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Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:47 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 199):
Had Boeing raised twenty or so proveable issues with 8 being upheld, I believe everyone would have had a better feeling about the process.

Lawyers tend to throw in everything, including the kitchen sink, when preparing a document like that. If the shoe had been on the other foot then the NG/Airbus lawyers would have been just as prolific.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 199):
Re-uping a smaller -135 fleet is looking better each day.

The attractiveness of that option is enhanced with the financial FUBARS we are seeing on Wall Street these days. Probably a minimum of a trillion Dollars for the major companies that we're "saving" - on top of half a trillion Dollar deficit that will be handed to the next President.

Even considering how fast we're printing money I don't think that there will be funds for a new tanker without cutting funds for other programs. That is what can kill the tanker program.
 
Flighty
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:11 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 200):
Even considering how fast we're printing money I don't think that there will be funds for a new tanker without cutting funds for other programs. That is what can kill the tanker program.



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 199):
Re-uping a smaller -135 fleet is looking better each day.

?? you could say that about almost every US government aircraft. But the fact is we are a huge, rich country and we do need new jets sometimes (like every 50 years).

I think the need for the KC-30 is real. The KC-767 is a weaker competitor. The testimony of Undersecretary for Aquisition John Young is proof positive that Boeing made a ridiculous bid for a contract they deserved to lose. That the decision was overturned on a technicality does not impact this (nor did the GAO claim that EADS wasn't better).
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:30 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 201):
I think the need for the KC-30 is real.

While this may be the time that the AF wants a new tanker it still has to compete with other projects for tax dollars and that is the challenge.

There is going to be limited money for the DoD and other Departments under any future administration. Depending on the funding limits the KC-X will ether be axed, greatly reduced or the funds will be taken from other programs, both within the AF and the DoD in general.

When you consider the risks of limited funding in the future the KC-135 re-engine program looks pretty good.
 
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Tugger
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:42 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 199):
John Young has some interesting comments in the following article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2008/09/17/AR2008091702857.html

I saw that article, the part that raised my eyebrows was this:

Quote:
John Young, the undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said in an interview at the Pentagon yesterday that under the tanker proposal from Northrop Grumman and its partner European Aeronautic Defence & Space, developing the first 68 aircraft would have cost $12.5 billion, compared with $15.4 billion under Boeing's plan.

I haven't read through this entire thread so maybe this is old news but I hadn't seen the price difference before. Also I would think that the cost should have been revealed as it give Boeing an advantage on future bids.

Tugg
 
GDB
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:30 pm

If the KC-X is vital, of the USAF is under budgetary strain, axe plans for this all new '2018 bomber'.
(If the requirement is still there, how about FB-22?)
And items like those very luxurious VIP 'pods' for senior USAF brass, paid for out of funds for anti terror ops, when the said brass had to stoop to using a basic transport, not a dedicated VIP machine.
So wonder Secretary Gates has been pissed with the USAF recently.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:58 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 199):
John Young has some interesting comments in the following article:

"The Pentagon's top weapons buyer said the proposed aerial refueling tankers from both Northrop Grumman and Boeing were "technically outstanding" but differed by almost $3 billion on price."

Is that an all up difference or just the purchase price?

If it is the purchase price then we need to add in the inflow of income taxes paid by winners of the competition as well as the additional income taxes generated by employment to build the planes.

Then there is the long term costs, like infrastructures, fuel costs, etc.

Add in all of the costs and let me know how they compare. That's the long term question and it might be nice to know the answers.
 
A5XX
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:04 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 205):
Is that an all up difference or just the purchase price?

If it is the purchase price then we need to add in the inflow of income taxes paid by winners of the competition as well as the additional income taxes generated by employment to build the planes.

Then there is the long term costs, like infrastructures, fuel costs, etc.

Add in all of the costs and let me know how they compare. That's the long term question and it might be nice to know the answers.

We all thought the USAF was looking to select and buy the best available tanker for the USAF needs...

And also at a lower cost than Boeing's KC-767?  Wow!

6+ billions less than the Boeing bid for the entire contract.  Wow!

