Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10992
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:40 pm

Taking another look at the whole issue.

1. The US Air Force initial RFP was for an a/c which only Boeing could fill with an off the shelf offering.

2. NG complained that if the RFP was not modified to allow them to compete, they would not bid.

3. US Air Force modified the RFP to allow additional bidders.

In a nutshell the crux of the entire problem, the A330 and the B-767 are not competitors in the tanker field, EADS attempting to downplay their increase size or Boeing trying to up size their's will not work. In the civilian market, the A330 is now leading the market in sales for one main reason, increase size and capability over the B-767.

What the Air Force should have done is either re-do what they initially did ensuring that they are legal - purchase 100 tankers from Boeing with a valid lease to buy option, or discard the off the shelf mantra all together and put out a RFP for a new build a/c, then all this fuss about trying to fit a square peg in a round hole would go away. The A330 is certainely a better tanker than B-767 if you want to upsize, its not better if you are not looking to upsize, the same could be said of a B-777 over the A-330, etc etc., a RFP for a new build a/c is the way to go, and if that was done this whole issue would have been done, when the a/c would enter service is another story.
 
skytaxi
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:52 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:56 pm

You mean the B330.


[Edited 2008-09-11 14:57:11]
 
bennett123
Posts: 10879
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:10 pm

Revelation.

How long ago was Fuchs, I know that it was far longer ago than Ames.

Perhaps you need to look at your enemies closer to home, rather than focussing on people from far way.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 26993
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:12 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 101):
3. US Air Force modified the RFP to allow additional bidders.

This is where the USAF screwed things up. Apparently they did not make it clear that extra credit was being given for extra tankerage, at least not in the eyes of Boeing and the GAO.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10992
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:21 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 104):
This is where the USAF screwed things up. Apparently they did not make it clear that extra credit was being given for extra tankerage, at least not in the eyes of Boeing and the GAO.

Thus my comment about fitting a square peg into a round hole. The Air Force has two tankers, one they can classify as strategic the other as tactical - KC-10 and KC-135 - they require a replacement for the KC-135 with an off shelf a/c, how many a/c currently exist and are in production that are in the range/size of the KC-135, that became the Air Force slippery slope.

New build, lets all pull for that.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:37 pm



Quoting Skytaxi (Reply 102):
You mean the B330.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers




=



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jose Mendez - PR Planespotters

 
AirRyan
Posts: 2399
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:00 am



Quoting Alien (Reply 67):
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.

Wow, so basically your Congressman is opposed to competition and is willing to pay more for less.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 71):
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.

That's great if it turns out to be correct; it's about the only way I'd approve of Gates decision and it's probably about the only way they can get NG to re-bid, too.

Quoting Moo (Reply 76):
Should be amusing if Boeing puts forward the 777....

The 777 does not have the economics nor the performance to compete for KC-X - it never has.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 88):
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.

The KC-787 is what Boeing should have been offering since day one, and the only way in which they can beat the KC-30 bid by NG.
 
dl767captain
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:51 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:24 am

Wait i'm confused, does this mean that there will be no new tanker for the USAF?
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 26993
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:06 am



Quoting Dl767captain (Reply 108):
Wait i'm confused, does this mean that there will be no new tanker for the USAF?

Basically, as of right now, yes.

The existing competition has been cancelled.

It's now up to the next administration's Department of Defense what to do next.

They may revise and re-issue the current RFP, or invent a whole new one, or do nothing, or anything in between.

Some of the links I've posted above say that it could be 3 years before we'll be roughly the same place we were with the recently cancelled competition.
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:47 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 109):
Some of the links I've posted above say that it could be 3 years before we'll be roughly the same place we were with the recently cancelled competition.

This could very well be true. Giving Boeing a (long) shot at trying to develop a B787-based tanker which could outperform the NG-EADS proposed A330-MRTT. Although current sales in the civilian market show that especially on shorter stretches the A330 is very well able to hold its ground. And the A330 platform could then be refitted with GEnx engines, which would still make for a very tough competition instead of the B767-AT actually being blown away on almost every aspect by the A330-MRTT.

Present civilian market sales of the B767 and A330 clearly show the B767, although a very good plane basically, is outclassed. Hence, one of the biggest reasons why the B787 is being developed. It would still be a long shot with the pressure on the production schedule of the B787 to get a military tanker version ready in time. See the problems Boeing is still having with the B767-T for Italy, despite their so called superior expertise in Aircraft Refuelling planes and technology. But within 3 years a B787 would possibly be available (2nd production line?) and the A350-XWB for sure would not be!

We will see how al this will play out!
 
