to other countries then the US (i.e. B-787 program which sees more work abroad than Boeing could ever generate at home with the B767-AT), it hardly makes those claims believable. But if the general public still thinks Boeing is 100% American, this lie will easily sold to that rather bad informed public. Which in general is the case everywhere in the world, the US is certainly not the only country where the general public ususally hasn't got a clue what they are talking about really!
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:30 am



Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 68):
cast

I meant cash of course...
 
MCIGuy
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:15 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:47 am



Quoting Alien (Reply 67):
Congress did the right thing. Below is the letter from my Congressman:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Air Force's KC-X Tanker contract. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.

While I believe that the Air Force should be able to pick its equipment, any contract, particularly for equipment as vital as the KC-X, which is awarded in whole or in part to foreign companies must be thoroughly examined to determine that doing so will not undermine our national defense and the economy. As you know, the Air Force originally awarded a $35 billion contract for midair refueling tankers to a partnership between Northrop Grumman and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS) Company, which is the parent of Airbus. Defense Secretary Robert Gates reversed that decision on July 9, 2008 and reopened part of the bidding, following a Government Accountability Office report that found part of the bidding process to be flawed.

I am very concerned about how the original contract was awarded. Any contract to build equipment for our military must serve our national interests. I am concerned that outsourcing our military could hurt our national security. I will continue to monitor the Air Force's contract bidding and keep your thoughts in mind should any legislation related to it come before the House for a vote.

If I can assist in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Big difference from what I got:



Quote:

Dear Xxxxxxx:



Thank you for contacting me regarding the Air Force's KC-45A tanker contract with Northrop Grumman. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.



As you may know, this contract, which calls for a purchase of up to 179 new KC-45A tankers to be built over the next ten years, is intended to replace the hundreds of existing KC-135 Stratotanker aircrafts that were introduced in the late 1950s. Since the original announcement, the Air Force has issued a new request for proposals from both Boeing and Northrop Grumman; the parties have reentered into a lengthy bidding process. Although, Congress has the power to control funding and oversight for the Department of Defense, Congress does not have direct authority in dictating the Department's procurement processes.



Throughout my career in public service and during my tenure in the House of Representatives, I have been a strong supporter of our nation's service members and veterans. I assure you that I will continue to support efforts that provide the best possible resources to our troops and veterans and will work actively with my colleagues to ensure that our military remains the preeminent global fighting force.



Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I may be of further assistance. Also, I encourage you to visit my website at http://www.house.gov/cleaver, where you can sign up for my electronic newsletter and receive updates on my latest activities as your Representative.

Sincerely


Emanuel Cleaver, II

Member of Congress


 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:20 am

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

Wow. This is rich. DM must have some incredibly powerful allies in the Bush Administration. Because this news just guaranteed them at least two more years of high traffic to the Mil-Av forums, for discussion on this subject!
 
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moo
Posts: 5117
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:30 am



Quoting Alien (Reply 67):
I am concerned that outsourcing our military could hurt our national security.

I'm betting he has nothing to say with regard to Boeing doing it...

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2008/q1/080214a_nr.html

Should be amusing if Boeing puts forward the 777....
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:41 am



Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 20):
I agree. Even If the best tanker for the job is the EAD'S/NG tanker, due to politic's I dont think the US Airforce will be "allowed to buy it".

So why hold a competition? If "Buy American" is the way they want to go, then give Boeing a contract but make darn sure Boeing doesn't milk it for all they can get.

After watching this stupid fiasco go on, I'm ashamed of American politicians and American big business. They've gotten so into making more money and gaining more power they've lost sight of the importance of protecting their reputations and names. We used to do that ... all over this country.
 
col
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:11 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:56 am

What an absolute joke and waste of tax payers money - normal day for us unfortunately!!!!

Quoting A5XX (Reply 51):
They want an inferior product... so be it, they’ll get one. The fleecing of the american taxpayer continues.

This is the best and most factual line I have read in this whole topic!
 
imapilotaz
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 12:48 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:54 pm

OK, this is going to sound bad, but I sure hope the non-Americans (ie, those that arent paying taxes to the US Gov't) just shut the heck up and not post these comments about how this is a travesty, a waste of US tax dollars, etc.