If it's not so, then quit whining at the WTO about Airbus/EADS getting subsidies...

Patriotism = Protectionism = SUBSIDIES = Protectionism = Patriotism.

It's the same, whatever side of the pond you are.

However, using the same rationale, you'll still end up with an inferior tanker (the KC-767) Big grin

A5XX

[Edited 2008-09-18 19:39:31]
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:38 am



Quoting A5XX (Reply 206):
We all thought the USAF was looking to select and buy the best available tanker for the USAF needs...

While the generals would love to believe it, the AF doesn't need a Cadillac when a Ford will do the job.

Again, what is the total cost over the time it will be used? The AF must have some idea, or maybe they can ask the Navy to help them figure it out.

If the NG/Airbus option has a lower 40 year cost then buy it - if funds are available.

If the Boeing has the lower 40 year cost then buy it - if funds are available.

Personally I could care less which plane gets selected. I'm more concerned about the availability of funds that the DoD will have over the next 10 years and the potential for buying more than a handful of tankers.

I'm in the camp that believes that the DoD will be resetting priorities for funds, starting with the next administration. That may result in an economic decision to re-engine the KC-135s and spend the rest of the money rebuilding all of the military after the Iraq War.
 
gsosbee
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:32 pm

Looks like NG will get something for their work:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...rthrop19-2008sep19,0,7521700.story

With each story a little bit more comes out. The blurb on NG's promise to deliver two years early appears to have caught the DoD's attention.
 
SpeedBirdA380
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:04 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 207):
While the generals would love to believe it, the AF doesn't need a Cadillac when a Ford will do the job.

Pardon my ignorance but are you more qualified to decide that the USAF " doesn't need a Cadillac when a Ford will do the job" than the USAF General's?
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:14 pm

This remark made in the article is remarkable too:

"Boeing spokesman Dan Beck declined to comment on Young's remarks but said the company "is looking to the future and is looking forward to a renewed tanker competition when the Pentagon proceeds. As we go through this interim period we're not interested in revisiting the past."

The interim period is the period where they now are maybe planning a serious bid instead of selling outdated technology to the USAF. That they were bidding with a much higher price is for outdated technology is beyond me! How dare they talking with a big mouth when it becomes more and more clear how inferior their bid was!

That they are not interested in "revisiting the past" is clear to me. It is a messy and dirty place for them where they screwed up their work, and in the end they probably still will be rewarded for it. That is sign of the political power Boeing has. It clearly has much more political power then NG has, not to mention EADS-USA which political and lobby powers should be considered negligible compared to Boeing's power in this department. If only their bid would have been of the same standards, we would never have gotten the mess that the whole process is in now.
 
dk1967
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:14 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 210):
The interim period is the period where they now are maybe planning a serious bid instead of selling outdated technology to the USAF. That they were bidding with a much higher price is for outdated technology is beyond me! How dare they talking with a big mouth when it becomes more and more clear how inferior their bid was!

I suspect the interim period will be longer than you anticipate, and that by the time the AF gets another bite at this, the airframes that will be considered have not yet had thier first flight.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:36 pm



Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 209):
Pardon my ignorance but are you more qualified to decide that the USAF " doesn't need a Cadillac when a Ford will do the job" than the USAF General's?

I'n not qualified to make the selection between the two bids, but I am able to read. Recently I've been reading about the meltdown of the financial system in the US - you might have noticed it.  Smile

Throw that little problem in with all of the others we are having and even this feeble old man can see that we have a problem on this side of the pond. Now add in the funding that will be needed to rebuild the military, toss in a bit of new money for non-DoD spending and a blind man running for the bus can see that there will be budget reductions for the DoD in the future. That means less money for the AF as well. Maybe it's the generals that don't fully realize the scope of the nation's financial problems and how it might impact their future budgets & procurements.

When these reductions are in place how much money will be there for any new tanker? That money will be taken from fighter & weapons procurement? Or from Army procurements that directly support the boots in the field? It's all going to be about choices and any new tanker funds will compete for funds within the DoD.