User avatar
scbriml
Posts: 20193
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:30 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 100):
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?

Isn't that a bit of a circular argument? IIRC, Boeing had no issue with the RFP until after they lost the contest.
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:32 am



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 111):
Isn't that a bit of a circular argument? IIRC, Boeing had no issue with the RFP until after they lost the contest.

That is very true. That is also why their behaviour after losing the contest has been what we have seen, and that makes not a nice picture. But is hard business play we are seeing here, especially from the Boeing side.
 
SpeedBirdA380
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:57 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:52 am

Could someone please confirm a simple fact for me because I am confused by this mess!

I just read an article in the Seattle Time's that - "The Air Force decided it wanted a larger aircraft than it had put in the bid specifications, hadn't told Boeing and thereby tipped the deal to Northrop-EADS, whose plane was larger."

So is it true that The USAF completley failed to tell Boeing it wanted a larger aircraft and therefore provided them in affect- a false RFP that was DIFFERENT to the one the EAD's/NG team recieved?

[Edited 2008-09-12 05:08:08]
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:12 pm

As far as I know nobody told Boeing or NG-EADS that. The RFP clearly specified minimum requirements (based on the KC-135?) and that extra credits would be given for exceeding these requirements. Both the B767-AT and the A330-MRTT based KC-45 exceed all the minimum requirements as specified in the RFP.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:39 pm

It's just silly to suggest Boeing did not know that more capabilities make it a better aircraft, all else equal.

It's like it all depends on what the definition of "is" is, to quote a famous statesman. This is a low water mark in the honesty of the United States govt and everybody in Europe can see that. Europe does not mind losing a fair contest but they (like anybody) do not appreciate being pissed on gratuitously.
 
SpeedBirdA380
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:57 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:23 pm

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 114):
As far as I know nobody told Boeing or NG-EADS that. The RFP clearly specified minimum requirements (based on the KC-135?) and that extra credits would be given for exceeding these requirements.

But I thought this was the major argument for Boeing and it's supporter's. That the Airforce did not tell Boeing that extra credit's would be given for exceeding requirement's and that the NG/EAD's team were told??

If they were both given exactly the same RFP and neither company were told extra credit's would be given for exceeding requirement's then what is the problem?- That seem's fair to me.

[Edited 2008-09-12 06:26:57]

[Edited 2008-09-12 06:30:13]
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:50 pm

If the USAF had handed out different RFP's it would be a criminal act of misleading in an industrial procurement process. This would almost certainly lead to people being criminally prosecuted.

I think the main protest by Boeing which was upheld by the GAO is that the extra credit paragraph was put up in such a way that it conflicted with the rest of the RFP's terms and conditions. The USAF corrected the RFP for this according to the GAO ruling, without taking away the principle of extra credit. That was agreed upon by all parties at the time it was added to the RFP, also by Boeing.

So it is like Scbriml said:

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 111):
Boeing had no issue with the RFP until after they lost the contest.


Only after they lost the bid for the tanker contract their lawyers searched for and found a hole in the rules which they exploited fully at the GAO in their protest. In reaction to this the USAF modified the RFP and now the RFP was solid and had become the "no win scenario" for Boeing. That is when they started the delay tactics, and they were rewarded for it by the Bush administration. Not a nice practice, not a practive with a high standard of morality, but not illegal. And it gave Boeing what they needed.

Now they can propose another better plane (for which they need time to put this together) and with all the help of their political supporters win this deal "fair and square" (ahum) like they intended all along. This while it is doubtful that NG-EADS are going to bid again!

[Edited 2008-09-12 06:52:44]

[Edited 2008-09-12 06:53:50]
 
Ken777
Posts: 10197
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:10 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 112):
That is also why their behaviour after losing the contest has been what we have seen, and that makes not a nice picture. But is hard business play we are seeing here, especially from the Boeing side.

Go back to the fact that this was Boeing's first protest in 30 years. That says more about the credibility of the protest than anything the AF could say and it was the actions of the AF that is not a nice picture.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 115):
This is a low water mark in the honesty of the United States govt and everybody in Europe can see that. Europe does not mind losing a fair contest but they (like anybody) do not appreciate being pissed on gratuitously.

Again, any question of honesty should be directed at the AF - NG/Airbus relationship or levels of communications. If this was above reproach then the GOA would not have come down against the AF on one single point, much less 8.