As an American, Im thrilled with this decision. Changing the rules halfway through the game is eggregious. I can only imagine what would happen if Great Britain ordered 100 Boeing tankers, only to find out after the fact that the British DoD changed the rules halfway through to avoid picking an Airbus offering.

To be honest, when I see our President (no matter what my views of the weasel are) arriving on a Boeing 747, I feel pride. I would be sick to my stomach if he showed up in a A380. Sure it may be a better aircraft for his needs to have a full command and control system, etc, but as an American, I want the President of the US on a US aircraft. We arent a global society, and we are a long way from ever getting there.

Just to put things in perspective, I am only this way on high profile items. I only drive Toyotas. I prefer to buy electronics made in Japan. I shop prodigously at Walmart since it allows me to save more and live better. But when it comes to my government spending my tax money, I sure as hell hope they are spending US dollars to buy US products that employ US taxpayers.
 
Venus6971
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:24 pm

Everybody stop panicking , the KC-135 is old but is still in better shape than any commercial acft of equal age if any exist or still being used. Its technology is old but proven, very rarely unless during a fighter drag is the full capabality used to a full 202K fuel load. Heck the the RAF is going to buy 3 for their own RC-135 Rivet Joint program. Gen Lichte was sending up a flare to NG or Boeing that he is retiring and would they please give his resume a good look when he said they desperatly wanted anything. The KC-135RT's have the most hours which are running around 25K and most have reskined to deal with pressure cycles and other corrision issues. Compared to the first KC-135A 55-3118 that left the assembly line in Tacoma to the last 64 model that was delivered and the last one modded to R model it is light years a head of that first 55 model.
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:34 pm



Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 79):
But when it comes to my government spending my tax money, I sure as hell hope they are spending US dollars to buy US products that employ US taxpayers.

Then I surely hope you love as well to spend USD on Japanese Aircraft Components that employ Japanese employers. Otherwise you gonna get a problem with argumentation.

Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 79):
To be honest, when I see our President (no matter what my views of the weasel are) arriving on a Boeing 747, I feel pride. I would be sick to my stomach if he showed up in a A380.

Argh...to hell with this sort of pride. There is non pride whatsoever reasoned for any statesmen using ANY product. Come on...

Nothing else in your life to be proud of? Children, Degrees, 60 minutes of uninterrupted sex?
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:59 pm



Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 79):
OK, this is going to sound bad, but I sure hope the non-Americans (ie, those that arent paying taxes to the US Gov't) just shut the heck up and not post these comments about how this is a travesty, a waste of US tax dollars, etc.

Everyone should expect our government to live up to its procurement laws and trade treaties.

Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 79):
As an American, Im thrilled with this decision. Changing the rules halfway through the game is eggregious

USAF shot itself in the foot by not changing the RFP to spell out that extra credit was being given for additional tankerage. They had issued several draft RFPs, they could have just issued one more.

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 80):
Everybody stop panicking , the KC-135 is old but is still in better shape than any commercial acft of equal age if any exist or still being used.

By cancelling the current competion instead of just extending the current one into the next political season, all options are on the table, including doing nothing, updating KC-135s, reviving the previous RFP, writing a new one for a larger multi-purpose aircraft, etc.

I'm really suprised DoD cancelled the old competion.

Now the entire can of worms is open, and the longer it's open, the worse it smells.

I'd say we're looking at another 2 years before we get to the same point in the next competition that we were at in the last one.

And at that time, it's not clear if the financial spigot will be opened or not.

Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 81):
Nothing else in your life to be proud of? Children, Degrees, 60 minutes of uninterrupted sex?

With or without a partner?  Smile
 
trex8
Posts: 5718
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:24 pm



Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 79):
To be honest, when I see our President (no matter what my views of the weasel are) arriving on a Boeing 747, I feel pride. I would be sick to my stomach if he showed up in a A380. Sure it may be a better aircraft for his needs to have a full command and control system, etc, but as an American, I want the President of the US on a US aircraft. We arent a global society, and we are a long way from ever getting there.

then get ready to throw up when the president flies in that Anglo Italian chopper from the White House to Andrews! If they replaced AF1 with a 787 which is almost 50% foreign airframe sourced, would that make you any less sick?
 
imapilotaz
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 12:48 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:28 pm



Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 81):
Argh...to hell with this sort of pride. There is non pride whatsoever reasoned for any statesmen using ANY product. Come on...