There is a limit and that limit is being reduced daily by the other financial problems we are having in this country. At this time I believe that spending any more money on a tanker, outside of updating what we have, might become a very unwise decision in future years.
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:34 pm

In the RAND AoA for the KC-X program, they stated that "used" aircraft should be considered. The USAF said "no" they wanted "new" and that was ok then -- but not now. With the new and serious problems to the federal budget caused by the Wall Street meltdown, maybe they need to revisit used airframes.


Wall Street bailout could 'cripple' federal budget
By Jared Allen and Jackie Kucinich
Posted: 09/19/08 02:13 PM [ET]

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/...ple-federal-budget-2008-09-19.html
 
redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:43 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 210):
The interim period is the period where they now are maybe planning a serious bid instead of selling outdated technology to the USAF.

Hi EPA001! I have a question about this comment. Was there something specific about the KC-767's technology base that rendered it inferior with regards to the RFP? I realize the plane does not have a FBW system, but I don't think that was given any consideration in the RFP. From everything that I could see, the KC-30's "superiority" emanated from its larger size only, but I could be wrong.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 210):
That is sign of the political power Boeing has. It clearly has much more political power then NG has

I believe historically NG has had the upper hand when it came to expenditures on lobbying. Their clout within the USAF became apparent when they convinced the USAF on the merits of a larger airplane.

There's been some talk the last few days about NG/EADS' "cheaper" costs for the first tranche of airframes, which made the purchase of the NG/EADS option that much more appealing. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought perhaps they were under-bidding their offering in order to get a foothold:

Quote:
Boeing may have charged a higher price to help offset development costs on the KC-767, which has been under development since 2002. Conversely, EADS may have deliberately underbid its program, in hopes of gaining a foothold in the US defense market.

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?C...e50e0c-66ca-4d03-b0b3-ae504909c93d
 
SpeedBirdA380
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:59 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 214):
I believe historically NG has had the upper hand when it came to expenditures on lobbying. Their clout within the USAF became apparent when they convinced the USAF on the merits of a larger airplane.

Or maybe the USAF decided on it's own that it wanted a bigger plane? Even If they did convince the USAF of the merit's of a bigger plane what is wrong with that? What's wrong with trying to sell your product?
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:04 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 214):
There's been some talk the last few days about NG/EADS' "cheaper" costs for the first tranche of airframes, which made the purchase of the NG/EADS option that much more appealing.

Or maybe a lowball starting bid, knowing that cost overruns will cover the difference. How's Marine One doing on cost overruns? Might be a good example for us to look at.
 
AirRyan
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:42 am

I for one am adamently opposed to the decision to cancel the award to NG and I call for the resignation of the entire Democrat party of the U.S. house of Congress, the traitorous cowards that they are. I have lost all respect for the Boeing company after this fiasco - this is twice now they have tried to screw the US taxpayer and deny our warfighters with the best in technolgy and capability - they should be ashamed of themselves.

Quote:

"Northrop was very much using the existing airframe, whereas Boeing's proposal involved assembling parts of existing airplanes to create essentially a new variant," Young said. Both aircraft were ranked by the Air Force as "technically outstanding," he said.

Northrop proposed spending $12.5 billion for the development phase and first 68 aircraft, Young said. The government evaluated Boeing's cost proposal at $15.4 billion for the development program and the first 68 aircraft, he said.

"The Boeing proposal was more expensive and delivered later and provided less capability," Young said. "Frankly, the Boeing aircraft was smaller and should have been cheaper."

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...rthrop19-2008sep19,0,7521700.story
 
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WarRI1
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:52 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 217):
for one am adamently opposed to the decision to cancel the award to NG

I think that after the Air Force screwed this competition up so badly that it was shot down and canceled that damages to NG be paid out of their operating budget. After all they ran the show, they screwed it up, let them pay.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:29 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 217):
and I call for the resignation of the entire Democrat party of the U.S. house of Congress, the traitorous cowards that they are.

It wasn't that long ago that the only Medal of Honor awardee in Congress was a Democratic Senator who left a leg in Vietnam.

And there was a Democrat in the House that left 2 legs and an arm in Vietnam. He lost his last election when his "honorable" Republican opponent called him unpatriotic. Makes you proud, doesn't it?