You don't have to be European to see that the AF is at one of their low water marks with the tanker FUBAR, we well as their other problems.
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:24 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 118):
Go back to the fact that this was Boeing's first protest in 30 years

That says nothing. How many tanker contracts were awarded by the USAF over the last 30 years?
 
gsosbee
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:40 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:40 pm

This whole deal makes no sense. Maybe in 10 or 15 years after the first new tanker is delivered, someone at Boeing and/or the Air Force/DoD will write a book confessing internally what went on from day one of the first attempt, through the lease deal and now this mess. From the outside, it appears that there were either several management errors (including their lobbyists telling them they could control the politicos) or arrogance derived from "inside knowledge" (i.e. being told don't worry about the NG airplane, there is no way the flying generals will ever accept anything other than a Boeing product).

The area of concern is why would Boeing waste time bidding the -200AT against the NG product when the NG airplane was head and shoulders above the -200AT. No one has produced anything (other than after the fact Boeing whining - and then the issue is they were not told about the extra credit, not offering a bigger airplane) proving the Air Force told Boeing not to bid a bigger airplane than the -200AT. The Rand Study which was the foundation of the RFP, discussed the options and provided a huge inside look at what to bid on. Therefore, the assumption has to be made that that decision to offer only the -200AT was an internal Boeing decision. This is the crux of this whole issue. Yes the -200AT was the lowest cost option to Boeing, but when you know your product does not measure up to the probable use, you either cut your losses and don't offer or also offer a competing product. That would have been either a -400 variant with warts and all or a 74 derivative. So someone in the 767 and IS parts of Boeing had to sell Boeing senior management on the fact that they felt comfortable offering an airplane that on paper (remember this was a paper exercise - not a fly-off) was not competitive without also offering an alternative. This is mind blowing from a senior management perspective.

Now it looks like the lobbyists have saved the day for Boeing, and we are back to the days of what is best for Boeing is best for the US. NG would be crazy to spend another dime on any US big airplane program as it is obvious that they are being used as a shill. So the question is who is going to control Boeing and how?

(Note, I believe that NG is a passive part of this whole deal. They were happy with just being in the competition and offered an airplane that was more than competitive.)
 
redflyer
Posts: 3910
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:42 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 111):
IIRC, Boeing had no issue with the RFP until after they lost the contest.



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 112):
That is also why their behaviour after losing the contest has been what we have seen, and that makes not a nice picture.

C'mon, people. Grow up. This is all about a procurement process that went off the tracks. Hate Boeing all you want; puff up EADS/Airbus' 'superior' products all you want; but that doesn't make Boeing the bad guy.

For all the 'fairness' you guys push all the time, I would think you'd appreciate the issues involved in this process; why Boeing filed a protest for the first time in over 30 years despite losing even more lucrative contracts in the past; and why the GAO ruling pretty much killed off any chance of the RFP being re-bid this year. In the end, the RFP did not reflect what the USAF really wanted. Plain and simple.

If you have an ax to grind, grind it for the USAF and DoD - the epitome of why government is never the answer to our problems, it is the problem. The procurement process, if its intent is to elicit competition in order to solicit the best solution, must be conducted in a fair and equitable manner. Otherwise, you're not going to have companies take a risk and expend millions of their own dollars on some of these bids. That is why NG/EADS cried foul and threatened to withdraw in January 2007, and that is why Boeing cried foul and threatened to withdraw now.

The integrity of the process was breached. If you don't understand that, well then, I guess we can sit back and just continue to watch you fawn over your greatest and most successful government jobs program ever.
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:56 pm

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 121):
The integrity of the process was breached

You are correct that it was breached, otherwise there would not have been such a ruling by the GAO. But now the RFP is fixed, (in the end it did not take much to do that) and that left Boeing with what they could and should have expected all along, a no win scenario, just as Gsosbee has posted.

And then the stalling tactics and lobbiests take over making sure that Boeing does not loose again, and make sure that NG-EADS can not win! Because the whole contest is blown off after so many years of preparing it. And right now there was no reason anymore to call it off and no reason why NG-EADS should not be declared the winner on points. As they were before. And since the basic airframe they bid with, the A330-MRTT, won 5 out of 5 of the last international competitions which had the B767-(A)T opposed against it.

Why should the outcome be diferent now?

[Edited 2008-09-12 08:01:40]
 
User avatar
Francoflier
Posts: 5944
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:26 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 121):
The integrity of the process was breached.

The problem is that since both companies entered products that were quite sensibly different from each other and not really competing on a level playing field, coming up with a an equitable RFP that would have provided a fair contest between the 2 companies without one crying foul at the end was quite simply impossible.

This was an unsolvable conundrum from the get go. Good luck to whichever administration will eventually have to sort this one out!
 
redflyer
Posts: 3910
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:37 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 122):
You are correct that it was breached, otherwise there would not have been such a ruling by the GAO.