Nothing else in your life to be proud of? Children, Degrees, 60 minutes of uninterrupted sex?

That's a pretty stupid assumption. I never said that was the only thing I am proud of. But you damn well believe I am proud to see a 747 as the symbol of freedom and power. If I was a car enthusiast, I bet I would be pretty proud of seeing a Corvette, etc. I happen to love aviation, and seeing American aircraft representing freedom and power is great.

Dont get me wrong, some of my favorite aircraft are Russian. There is no doubt in my mind that a SU-27, a MIG-21 or a MIG-29 are sexy beasts that give me an excitment like no other. I would much rather drool over a SU-27 doing a Cobra manuever than an F15. That doesnt mean I think we as Americans, should be going out and buying a whole Wing of Flankers for the Air Force.

My absolute favorite aircraft? A Hind. There is nothing sexier than that beast fully loaded, with 10 Spetsnaz troups in back that could give anyone a run for their money. No helicopter in the west can do a mission like the Hind (yeah the range sucks, but you cant have everything)... but again, if the US Army was looking for a new attack helicopter, I would expect them to buy American.

As someone pointed out with the Boeing IAM strike, its not so much the "putting together" of the aircraft, as I think that is going the way of foreign interests, its the fact that Boeing is an American company, primarily owned and traded by Americans, employing thousands upon thousands of high-paying engineers, support, finance and general HQ staff. That's the real benefit to the company, and having a measly 2000 employees assembling parts designed and produced in Europe doesnt really do anything for my patriotism.
 
seefivein
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:52 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:39 pm

put boeing where it says OCCUPATION / EMPLOYER of donor


seems more D's than R's


http://www.opensecrets.org
 
GDB
Posts: 14408
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:01 pm

The only problem with the logic of important defence equipment being from the US, is that right now, the 'warfighters' are using Belgium light and medium machine guns, British mortars and 105mm artillery, the M1's gun is German, the previous tank cannon was British, the USMC flies Harriers, as stated, the future President will fly around in an Anglo-Italian chopper.

And don't think there would have been a great fuss had the British MoD picked converting ex BA 767's for tankers.
There would not have been, though given what happened with the Italian 767's, good job they did not in this case
Do not assume irrationality cloaked in an element of Xenophobia is standard elsewhere, it isn't. As we also saw with the Dubai Ports nonsense.

Boeing, or at least their stooges, also made dark hints about security issues with this so called 'French' tanker.
Ignoring the fact that USAF routinely re-fuel French aircraft operating alongside US ones in combat (something I doubt most Americans are aware of-as well as the fact they are fighting-sometimes dying, on the ground in Afghanistan too. And many in the US call them ungrateful about WW2).
The only US 'ally' that has spied on US military secrets, has sold this knowledge to China, is Israel. But they get a pass don't they?
 
col
Posts: 1707
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:11 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:06 pm



Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 84):
I happen to love aviation, and seeing American aircraft representing freedom and power is great.

Can you ask this 747 if we can say Merry Christmas this year. The Bad Human Rights Chinese can, yet we are supposed to be free, but have to say Happy Holidays - Not so free me thinks.

Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 81):
Then I surely hope you love as well to spend USD on Japanese Aircraft Components that employ Japanese employers. Otherwise you gonna get a problem with argumentation.

What, Boeing is not 100% American. Next you will be telling me the T-45 Goshawk and Harrier are British Big grin
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 26996
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:06 pm

Some good articles from Seattle's papers today:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...echnology/2008172221_tanker11.html

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/aerospace/

Both are liberally (so to speak) quoting the (in)famous Loren Thompson.