There have been plenty of Democrats and Independents who have put on a uniform over the past century. Guess that they were "traitorous cowards" also because they didn't bow down to the great Conservative Republican god.

You'll undoubtably be just as happy when the Marines yet again get the hind teat in the budget hog after Iraq while the AF pulls in big dollars for capital purchases. After all the Marines don't need that much money, especially when new tankers are so cheap.
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:33 am

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 214):
Quoting EPA001 (Reply 210):
The interim period is the period where they now are maybe planning a serious bid instead of selling outdated technology to the USAF.

Hi EPA001! I have a question about this comment. Was there something specific about the KC-767's technology base that rendered it inferior with regards to the RFP? I realize the plane does not have a FBW system, but I don't think that was given any consideration in the RFP. From everything that I could see, the KC-30's "superiority" emanated from its larger size only, but I could be wrong.

Hi RedFlyer. As you know developments in the aviation world are going faster and faster every year. Design of new plains is mainly done by computer technology, like the latest CFD for optimising aerodynamics on new designed parts or complete plains (A380, B787 & A350).

I think that the B757-B767 and A310 planes were maybe the first planes where computers started to play a bigger role in the design process then ever before. The next wave of newly designed planes took that technology to a much higher level. To that next wave I think the A330-A340 and the B777 belong. Also the upgrades for the B747-400 were done in such a way.

There lies the difference between the B767 and the A330. It is best shown not only in FBW, but also in construction methods and materials used, but foremost in the superior aerodynamic qualities of the wings and the way the wings are mounted onto the airframe. Also the more modern design reduces maintenance efforts. But the whole package makes the A330 based KC-45 in many ways more advanced and more attractive. Also the A330 is still selling amazingly good, even when pitched against the B787 and A350, though the last might be a bit too large to compete with the A330. Almost every year upgraded designs flow into the basic airframe to keep the plane attractive for its customers. The USAF would only be one (though a very large one) of the customers of the airframe, but the costs of these improvements would be spread out over many airliners and individual airframes.

Since the B767 is not selling commercially anymore, the one or two exceptions I disregard here, such major improvement programmes are not running for that airframe anymore. And the older design has less room for improvements. That does not make it impossible to design and implement such improvements, but the costs would be much higher and could only be paid for by the USAF, i.e. the US tax payer. See the much higher price of the Hybrid B767-AT (Frankentanker?) where Boeing does make improvements to the basic airframe compared to the much more standardized A330-MRTT based KC-45!

Add all that up you get this: Even when larger and heavier then the B767-AT, the KC-45 will fly more economical then its competitor the longer the mission goes. On short stretches the weight penalty will kill this advantage though. The Boeing wing design falls terribly short here compared to the Airbus wing design. If we would be talking a B777 wing, designed in the same era as the Airbus counterparts, we are talking marginal differences only where the B777 wing could very well even be better. I am not the aerodynamic expert to make such judgements, but the difference between the B767 wing and the A330-A340 wings is clear. And it is the Boeing wing which loses here on every bolt, flap or on the total design of the wing. The more modern offering is clearly the better one here.

The missions the new multi-role tankers will perform will include many cargo transports since the C17 is not doing so well in that department (reliability & foremost costs!). And we know the USAF specifically opted for a multi-role plane, so the plane should more capable then performing the tanker role only. Both the B767-AT and the KC-45 would do that cargo transport part better and a lot cheaper then anything else in the inventory of the USAF today.

I think that the problems Boeing had with the Japanese B767-T, and still has with the Italian B767-T, especially the problems with the modifications for the plane to perform a tanker role, show that the B767 design earlier reaches its limitations. It also "kills" Boeings statement that they have so much expertise compared to its competitor in this department, that not selecting them would pose a risk. Clearly the years of delay in both these tanker programmes prove Boeings PR wrong here.