Thank you for saying that, EPA001! I enjoy reading your posts and that comment restored my confidence in your integrity.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 122):
But now the RFP is fixed, (in the end it did not take much to do that) and that left Boeing with what they could and should have expected all along, a no win scenario, just as Gsosbee has posted.

And you are ABSOLUTELY right! They fixed the RFP - and I'll even admit it didn't take much to fix it. But, now, why should Boeing participate in a no-win scenario? Would you spend millions of your company's dollars to participate in a process that you KNOW you cannot win? So Boeing communicated that they would withdraw - unless they were given time to put forth a new proposal (airplane). Why does that make them the bad guys?

NG/EADS did the EXACT same thing before the RFP was issued in 2007 - they threatened on more than one occasion to withdraw from the process unless the RFP was modified to take into consideration certain aspects of their airplane.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 122):
And then the stalling tactics and lobbiests take over making sure that Boeing does not loose again, and make sure that NG-EADS can not win!

Stop! Please! Don't bring lobbyists into this debate. NG arguably has spent more dollars and has access to more lobbyists than Boeing does. At a minimum, they are on par with Boeing. And I read a news article just a couple of weeks ago (can't find it at the moment) that showed the amount of money EADS has spent in North America on lobbying just this year. The lobbying argument will never get you anywhere.

By the way, EPA001 - Happy A.Net Birthday!
 
redflyer
Posts: 3910
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:47 pm



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 123):
The problem is that since both companies entered products that were quite sensibly different from each other and not really competing on a level playing field, coming up with a an equitable RFP that would have provided a fair contest between the 2 companies without one crying foul at the end was quite simply impossible.

Valid argument, but not quite on point in this instance. If that is all there was to it, there would be no cause for an appeal or adverse ruling. The problem is the RFP did not mention a preference for a larger airplane, but the USAF in fact favored AND gave extra credit for a larger airframe. And they also gave preferential treatment to NG/EADS by allowing them to modify their proposal after communicating problems to them while not offering Boeing the same opportunity.

The government procurement process has to be open. The USAF could certainly prefer a larger airplane, but if the RFP didn't stipulate it then the USAF cannot give added weight to the larger airframe. And, of course, both suppliers have to be treated equally and apparently they weren't.

I don't remember the details now, but it was pointed out that if the RFP had been followed as it should have, NG/EADS may have actually lost the award because their offering did not meet all of the minimum criteria stipulated in the RFP, whereas Boeing's did. (I believe it had to do with the issue of compatibility with all current inventory aircraft as well as the issue of overspeed while refueling.)
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 26993
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:28 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 110):
joined exactly 2 years ago today!

Cheers!

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 110):
It would still be a long shot with the pressure on the production schedule of the B787 to get a military tanker version ready in time.

I agree.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 111):
Isn't that a bit of a circular argument? IIRC, Boeing had no issue with the RFP until after they lost the contest.

It's pretty clear that Boeing has been confused about size all along. Here's one quote right from the begining of this RFP showing this.:

Quote:
In a statement, Boeing said it would study the Air Force's final request before deciding to offer the 767 or a larger tanker. Boeing has said a bigger tanker would be based on its 777.

"We plan to examine the RFP closely and will be prepared to offer our most capable tanker to the Air Force," Boeing said. "Whether it ends up being a tanker closer in size to the KC- 135 or a larger tanker more focused on transport, Boeing will offer a tanker that delivers the best technology to the war fighter, best value to the taxpayer and lowest-risk to the government."

It's clear in hindsight that the major flaw of the RFP was that it didn't spell out correctly that the Air Force would be granting extra credit for excess tankerage. It's also clear to me that the USAF should have known picking the A330 would be controversial, and it's clear they knew Boeing was confused about size, and so the USAF should have made sure the size stipulation was crystal clear, and if not, should have issued one more draft RFP.

USAF's response to the protest was that they had briefed Boeing on the extra credit issue, but the GAO found that was insufficient.

Of course, it's quite possible all along Boeing knew they had no chance if the USAF wanted the larger size, so it's clear they could have ignored the briefing and counted on the appeal destroying the competition, which is what ended up happening.

Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 113):
I just read an article in the Seattle Time's that - "The Air Force decided it wanted a larger aircraft than it had put in the bid specifications, hadn't told Boeing and thereby tipped the deal to Northrop-EADS, whose plane was larger."

So is it true that The USAF completley failed to tell Boeing it wanted a larger aircraft and therefore provided them in affect- a false RFP that was DIFFERENT to the one the EAD's/NG team recieved?

NO, it is not true.

It's clear Boeing was briefed on the extra credit for size issue, but it's also clear that the GAO found that was not sufficient, the RFP should have been clarified.

Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 116):
But I thought this was the major argument for Boeing and it's supporter's. That the Airforce did not tell Boeing that extra credit's would be given for exceeding requirement's and that the NG/EAD's team were told??

If they were both given exactly the same RFP and neither company were told extra credit's would be given for exceeding requirement's then what is the problem?- That seem's fair to me.
[/quoteThe problem was the USAF intended to give extra credit, briefed Boeing and NG about that, but didn't make it clear in the RFP.

[quote=Francoflier,reply=123]The problem is that since both companies entered products that were quite sensibly different from each other and not really competing on a level playing field, coming up with a an equitable RFP that would have provided a fair contest between the 2 companies without one crying foul at the end was quite simply impossible.

I think it's possible to come up with a fair RFP that would grant extra credit for size, as long as the costs for the larger aircraft, in terms of fuel, maintenance and infrastrucrue, are accounted for.

But I also think it's next to impossible to craft an RFP that would keep two such dissimilar aircraft in the competition. Both sides could crank the numbers and one could easily decide it's not worth participating.
 
SpeedBirdA380
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:57 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:37 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
It's also clear to me that the USAF should have known picking the A330 would be controversial, and it's clear they knew Boeing was confused about size, and so the USAF should have made sure the size stipulation was crystal clear, and if not, should have issued one more draft RFP.

If Boeing was confused about what size tanker the AF wanted why did they not just pick up the phone and ask the AF to clarify or as you say demanded they issue one more draft RFP during the actual bidding process?
 
SpeedBirdA380
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:57 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:43 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
Of course, it's quite possible all along Boeing knew they had no chance if the USAF wanted the larger size, so it's clear they could have ignored the briefing and counted on the appeal destroying the competition, which is what ended up happening.

  

I think this is far more likely.

[Edited 2008-09-12 10:47:20]
 
GDB
Posts: 14408
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:37 pm

Well Revelation, Gallileo could be seen as part of a general ESA ramping up of space activities, beyond comsats etc, which also includes the Jules Verne craft at the ISS, probes orbiting Mars and Venus too.

A better example might be the engine on the A400M.
But, the US has a history of using leverage on their components on other's aircraft to prevent exports, the Swedes found that when trying to sell the Viggen in the 70's, (a JT8D based engine), preventing selling civil BAe-146's to Iran to give two examples.
They might well have feared this considering that A400M, despite the size difference, would effectively be in competition with the C-130J for exports.

The often derided French have brought C-130's, KC-135's, E-3D, E-2C's, LGB's, the TACAMO gear for SSBN communication and doubtless much else.

As for spies, Ames, Pollard (for Israel), the guy at TRW in the 70's and plenty others.

What rankles is when US politicians use spurious claims, including against Allies fighting alongside the US, but Israel, who HAS spied and sold to China, are beyond reproach it seems, at least from them.
It's crude politics, it should have no place in a serious thing like procurement for the armed forces.

I see the mistakes made in this tanker deal, as part of a possible malaise in the USAF over the last year or so, the nuclear screw ups, the near insubordination of a senior USAF staffer in regards to F-22 numbers directly contradicting Gates himself, other procurements like the CSAR.

But, when is it a new thing when requirements grow in the course of a procurement?
Happens all the time, in fact that may have been a decider in Boeing (ironically) initially winning the CSAR.
The USAF settled on the biggest, more capable contender. Does this sound familiar?
 
Ken777
Posts: 10197
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:55 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 119):
That says nothing. How many tanker contracts were awarded by the USAF over the last 30 years?

Actually the question should be "how many large military competitions did Boeing lose over the past 30 years without filing a complaint?"

When you look at it that way then Boeing's filing on the tanker decision takes on a lot more weight.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 125):
The problem is the RFP did not mention a preference for a larger airplane, but the USAF in fact favored AND gave extra credit for a larger airframe.

I think you may be right, but believe that the AF changed their mind during the process and basically kept their mouth shut on their change of mind. To make a major change in their thinking and how they would view the submissions may well have required that they prepare a new RFP that actually reflected this new thinking. That would have taken more time, more than they would have had before a change in administrations so the AF decided to play games - and they got caught big time.

All that means is that the AF screwed up the process - it doesn't mean that a larger plane is a bad idea. Hopefully the AF will present a new RFP that clearly defines the new thinking and be a little more honest in how they deal with both A & B.