Here's my take on the articles:
- Obama has a "buy American" stance that favors Boeing
- McCain is seen to be neutral (just wants what's best for the troops, so long as there's a good war somewhere for them to be off fighting) to slightly pro-EADS
- None of this changes the fact that the next President will have to obey the procurement rules etc
- None of this changes the fact that the 767 has shortcomings versus the A330 and any other approach will have a lot more risk than the A330

Seems to me that Boeing's best ploy would be to stall for time by using its influence to get a KC-135 re-engining deal then offer a KC-787 five or so years down the line. Then, 787 will be the right sized and up-to-date airframe, and A350 will be the risky and too big airframe.

Otherwise, they need to use their influence to get the RFP written to favor a smaller tanker.

NG/EADS best ploy is to do what they've been doing: support McCain to the fullest and ask for payback later.
 
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par13del
Posts: 10993
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:24 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 64):
Airbus needs a big foreign order to be able to justify setting up a new production line in another country to the European trade unions

Why, no one seemd to have a problem with Boeing loosing the contract, thus closing down its B-767 line while Airbus got more jobs for its workers in the EU, I don't think anyone really believed in the quality or number of jobs that would be created in the US.

Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 79):
To be honest, when I see our President (no matter what my views of the weasel are) arriving on a Boeing 747, I feel pride. I would be sick to my stomach if he showed up in a A380. Sure it may be a better aircraft for his needs to have a full command and control system, etc, but as an American, I want the President of the US on a US aircraft. We arent a global society, and we are a long way from ever getting there.

Funny how you think like that, but no one seems to have a problem with the Office of the President of the US arriving on a European helicopter, whats the difference?
I think you would have made your point better if you had said that the Office of POTUS is supposed to represent his / her country, and it does not seem right for the head of the nation which also makes aircraft and helicopters to arrive on one that could only be assembled there, what does that say for the can do spirit of the country? Purchase the best products for the troops, but the Office represent the nation as a whole.

The US uses products from many countries, so those who use this as a slam against the US are also being unfair, as mentioned, machine guns, M1A1 120mm gun, Harrier, Penguin missiles etc. etc. the list goes on, so whats the point?
 
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Revelation
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:33 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 86):
The only problem with the logic of important defence equipment being from the US, is that right now, the 'warfighters' are using Belgium light and medium machine guns, British mortars and 105mm artillery, the M1's gun is German, the previous tank cannon was British, the USMC flies Harriers, as stated, the future President will fly around in an Anglo-Italian chopper.

Yes, and in WWII we were fond of Bofors and Oerlikon AA guns too.

Quoting GDB (Reply 86):
Do not assume irrationality cloaked in an element of Xenophobia is standard elsewhere

I don't think you'll agree, but I'll offer up Galileo (European GPS) as one counter example.

Quoting GDB (Reply 86):
The only US 'ally' that has spied on US military secrets, has sold this knowledge to China, is Israel. But they get a pass don't they?

I guess we're giving Klaus Fuchs a pass too, then?
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:45 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 47):
But isn't that their right? There's been many RFPs where what they bought was not what they thought they were after when it started.

Yes. Exactly. We are not talking about low level decision makers here, this is the USAF brass at the highest level. They made an honest call that was free from criminal intent. It was their honest view that we need A330-based tankers, or at least that they are the best product for fighting and winning wars.


The minute we stop being able to follow through on such procurements, is just symbolic of how weak and whiny we have become. The whole point of the USAF is not pencil pushing, nor a symphony of torts and wig-wearing barristers singing their wonderful objections. The point of the USAF is fighting and winning WW-III god d*mn it.
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:54 pm

I guess NG can take down the billboard on I-65 just North of Mobile with a huge picture of the KC-45 on it surrounded by stars and stripes.
 
Nicoeddf
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:13 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:00 pm



Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 84):
I happen to love aviation, and seeing American aircraft representing freedom and power is great.

Please please please, I don't want to offend you. But stay reasonable. There is nothing like representing freedom and power by any american aircraft.

Power might come with military assets. Freedom is represented by nothing material whatsoever!

Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 84):
That's the real benefit to the company, and having a measly 2000 employees assembling parts designed and produced in Europe doesnt really do anything for my patriotism.

Why didn't you say anything about my "japanese" comment? What do Mitsubishi and Kawasaki Heavy Industry to your patriotism? Come on, don't just ignore it.

Quoting Col (Reply 87):
Next you will be telling me the T-45 Goshawk and Harrier are British

Don't worry, USMC are flying Harriers, they MUST be American.  Wink
 
astuteman
Posts: 7456
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:55 pm



Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 79):
We arent a global society, and we are a long way from ever getting there.

So it would appear.....
And likely to remain so for a long time, by the looks of things

Quoting Revelation (Reply 82):
With or without a partner?

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

This thread was worth reading after all.....  Smile

Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 84):
But you damn well believe I am proud to see a 747 as the symbol of freedom and power.

say what?  faint 

Quoting Imapilotaz (Reply 84):
Dont get me wrong, some of my favorite aircraft are Russian.

Anything so long as its not got an Airbus content.....

Quoting GDB (Reply 86):
The only problem with the logic of important defence equipment being from the US, is that right now, the 'warfighters' are using Belgium light and medium machine guns

I wonder how many people realise that my employer employs 50 000 people directlyinvolved in defence activities in the USA, as opposed to only 35 000 in the UK, its home country...
Somehow I would have thought that the jingoistic blinker brigade would have homed in on this one pretty hard.
Funny old world, isn't it?

Rgds
 
bennett123
Posts: 10880
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:40 pm

Imapilotaz

Are you saying that you spend your money on imports, but when your govt spends YOUR money that it should only buy US, (incidentally what is the foreign content of a KC767).

Revelation

Are you saying that Klaus Fuchs was the last traitor.
 
bennett123
Posts: 10880
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:44 pm

 
sprout5199
Posts: 1681
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:26 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:01 pm



Quoting NicoEDDF (Reply 93):
Don't worry, USMC are flying Harriers, they MUST be American.

Well they are US built by MDD( Boeing now).  Smile

Dan in Jupiter
 
Nicoeddf
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:13 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:07 pm



Quoting Sprout5199 (Reply 97):
Well they are US built by MDD( Boeing now)

Are they?
Didn't know  Smile
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:02 pm

Okay guys I hope to only give you my best. You guys are my pals after all.

So here it is..

The USAF tanker of the future....

The Boeing / Eads KC-30, based on the Boeing A330US platform, which is an A330 built by Boeing in the USA!

Essentially, instead of NG, BA handles the geopolitical purification of the A330, enriching it with US parts and labor, while adding virtually no value and charging huge profits.

thank you, thank you.
 
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Revelation
Posts: 26996
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:28 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 91):
Yes. Exactly. We are not talking about low level decision makers here, this is the USAF brass at the highest level. They made an honest call that was free from criminal intent. It was their honest view that we need A330-based tankers, or at least that they are the best product for fighting and winning wars.

The minute we stop being able to follow through on such procurements, is just symbolic of how weak and whiny we have become. The whole point of the USAF is not pencil pushing, nor a symphony of torts and wig-wearing barristers singing their wonderful objections. The point of the USAF is fighting and winning WW-III god d*mn it.

I agree there was no criminal intent.

But it's just as important for them to be able to write down what requirements they have for an airplane correctly as it is for them to be able to drop a bomb on the right coordinates.

Otherwise they won't have any airplanes to drop those bombs.

And it's OK to have flexibility in the RFP (i.e. a range of capacities that are acceptable).

All you have to do is write down your requirements and how you will weight the proposal.

Why can't we expect this from the USAF?

My best guess: So many people cycle through those procurement jobs so frequently, that they don't seem to have the training needed to write an RFP that will hold up under scrutiny.

My favorite quote of Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Before the battle, plans are everything. Once the battle starts, plans are nothing".

Boeing was publically describing a lot of the issues they had with the RFP. Why couldn't the USAF had issued one more draft RFP that would have resolved the issues?

They very well should have known that choosing the A330 was going to be controversial, so they should have scrubbed that document top to bottom.

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 95):
Revelation

Are you saying that Klaus Fuchs was the last traitor.

Of course not. Did I say that? He was an example of another "ally" who spied against the US.

Any reason you have such focus on Ames? Or Pollard?

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 94):
This thread was worth reading after all..... Smile

Thank you, thank you. My next act starts at 11.  Smile

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