Contrary to that fact is the flawlessly performed flight testing and certification programme of the KC-30. No major problems are reported here (so far!), although there is always a possibility that such issues could arise later! But at least this plane won 5 out 5 international contests for the next generation of tanker planes. All those countries who selected did not always look at size only, and for sure not at the percentage of US built components in it, but also at all the other points which I have described above. In the US case I think however it is justified to take the US made percentage into the equasions, but it should not be the decisive factor only. It is a multi billion Dollar project of course, but the qualities of the airplane to perform the missions it is designed for, should come first.

And if you are calling it the next generation tanker, as both NG-EADS & Boeing are doing, then make sure that it is a modern plane which will not be outdated the moment it enters service (B767-AT), but make sure it is a plane that still will be sold at least for another 10-15 years or so (A330 family) which will continue to receive upgrades and will continue to be called or classified as a modern airplane by everyone, even when she is surpassed by the likes of the B777-NG and the B787 family on Boeings side or the A380 and A350 family on Airbus's side.

Remember if she should be in active duty for at least 40 years, and the latest tankers are delivered in 2020 or so, the plane should still fly in 2060! For sure it is outdated then, but you better try to keep the size of the timeframe where the plane is classified as outdated as small as you can. In the end, that will be the cheaper and more rewarding choice!

Why not take the B787 or A350 based designs: the USAF opts for proven technology airframes to minimise the risks. The B767-AT is not a proven hybrid airframe which imho is a higher risk then the A330-MRTT based KC-45. The Japanese and Italian problems (with older, less modified versions of the B767) proof this. But maybe a B777 designed tanker is possible, depending on how long Boeing will get to submit a new bid. It will trail the A330-MRTT based KC-45 in the risks and costs and availability department for sure, but it could outperform it in the end.

Kind regards!

[Edited 2008-09-20 04:45:10]

[Edited 2008-09-20 04:47:22]
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:45 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 214):
From everything that I could see, the KC-30's "superiority" emanated from its larger size only, but I could be wrong.

This is wrong. The A330 is at least 10 years newer in design, and is more aerodynamically efficient. Part of that does come from being larger. In particular its larger wingspan really helps.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 220):
And if you are calling it the next generation tanker, as both NG-EADS & Boeing are doing, then make sure that it is a modern plane which will not be outdated the moment it enters service (B767-AT), but make sure it is a plane that still will be sold at least for another 10-15 years or so (A330 family) which will continue to receive upgrades and will continue to be called or classified as a modern airplane by everyone, even when she is surpassed by the likes of the B777-NG and the B787 family on Boeings side or the A380 and A350 family on Airbus's side.

Or we could wait 10 years by extending KC-135's lifespan and then look at A350/B787 to really get a modern airplane, probably on the order of 20% more fuel efficient and much cheaper in terms of engine and airframe maintenance.

We can say neither vendor will want to make room to produce these desirable planes for the USAF, but I doubt that. Keep in mind the KC135 was Boeing's state of the art airplane when the USAF selected it. Surely one of the two vendors will find a way to make it happen.
 
gsosbee
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:14 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 221):
We can say neither vendor will want to make room to produce these desirable planes for the USAF, but I doubt that. Keep in mind the KC135 was Boeing's state of the art airplane when the USAF selected it. Surely one of the two vendors will find a way to make it happen.

Only if the manufacturers either have made a substantial dent in the back log or are willing to operate multiple manufacturing lines. There is more money to be made on the commercial side than the governmental side.

Of course this assumes one or both of the airplanes actual will fly!  Wink
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:32 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 221):
Or we could wait 10 years by extending KC-135's lifespan and then look at A350/B787 to really get a modern airplane, probably on the order of 20% more fuel efficient and much cheaper in terms of engine and airframe maintenance.

Given the current financial crisis which has to be payed for by the US tax payer, and will take a huge toll on the federal budget for years to come, it could be a way to resolve the thing we now know as the international financial crisis and the drama this tanker deal has become. How much would it take to extend the KC-135 lifespan? Are they still structurally OK to undergo such modifications? And how much longer would they be good for after modification? Because when you start purchasing in 2020 or so, you do not purchase 500 planes to be delivered in 1 batch. It would take years (maybe 10 years or so?) for all the new planes to be delivered.

Kind regards.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:58 pm



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 223):
Given the current financial crisis which has to be payed for by the US tax payer, and will take a huge toll on the federal budget for years to come

We're around half a dollars trillion dollars now, with Bush asking for 700 billion, which will probably turn into a billion when all is said and done. To put this potential 1.5 trillion into perspective, half a trillion is probably what the DoD will get each year in total after Iraq - if they are lucky.

With an amount equal to 3 years of total Defense funding going out the door in the past few weeks plus next week I believe that the AF needs to get very pragmatic very fast. Even updating the KC-135s might be too expensive over the next few years unless something very positive happens in the near future.

Personally I believe that the KC-X is now heading to the shelf, along with some other capital expenses for the DoD and other Departments.
 
AirRyan
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:01 pm



Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 218):
I think that after the Air Force screwed this competition up so badly that it was shot down and canceled that damages to NG be paid out of their operating budget. After all they ran the show, they screwed it up, let them pay.

So many like to say the USAF screwed this one and I disagree - I say politics got the better of this one.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 219):
You'll undoubtably be just as happy when the Marines yet again get the hind teat in the budget hog after Iraq while the AF pulls in big dollars for capital purchases. After all the Marines don't need that much money, especially when new tankers are so cheap.

Which is why I have remained adamently opposed to the Corps trying to buy exhorbantly expensive V-22 and F-35B's, myopic foresight when you could have otherwise procured and paid for HH-72 and F/A-18F's in full already.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 219):
And there was a Democrat in the House that left 2 legs and an arm in Vietnam. He lost his last election when his "honorable" Republican opponent called him unpatriotic. Makes you proud, doesn't it?

Don't be so gullable, I think even John Kerry proved that even with multiple purple hearts that doesn't earn you an automatic lifetime exemption to "patrioism."
 
Curt22
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:31 pm



Quoting United787 (Reply 31):
Yet another failing of the Bush administration...

It's fine if you hate Bush, but foolish if you think anyone believes the Bush administration had anything to do with the Tanker deal...there was no one from the "Bush Administration" on the source selection team that was rightfully beaten down for failing not one but eight protest points of Boeing.

Save your hateful intolerant polarized political agenda for another forum since you fool no one here in blaming Bush for this tanker deal.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:42 pm



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 225):
Don't be so gullable, I think even John Kerry proved that even with multiple purple hearts that doesn't earn you an automatic lifetime exemption to "patrioism."

Which is why McCain plays the POW card every time he gets a chance? Why is he different?
 
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WarRI1
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:20 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 225):
So many like to say the USAF screwed this one and I disagree - I say politics got the better of this one.

I would have to agree with that point. I have been reading a book by Dick Morris and in chapter six of the book "Fleeced" He covers the ties to EADS/Airbus by Sen. John McCain and by Sen. Hillary Clinton. Democratic and Republican ties to our government by EADS/Airbus. The title of the chapter is "The New Lobbyists" I think after reading this chapter, I would have to agree that indeed politics played a very large part in this fiasco. According to this author and co-author, there are three lobbying firms tied to McCain and three lobbying firms tied to Clinton, all six with ties to EADS?Airbus. NG according to this book has also signed on with former Sen Trent Lott and former Sen. John Breaux as lobbyists. This is not a testament for the book, just a reference point to show that indeed politics and influence peddling skewed the whole process. The gist of the chapter is that foreign influence is on the rise in our congress, why?, just take a guess.
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:22 am

I suspect that many of the same cast of characters behind the tanker lease scandal are behind this second failure. If you have the time - this linked document makes an interesting read.

Click on the link below and it will take you to a web-site with a document on the left side titled "Case Studies in Policy Making and Process". Scroll down a few pages in the document until you find in the table of contents and an article which starts on page 269 titled "The Next Tanker" by Roger Ducey (click on the blue colored writing and it will jump to the article).

It starts with the history of the air tanker and then gets more interesting a few pages in. One of the most surprising parts has to do with how Boeing got the KC-135 contract and the scandal that created. It later delves into how Karl Rove and others got involved in the KC-X tanker lease deal. It's very telling on how politics mixes with the procurement process.

If you have any problems accessing the site let me know. BTW, the site also has other articles that may be of interest. Happy reading.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/1569686/US-Air-Force-policy-cases
 
astuteman
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:15 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 214):
There's been some talk the last few days about NG/EADS' "cheaper" costs for the first tranche of airframes, which made the purchase of the NG/EADS option that much more appealing. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought perhaps they were under-bidding their offering in order to get a foothold:

Of course, it's possible that Boeing were "overbidding", rather than NG "underbidding". It would have the same effect......

Rgds
 
redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:11 pm



Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 215):
Even If they did convince the USAF of the merit's of a bigger plane what is wrong with that?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I tip my hat to their accomplisment. And I've used the tanker saga to educate my sales team on the merits of perservering even when the odds are stacked against them. Nothing illuminates success in sales better than to pursue a sale when everything says that you don't stand a chance - and then win to the chagrin of everyone.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 220):



Quoting Revelation (Reply 221):
The A330 is at least 10 years newer in design, and is more aerodynamically efficient. Part of that does come from being larger. In particular its larger wingspan really helps.

Respectfully, I don't believe either of you have pointed out where the KC-30 beat the KC-767 on technological advances alone. I understand the fact that it's a newer design and incorporates more advanced technologies. BUT, did any of those technologies actually play a decisive role in its selection? Certainly there are areas that could be claimed to have played a role, such as it's FBW would render it less maintenance intensive, but then that would have been offset by its much larger size, which in itself would have added man-hours to its maintenance cycles (I won't even address the costs of supporting that larger size in other ways). As far as I can tell, the USAF decided it needed a tanker and picked the one that can carry the most fuel and cargo the farthest distance. Was there something in their decision that also said, "the KC-30 incorporates "X" technology, which is superior to the KC-767's "Y" technology"?

The oft-used analogy in these tanker threads is the Cadillac-Chevy comparison. If my requirement is to haul 5 people in comfort 300 miles on a tank of gas, I may very well pick the Caddy if it can haul 6 people in comfort 350 miles on a tank of gas. But I will pick it only if it comes in at the same price as the Chevy, and I don't care if it has all the power options and leather appointments (and I certainly won't take away points for all those extra features).

By the way, and just so you know, I no longer believe the 767 is the "better" tanker with regards to this just-cancelled RFP. I firmly believe the USAF decided it wanted a larger tanker and picked the larger of the two offerings, and for good reason given the growth of China's military might. And from everything I've seen, the "better" tanker is the one that can carry more gas farther. But I don't think I've seen anything in the USAF's decision that points to the KC-30's "superiority" other than its larger size.
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:17 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 233):
Was there something in their decision that also said, "the KC-30 incorporates "X" technology, which is superior to the KC-767's "Y" technology"?

Not directly. Given the 767 EIS in 1982 and A330 EIS in 1992, one can presume increase in CFD use for aerodynamics may have something to do with KC-30's claim of "better takeoff performance, greater offload, better fuel efficiency, and longer range".

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 233):
But I will pick it only if it comes in at the same price as the Chevy

Apparently the Caddy was offered at a cheaper price than the Chevy.

I guess Boeing must have realized putting all those parts from the various 767s was going to take time and money. I guess Airbus's plan to use the proven design and cheap non-union labor in Alabama for both KC45A and A330F must have lead to some very good economics.
 
redflyer
Posts: 3910
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:37 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 234):
Apparently the Caddy was offered at a cheaper price than the Chevy.

Apparently so. And that means the USAF went with the best offering.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 234):
I guess Airbus's plan to use the proven design and cheap non-union labor in Alabama for both KC45A and A330F must have lead to some very good economics.

Unfortunately, it may all be for naught if EADS follows through on its threat to halt the A400M program, which is being talked about in news reports (see link, below). If they do that then they will have absolutely no credibility as a military supplier.

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSLK18507020080920
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:52 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 235):
Unfortunately, it may all be for naught if EADS follows through on its threat to halt the A400M program, which is being talked about in news reports (see link, below).

From the link:

"if those countries that have ordered the plane do not abstain from claiming damages for the delays"

I think that is what the threat is about. Drop the damages claim or we drop the program. Bit of a push, but it will probably work.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:20 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 236):
think that is what the threat is about. Drop the damages claim or we drop the program. Bit of a push, but it will probably work.

Is this the norm in military procurement for aircraft?, dropping the demands for compensation because of delays in developement and delivery. It seems to work the other way around in the civilian world. If it is not the norm, why should EADS be treated any differently than anyone else?
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:45 pm



Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 237):
Is this the norm in military procurement for aircraft?, dropping the demands for compensation because of delays in developement and delivery. It seems to work the other way around in the civilian world.

EADS knows it has the governments by the short and curlies. The governments created EADS, they own big percentages of EADS, they created the A400M project to get Airbus into the military business, and they have no other viable options other than to see the A400M through.

In the commercial space, the customer could sue the supplier, but it seems implausible for the governments to sue EADS, it'd be like a parent suing its own children.

BTW the history of the US government suing its suppliers is pretty discouraging as well. See the A-12 saga for one example.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:27 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 239):
EADS knows it has the governments by the short and curlies. The governments created EADS, they own big percentages of EADS, they created the A400M project to get Airbus into the military business, and they have no other viable options other than to see the A400M through.

A little game of hardball by Airbus. I guess it could be costly for those governments. It will be interesting to see what the final costs are per aircraft. Thanks for the info.
 
GDB
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:03 pm

I think with the A400M, as it became, you'll find governments were in fact very destructive for many years.
By not funding, by that meaning for buying them (or any other new transport for that matter), for many years.

Political wrangling of all kinds was hugely damaging, EADS were not about to go and develop a new transport if it looked doubtful that the home AF's were going to buy it.
Here, I see no difference with the US.

(But LM are now considering a wider C-130J, had they done that from the start with the J Herc I doubt A400M would ever have been started).
 
GDB
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:31 pm

Though the KC-10 fleet is of course much newer, they are not getting any younger, some will know better than me on this, but is it not the case they are all over 20 years old?

So compared to the KC-135E fleet, not a replacement priority as such.

But, I still think what helped to sway the USAF for the A330 was the greater lift capability generally, not just for fuel.
The job of the tanker force is now almost entirely in supporting expeditionary warfare, both in deployment and in theatre.

With this is mind, how about an 'honours even' approach which also will provide a great deal more capability for the sort of missions the USAF and the other US and Allied forces they will support?

Buy the A330, KC-45, 150 of them.
They will replace the KC-135E's and some of the other versions too.
Not one for one, anyway the USAF force structure is almost certain to contract somewhat, since the F-15's, F-16's, the F-117's that have already gone, are not being replaced one for one by their successors either.

Then buy 50 KC-777's, (KC-46?), these will replace much of the KC-10 fleet mostly.
They will be considerably cheaper to operate than the KC-10's, with deliveries started from around 2017/18 onwards, several years after KC-45 start delivery.
They will also bring a very good lift capability generally.

The KC-777 fleet would be more optimised for supporting the deployments overseas, the A330 derived tankers the same, but also in theatre too.

These 200 tankers, by around 2020, would still leave quite a few KC-135R's and some KC-10's perhaps too.
But before then, the USAF will have a better idea of how the force structure for the future will look. In an age when technology like larger UCAV's are either on the way or even here.

If it is the case that the force structure still requires more tankers, (taking into account the much greater capability that both these new tankers will give), then options are exercised, for 50 more A330 and 30 more 777 tankers.

The USAF gets a huge injection of additional tanker/transport capability, EADS/NG get to set up their US line, also supplying civil cargo versions well into the future.
Boeing gets a new tanker in USAF service, their B777F programme, though already successful, gets a major shot in the arm too.
The US industrial base gets a new large aircraft line, meaning that along with the 777F it is the provider of essentially all the medium to large civil freight market.
 
trex8
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RE: KC-X Tanker Competition Canceled!

Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:13 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 236):
they created the A400M project to get Airbus into the military business,

they did not create the A400M to get Airbus in the military business, they created the A400M project then decided that instead of creating a new production structure like they did for the Typhoon and Tornado, they would get Airbus to do it as they had most of the organization in place already.

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