We (the US public) certainly deserves better from the AF than we got in the last round.
 
astuteman
Posts: 7456
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:55 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 120):
The area of concern is why would Boeing waste time bidding the -200AT against the NG product when the NG airplane was head and shoulders above the -200AT

Complacency I suspect. I mean, what chance does a product with an Airbus content stand?  scratchchin 

Rgds
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10992
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:47 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
But I also think it's next to impossible to craft an RFP that would keep two such dissimilar aircraft in the competition. Both sides could crank the numbers and one could easily decide it's not worth participating.

Key to the entire problem, square peg, round hole.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 120):
(Note, I believe that NG is a passive part of this whole deal. They were happy with just being in the competition and offered an airplane that was more than competitive.)

Well they started the whole RFP modification when the told the Pentagon that if the RFP was not modified to allow their larger a/c a fair shake, they would not bid and withdraw from the competition, in hindsite, this is where the Air Force went off track, it resulted in the quote above.

If not a new build how about this one, replace some KC-135 with the smaller Boeing product, and retire or add some additional a/c in the KC-10 size, one thing that is often overlooked is that the A-330- is closer in tanker size to the KC-10 and not the KC-135, so the Air Froce idea about not wanting dual a/c means what, that in time they will have only one type of tanker?
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:51 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 124):
By the way, EPA001 - Happy A.Net Birthday!



Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
Cheers!

It is off topic, but thanks very much Red Flyer and Revelation. Although maybe we do not always agree on some topics, the respect for fellow A-netters and aviation enthusiasts is always there. I will celebrate tomorrow as that is also my real birthday

Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
I think it's possible to come up with a fair RFP that would grant extra credit for size, as long as the costs for the larger aircraft, in terms of fuel, maintenance and infrastructure, are accounted for.

But I also think it's next to impossible to craft an RFP that would keep two such dissimilar aircraft in the competition. Both sides could crank the numbers and one could easily decide it's not worth participating.

That is also very much true. How the pro and contra points should be weighed is a very tough challenge for anyone who is assigned the job of drafting the next RFP. I would not like to be in his or her shoes.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 131):
Actually the question should be "how many large military competitions did Boeing lose over the past 30 years without filing a complaint?"

When you look at it that way then Boeing's filing on the tanker decision takes on a lot more weight.

I know, I admit it was a bit of a low blow answer which maybe was not that appropriate. But in the emotion of debating, the remark slipped through! Still, on the other hand one could argue, how many times has EADS come to a position where they could file an official protest? Even in this case NG (a very respectable company imho) is the formal bidder with EADS-NA, a daughter of EADS, the co-bidder, as is GE for the engines.

It will still take quite a while I guess before EADS can bid for such major US defense contracts, that is I guess a bit frustrating on my part. Hence the low blow!

Kind regards!
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:34 pm



Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 127):
If Boeing was confused about what size tanker the AF wanted why did they not just pick up the phone and ask the AF to clarify or as you say demanded they issue one more draft RFP during the actual bidding process?

The aircraft size issue was first brought up in late 2006 by a small company wanting to compete.

http://www.leeham.net/filelib/ScottsColumn060208_A.pdf

Supposedly the USAF cleared this up with Boeing. (see page 7, par. f & g where they reference all aircraft from the AOA are included - nothing here says medium size)

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2008/03/05/2004263239.pdf

While it appears that the KC-X procurement office was saying one thing to Boeing with that letter - according to this YouTube video below, USAF leaders were telling Boeing's Congressman something different. It seems Boeing went with what the Sec. AF said and ignored the RFP. This helps explain the confusion. Who's at fault here and should Boeing get a pass for ignoring what the contracting office told them?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZtRsbpYGXk
 
agill
Posts: 1102
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:49 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:26 pm

 
SpeedBirdA380
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:57 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:45 pm



Quoting TropicBird (Reply 134):
While it appears that the KC-X procurement office was saying one thing to Boeing with that letter - according to this YouTube video below

I watched the video but had to turn it off after Norm Dick's started calling the A330 a "great big monster taking up runway space"!

I suppose by his logic then that the B-52 was a bad idea too because it took up too much runway.  Yeah sure
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting Agill (Reply 135):
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2008/09/12/direct-sale-of-tanker-to-dod/

I don't think this has been posted yet?

No, it has not as far as I known it. On topic: a direct sale of 20 tankers to the USAF without funding approved by congress is highly unlikely imho. Maybe this idea is fuelled by understandable feelings of frustrations because of the way things have turned out, but I do not think this is the way to force yourself inside. And without funding nothing will happen at all, or are NG and EADS planning on giving them away? Again, highly unlikely, though interesting after all!
 
redflyer
Posts: 3910
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:16 pm



Quoting Agill (Reply 135):
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2008/09/12/direct-sale-of-tanker-to-dod/

I don't think this has been posted yet?

From the article you posted:

Quote:
In what could be a game changer, I hear that some Northrop Grumman and EADS supporters are pushing a plan to sell 20 tankers — A330-200 freighter models — as a commercial deal directly to the Pentagon, thereby bypassing the whole RFP process. The idea: bypass the RFP process and inject the tankers directly into the Pentagon’s tanker fleet as quickly as possible.

[emphasis added]

How could they bypass the RFP process? Congress would have to approve the funding and they are not going to do so unless there is a competitive bidding process. Or, as EPA001 says, EADS gives the planes away, which I doubt they will do. Or, if they do it will certainly open up a can of worms.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10992
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:38 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 138):
How could they bypass the RFP process? Congress would have to approve the funding and they are not going to do so unless there is a competitive bidding process. Or, as EPA001 says, EADS gives the planes away, which I doubt they will do. Or, if they do it will certainly open up a can of worms.

If the Air Force goes for this Boeing should re-submit their original lease to buy deal for 100 tankers, then the warfighters would have 120 new tankers and eveyone would be happy.
 
dl767captain
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:51 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:07 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 109):
Basically, as of right now, yes.

The existing competition has been cancelled.

It's now up to the next administration's Department of Defense what to do next.

They may revise and re-issue the current RFP, or invent a whole new one, or do nothing, or anything in between.

Some of the links I've posted above say that it could be 3 years before we'll be roughly the same place we were with the recently cancelled competition.

Well i guess that would give both boeing and airbus to come up with another offer, maybe take some more improvements from the 787 and A350 and work them into the 767 and A330 tankers that they were trying to offer, was the 787 or A350 ever offered as a tanker variant?
 
Ken777
Posts: 10197
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:14 am



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 133):
a bit frustrating on my part. Hence the low blow!

Not a problem for me - I understand that there are a lot of emotions regarding the entire tanker SNAFU over the years.

I not that emotional on who wins in the end, but I tend to get highly irritated at the AF for screwing the last RFP up. I think we deserve better from the military.

Now I'm in favor of updating any CK-135s that need it and waiting until A & B can go after each other with the 350 & 787.  Smile
 
redflyer
Posts: 3910
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:42 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 141):
I'm not that emotional on who wins in the end, but I tend to get highly irritated at the AF for screwing the last RFP up. I think we deserve better from the military.

I feel the same way. I've come around to believing that the USAF does in fact want a bigger tanker, and for good reason. Not least of which is a desire to rely less on other nations for forward positioning purposes. And they are willing to go to the expense and trouble (and the selling of such to Congress) of fielding a larger tanker. So I expect them move forward with a solid plan for obtaining what they project they'll need. Why they couldn't do it to begin with is beyond me. Their #1 goal is to fight wars. Their #2 goal is to get the equipment they need to perform #1. Simple.
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:11 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 142):
I feel the same way. I've come around to believing that the USAF does in fact want a bigger tanker, and for good reason. Not least of which is a desire to rely less on other nations for forward positioning purposes. And they are willing to go to the expense and trouble (and the selling of such to Congress) of fielding a larger tanker. So I expect them move forward with a solid plan for obtaining what they project they'll need. Why they couldn't do it to begin with is beyond me. Their #1 goal is to fight wars. Their #2 goal is to get the equipment they need to perform #1. Simple.

They couldn't because Boeing wanted to lease/sell the KC-767...no matter what. Boeing & the USAF have been working on this with some in Congress since 2001 and Boeing has invested a reported $1 billion on the 767 tanker program so far. Image how the Italians and Japanese would feel having bought their 767 tankers only to have Boeing move to another platform. Those aircraft would then (and now may likely) become white elephants.
 
User avatar
Francoflier
Posts: 5944
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:52 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 125):
The problem is the RFP did not mention a preference for a larger airplane, but the USAF in fact favored AND gave extra credit for a larger airframe.

My point exactly. Had the RFP called for a bigger aircraft, Boeing would pretty much have been screwed as a tanker development of the 777 would probably not have been able to compete pricewise with the KC-30.
It is clear Boeing wanted to offer the 767, and nothing but the 767 from the start. Issuing an RFP that called for a bigger airframe would have been unfair, even if it's exactly wha the AF wanted.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 125):
if the RFP had been followed as it should have, NG/EADS may have actually lost the award because their offering did not meet all of the minimum criteria stipulated in the RFP, whereas Boeing's did.

And here we have the same problem, but the other way around. Had those 'compatibility' and overspeed issues ruled NG/EADS out, it would also have been considered unfair because biased towards Boeing, and NG would have appealed.

At the end of the day, a fair election process simply became impossible in such a litigious and scrutinized competition.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 16439
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:36 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 101):
1. The US Air Force initial RFP was for an a/c which only Boeing could fill with an off the shelf offering.

2. NG complained that if the RFP was not modified to allow them to compete, they would not bid.

3. US Air Force modified the RFP to allow additional bidders.

It was actually the GAO that told the USAF to change the RFP. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07367r.pdf

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 114):
The RFP clearly specified minimum requirements (based on the KC-135?) and that extra credits would be given for exceeding these requirements.

This is a common misconception regarding the RFP, it comes down to the language used in the RFP.

Extra credits were given for exceeding KPP thresholds, but not KPP objectives. When the USAF amended the RFP after the GAO protest, all they did was put the fuel offload vs range under the KPP threshold and deleted the KPP objective.

The sentence regarding no extra credit given for exceeding objectives remained in the new draft, as they moved the requirement from a objective to a threshold.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 125):
(I believe it had to do with the issue of compatibility with all current inventory aircraft as well as the issue of overspeed while refueling.)

From the SRD "USAF tanker compatible fixed wing receiver aircraft using current USAF procedures"

The USAF does not have one set of procedures for aerial refueling, the KC-135 procedures are different to the KC-10, and they are different again for allied aircraft.

From the SRD "The aircraft should be capable of aerial refueling all current USAF tanker compatible tilt rotor receiver aircraft using above criteria (OBJECTIVE, KPP #1)."

As for the tilt rotor aircraft, that was not a KPP threshold, it was an objective, and NG were confident they could meet the objective.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
It's clear Boeing was briefed on the extra credit for size issue, but it's also clear that the GAO found that was not sufficient, the RFP should have been clarified.

If Boeing did not understand any aspect of the RFP, it was their obligation under the RFP process to formally notify the USAF within 10 days of receiving the RFP. If they did not do this formally, the USAF had every right to think that Boeing understood every aspect of the RFP.
 
User avatar
EPA001
Posts: 3893
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:44 am



Quoting Zeke (Reply 145):
Quoting EPA001 (Reply 114):
The RFP clearly specified minimum requirements (based on the KC-135?) and that extra credits would be given for exceeding these requirements.

This is a common misconception regarding the RFP, it comes down to the language used in the RFP.

Extra credits were given for exceeding KPP thresholds, but not KPP objectives. When the USAF amended the RFP after the GAO protest, all they did was put the fuel offload vs range under the KPP threshold and deleted the KPP objective.

The sentence regarding no extra credit given for exceeding objectives remained in the new draft, as they moved the requirement from a objective to a threshold.

Thanks Zeke for this clarification. I interpreted things indeed a little different, but your post makes it absolutely clear how the interpretation should be. As always your information put things in a better perspective.

Kind regards.
 
Beaucaire
Posts: 3888
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2003 4:48 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:51 am

The latest-following "der Spiegel" ,are considerations by EADS to quite the bidding..
EADS management does not think they will find fair conditions outlined in a new bid.
It's not official yet and might just be a means to put pressure on the Pentagon,but the mood in Toulouse is obviously pretty "stinky"..
Participating in a new tender involves costs of millions of $ to prepare a new document based on new tender-specs. Should the new specs become obviously to much geared to Boeings likes,the answer will be - stick it up...
 
SpeedBirdA380
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:57 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:54 am

Obama attacks McCain on Boeing deal, trade issues.

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1240680320080912
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10992
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:15 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 145):
If Boeing did not understand any aspect of the RFP, it was their obligation under the RFP process to formally notify the USAF within 10 days of receiving the RFP. If they did not do this formally, the USAF had every right to think that Boeing understood every aspect of the RFP.

Only problem with this is that the same GAO who advised the US Air Force to modify the original RFP to allow NG to compete is also the body who upheld Boeing's protest, why are we blaming Boeing for the GAO ruling against the Air Force, are we saying that Boeing should just accept the loss of a huge contract based on a faulty RFP and go off into the night?
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2399
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:30 pm



Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 148):
Obama attacks McCain on Boeing deal, trade issues.

NoBama's an idiot trying to spin the KC-X into a political topic, especially one in which it only makes McCain look better! I swear, these bleeding heart liberal dems think just like the Nazi's in WWII that regardless as to the truth if they just repeat it often enough the sheep-people will believe because they are otherwise too distracted by all of their professional sports and fast food restaurants.

I've come to lose a lot of respect for the Boeing company with how they whined to the political left in this deal, those are the same assholes who threw the Iraq effort under the bus for their own political gain - what does that say for a company trying to sell equipment to the warfighter?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AirbusCheerlead and 15 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos