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Beta
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KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 2:49 am

Since the other KC-X Tanker threads are getting long in the tooth, I'm going to start a new thread.

In an apparent new twist to the on-going, sad, pathetic, potentially dangerous (to national security) soap opera known as the USAF KC-X Tanker contract, Boeing is reportedly considering no-bid for the KC-X Tanker contract. Apparently the fixed-price contract stipulation is causing heartburn to Boeing, and the Pentagon is reported quietly to change its requirements in the direction of Boeing's competitor EADS/Airbus product.

Quote:
Boeing is considering not bidding for the U.S. Air Force's KC-X tanker contract, a company source said May 14...CEO Jim McNerney and other executives are privately debating whether their company can even win, much less make a profit, on the fixed-price contract, one senior Boeing executive said...company officials have said for several weeks that the Pentagon appears to have shifted requirements to favor the European firm.

-By Vago Muradian and John Reed in DefenseNews

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4627333&c=AIR&s=TOP

I like the bit when the financial anaylyst who said if EADS were going to bid below market price for their tanker, which in effect subsidized the US military, then by all mean the US should really go for it. For the record I do not think EADS is going to bid below market price, but it is clear that its strategy is to do everything possible to get a foot in the door of US defense contracts (a 600+ billions $ pie). By settling for a lower profit margin in order to do that is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Chime in with your thoughts, lady and gent.
 
dl1011
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 9:18 am

This is going to be a fun thread!

I agree that Boeing should toss in the towel and not bid. It is clear that the Pentagon really wants the A330 and they continue to bend over backwards to appease Airbus. They changed the rules during the last go-around to favor Airbus and now they have extended the bid date to again help Airbus. How they can consider an illegally subsidized, foreign product over a US product is beyond me.

Perhaps it is the stain of the lease scandal but lets not forget that the USAF was just as guilty or maybe even more guilty than Boeing was yet Boeing caught most of the blame.

Nomex underwear in place, let the flaming begin!!!
 
cpd
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 9:34 am

Woohoo!   Let the dummy-spits begin, and the toys be thrown from the proverbial prams!

The fixed price is a good thing, it prevents companies from ripping the tax-payers off. It still appears very doubtful that the A330 based tanker will get anywhere.

The rules and process at the moment are good enough, let's just get the whole process over and done with, and no more delays. If Boeing wants to go, let them go. After all, wasn't the whole idea of fixed price in order to prevent companies offering more than what was needed (for example, to prevent the KC-45 being selected)?

Now Boeing doesn't like it.  

I guess they'll just have to scrap the current bidding process and create a new one with new goal posts that more closely favour Boeing.

[Edited 2010-05-15 02:40:08]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 10:59 am

I believe that Boeing will submit a bid on 9 July 2010. The USAF has left the price issue open for build blocks 5 and on. Boeing knows that EADS-NA will undersut their bid in an effort to win the contract. The government auditors will have to evaluate each bid to assure the bids do not undercut the process just to get a foot into the door and win the contract. EADS-NA still has to climb the start-up costs to build a facility and infastructure in MOB, and other places, as well as the MilCon and LCC costs. True Boeing has the same hills to climb, but those costs will be lower for the KC-767NG vs. the KC-30A.

Boeing has already spent millions in engineering and design costs for the KC-767NG. EADS has to do the same for a USAF version of the KC-30A. Are either going to walk away from that? No.

But Boeing does have one complaint they can back up, the DOD/USAF has bent over backwards to EADS just to get them to bid, by adding 60 days of the 90 days EADS demanded to the deadline for bids. But EADS is still complaining about the 372 warfighter requirements, and the DOD seems receptive to revisiting those requirements, too.
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 12:28 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
But EADS is still complaining about the 372 warfighter requirements, and the DOD seems receptive to revisiting those requirements, too.

And is there any proof of this?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
Boeing has already spent millions in engineering and design costs for the KC-767NG. EADS has to do the same for a USAF version of the KC-30A. Are either going to walk away from that? No.

I guess Boeing and EADS are still spending money on their designs. It is not that EADS has just started their design and Boeing is already done. Make no mistkae that both will be pushing as hard as they can and will continue to do so. I agree with you that both will most likely not run away from this competition. And we should not let them, otherwise what do we have left to write about?  .
 
Lumberton
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 12:41 pm

Prediction. This RFP is now so mired in controversy that at some point it will be canceled again.

DOD has already given Boeing enough ammunition for a protest or court challenge down the line, but the real threat is the legislation introduced in both houses by Senator Brownback and Congressman Tihart. It has legs and I doubt even a personal plea from Robert Gates will get it holed up in committee. What was remarkable was Senator Inouye's willingness to "study" it; remember that he was foresquare behind giving NG/EADS the contract two years ago. Sentiments have really changed.

When DOD refused to leave well enough alone and changed to date to allow EADS to compete, they moved the goal posts. There is a difference of opinion as to whether this is appropriate, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing not only the GAO, but the Federal Courts rule on this at some point. Even though there is precedent, IIRC there were multiple bidders on those contracts; this time there were only (potentially) two.

DOD will (again) come across looking like horses asses before this is all over.

The only way USAF is going to get a tanker this decade is to sole source it to Boeing.

Quoting DL1011 (Reply 1):
I agree that Boeing should toss in the towel and not bid. It is clear that the Pentagon really wants the A330 and they continue to bend over backwards to appease Airbus. They changed the rules during the last go-around to favor Airbus and now they have extended the bid date to again help Airbus. How they can consider an illegally subsidized, foreign product over a US product is beyond me.

Many in Congress are starting to agree with you. I have had one correspondent tell me that behind the scenes, DOD is being very careful not to rile some of the allies due to the sensitivity of ongoing operations in Afghanistan. Now whether or not there is an agreement to "buy" that support with this tanker contract, he/she wouldn't say, but continued to maintain that this was behind the reason to extend the deadline.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
cpd
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 1:49 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 5):

The only way USAF is going to get a tanker this decade is to sole source it to Boeing.

And that should be blocked too - because that very statement points to improper conduct by congress people who are intent on looking after their political interests first.

If the USAF doesn't want the Boeing 767, then don't buy anything. Keep persisting with the KC-135 until they fall apart.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 5):
When DOD refused to leave well enough alone and changed to date to allow EADS to compete

Essentially, this isn't about deadlines or changing dates, is it?

Really, people write about the A330 tanker not meeting this requirement or that requirement, but, really, if it were a Boeing A330, it would miraculously meet all those requirements, or, at the very least, criticism of it not meeting those requirements would be muted (or excuses made).

Put simply, Airbus can not win this contest, because it is completely stacked.

[Edited 2010-05-15 07:01:20]
 
Beta
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 2:24 pm

Quoting DL1011 (Reply 1):
I agree that Boeing should toss in the towel and not bid.
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
I believe that Boeing will submit a bid on 9 July 2010
Quoting Lumberton (Reply 5):
Prediction. This RFP is now so mired in controversy that at some point it will be canceled again.

Let's suppose that Boeing has the cojones and they walk away from the bidding this time. I admit that would be a very bold move. But that would be a calculated move because doing that would in effect dare the USAF/DOD to sole-source an important and expensive military contract to a foreign bidder, EADS, especially in these economic tough time. I don't believe the USAF/DOD had the cojones to sole-source EADS; even if they were to, Congress would balk at funding it, I believe. The (Al)bama boys are powerful in Congress, but even they would not dare to incur the public backlash if they were to support a sole-source contract to a foreign company. In effect a Boeing walk-away would ensure a total scrapping of this whole deal again, and force DoD hand to really look for alternatives in the short term, let some time lapsed, and re-visit the issue in a decade or so, when more fantastic products will be in the market.

Sometime I wish Pres. Obama would grow some backbone and really fire wholesale the DoD acquisition office, the top USAF civilians, and all 4-, 3-star AF generals, then bring in young blood, promote the young, promising Col, LTC with fresh ideas to flag ranks. The would partially cleanse some of the corruptions.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 5):
DOD is being very careful not to rile some of the allies due to the sensitivity of ongoing operations in Afghanistan. Now whether or not there is an agreement to "buy" that support with this tanker contract, he/she wouldn't say, but continued to maintain that this was behind the reason to extend the deadline.

Not to doubt your journalist friend, but I fail to see how the "sensitivity" of ongoing operations in Astan directly influence the awarding to the KC-X tanker contract? Most conventional military ops are advertised and reported, e.g. the ongoing Kandahar offensive; perhaps the only "sensitive" ones are the SOF and CIA strikes, and how are those related to KC-X tanker?
 
Lumberton
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 3:19 pm

Quoting Beta (Reply 7):
Not to doubt your journalist friend, but I fail to see how the "sensitivity" of ongoing operations in Astan directly influence the awarding to the KC-X tanker contract?

Don't want to leave the impression that I'm tight with this journo; it was an e-mail exchange. The "sensitivity" of the issue is not related to the tactical picture, but the overall strategic one in which the NATO allies are engaged in this undertaking, in direct opposition to the public opinion in their countries. The last thing DOD wants now is all the partners setting withdrawal deadlines.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
cpd
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 3:30 pm

Quoting Beta (Reply 7):
Sometime I wish Pres. Obama would grow some backbone and really fire wholesale the DoD acquisition office, the top USAF civilians, and all 4-, 3-star AF generals, then bring in young blood, promote the young, promising Col, LTC with fresh ideas to flag ranks. The would partially cleanse some of the corruptions.

What happens if the new people decide to choose the product that meets the requirements and is also cheapest, and that product happens to be a foreign one? Would you say those people were also corrupt too, and simply fire as many staff as was needed until you found a group of people who made the decision you wanted, irrespective of how right or wrong it might have been?

The problem is, this is a stacked process, it has been purposely skewed against Airbus, but the powers that be have caught themselves out by trying to make it look fair and even.
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 4:29 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 5):
What was remarkable was Senator Inouye's willingness to "study" it; remember that he was foresquare behind giving NG/EADS the contract two years ago. Sentiments have really changed.


Sen. Inouye was a congressional author (with Sen. Stevens) of the KC-767 lease deal that eventually led to the tanker scandal with Boeing. The Senator (Inouye) is a strong supporter of Boeing having earmarked 10 C-17's last year. I suspect that because EADS does not have to share any profits with a partner like NG, they have more pricing flexibility which has Boeing worried and considering a pull-out.

I would not be surprised to see this RFP cancelled again.
 
Beta
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 4:43 pm

Quoting lumberton (Reply 8):
The "sensitivity" of the issue is not related to the tactical picture, but the overall strategic one in which the NATO allies are engaged in this undertaking, in direct opposition to the public opinion in their countries. The last thing DOD wants now is all the partners setting withdrawal deadlines.

At the risk of going off-topic, I'll engage this point. If (big big IF) there is indeed a quid pro quo in thinking of keeping NATO allies in Astan and KC-X tanker selection, I'd argue that is the worst, dumbest idea. Canada is committed to withdraw in 2011 with no looking back; the Dutch is already withdrawing and will complete later this year; Italy and Spain are growing more wobbly by the minutes, and will flee Astan as soon as the 1st reduction in US combat troops commence. The Danes, though willing and highly-regarded, will simply run out of money to keep troops there beyond 2011. The Poles will pull out soon given how the US threw them under the bus last year. The US is rushing reinforcement of US combat troops to stiffen the German in the North as we speak, whom would rather hand over to the US and be home. Only the US and Brits left holding the fort (cannot count on France reliably). So the NATO alliance in Astan will pretty much collapse on its own in 2011 with or without the KC-Tanker award to EADS. The tanker replacement fleet is a long term, multibilion $ commitment, and should not be used to leverage short-term, dubious promise.

Quoting cpd (Reply 9):
What happens if the new people decide to choose the product that meets the requirements and is also cheapest, and that product happens to be a foreign one? Would you say those people were also corrupt too, and simply fire as many staff as was needed until you found a group of people who made the decision you wanted, irrespective of how right or wrong it might have been?

The problem is, this is a stacked process, it has been purposely skewed against Airbus, but the powers that be have caught themselves out by trying to make it look fair and even.

I'm in a generous mood today, so I'll bite. Didn't you know that the US Army is and will be flying hundreds of EADS-made helicopters today because they precisely meet the requirements and are cheapest? Didn't you know the US continues to fund a joint GE-Rolls Royce engine for the F 35 despite DoD's protest? Wasn't the AW-101 selected for Presidential helicopter last time? It got canceled be/c of ridiculous pile-on technical demands and ballooning cost, not because of foreign design. If the process was so "stacked" as you said it was and is, then how did it get manage to get selected? By magic? So I suggest you open the windows, roll up the blinds, let fresh air and sunlight come in, breaths the fresh air, clear your head and post. Bottom line: yes, defense acquisition favours the home team as it should be anywhere, but it is not as stacked as you think it is; Otherwise EADS would not have wanted to bid. It does so because it believes it can stand a chance to win. Btw, BAE System has been raking in billions of $ in defense contracts over the last decade or so, and I don't see them complaining about "stacked process". Do you? In fact Austal shipbuilding, an Australian shipbuilder, is bidding for billions of $ in contract to build the USN LCS against US giant LM. Do you hear them yapping about "stacked process?"

[Edited 2010-05-15 09:51:30]
 
Beta
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 4:45 pm

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 10):
I would not be surprised to see this RFP cancelled again.

  
If indeed Boeing does pull out, then this deal will be DOA. I can see less than zero political support for going forward with sole-sourcing to EADS.

[Edited 2010-05-15 09:47:17]
 
wingman
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 6:08 pm

Why the US government would bend over so much for three countries that have never returned the favor, nor plan to in the foreseeable future, is just incredible. But even I'm ready to toss in the towel. If our government wants to have a direct hand in blowing out our trade imbalance with Europe to astonishing new heights then so be it. But if there is any intelligent life left in Washington I think they should demand not only final assembly of the 330 in the US but also a second line for the 350, one big massive EADS assembly site capable of producing at equivalent rates to Toulouse for these models.
 
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par13del
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 6:55 pm

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 10):
I suspect that because EADS does not have to share any profits with a partner like NG, they have more pricing flexibility which has Boeing worried and considering a pull-out.

So you and Boeing subscribe to the theory that Airbus can build a A330 cheaper than Boeing can build a 767, makes you wonder why Boeing never tried the Airbus spoken about strategy of making the A340 more fuel economical than the 777 by including a fuel component in the price. If Boeing did that with the 767 they may have prevented the A330 from killing it.

Quoting Beta (Reply 11):
At the risk of going off-topic, I'll engage this point. If (big big IF) there is indeed a quid pro quo in thinking of keeping NATO allies in Astan and KC-X tanker selection, I'd argue that is the worst, dumbest idea.

Well you assume that folks will be thinking about that 10 years down the road when the fixed price gets tossed and EADS-NA is raking in additional profits when the A330 replaces the KC-10 in a more economical one size fits all. Besides, the President of France has already complained that the US runs a MILITARY trade imbalance with the EU which must be corrected to foster good relations, the largest US military contract will certainely go a long way towards correcting that imbalance. Americans cannot blame foreign nations for their apathy towards fair trade, if the US like running trade imbalances that's their price to pay for pushing free trade, did they ever say it should also be fair?

Quoting wingman (Reply 13):
I think they should demand not only final assembly of the 330 in the US but also a second line for the 350, one big massive EADS assembly site capable of producing at equivalent rates to Toulouse for these models.

May as well let the commercial aviation industry go the way of the clothing industry, Boeing should now apply to be a subsidiary of EADS to preserve their name in some form or other.
 
Beta
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 8:07 pm

Let's focus on 1. Whether Boeing is shrewd to consider pulling out, 2. What will happen if Boeing does pull out? Shall we.

It may not be such a bad gamble at all. This RFP will be canceled as soon as Boeing announces a no-bid.

[Edited 2010-05-15 13:08:18]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 9:07 pm

Quoting cpd (Reply 6):
Put simply, Airbus can not win this contest, because it is completely stacked.

How can the deck be 'stracked'? We are using the same deck of cards the EU used to 'select' the A-400.

Quoting Beta (Reply 11):
Quoting cpd (Reply 9):
What happens if the new people decide to choose the product that meets the requirements and is also cheapest, and that product happens to be a foreign one? Would you say those people were also corrupt too, and simply fire as many staff as was needed until you found a group of people who made the decision you wanted, irrespective of how right or wrong it might have been?

The problem is, this is a stacked process, it has been purposely skewed against Airbus, but the powers that be have caught themselves out by trying to make it look fair and even.

I'm in a generous mood today, so I'll bite. Didn't you know that the US Army is and will be flying hundreds of EADS-made helicopters today because they precisely meet the requirements and are cheapest? Didn't you know the US continues to fund a joint GE-Rolls Royce engine for the F 35 despite DoD's protest? Wasn't the AW-101 selected for Presidential helicopter last time? It got canceled be/c of ridiculous pile-on technical demands and ballooning cost, not because of foreign design. If the process was so "stacked" as you said it was and is, then how did it get manage to get selected? By magic? So I suggest you open the windows, roll up the blinds, let fresh air and sunlight come in, breaths the fresh air, clear your head and post. Bottom line: yes, defense acquisition favours the home team as it should be anywhere, but it is not as stacked as you think it is; Otherwise EADS would not have wanted to bid. It does so because it believes it can stand a chance to win. Btw, BAE System has been raking in billions of $ in defense contracts over the last decade or so, and I don't see them complaining about "stacked process". Do you? In fact Austal shipbuilding, an Australian shipbuilder, is bidding for billions of $ in contract to build the USN LCS against US giant LM. Do you hear them yapping about "stacked process?"

Congress sees the KC-X as a jobs (and votes) project. They will not let jobs that should go to Boeing and the US be given to EADS and the EU. EADS cannot match the number of 'saved' and 'new' jobs that Boeing could provide under this one contract.

Can EADS build a tanker that meets the USAF requirements? Yes. Can Boeing build a tanker that meets the USAF requirements? Yes. Would any spec. that go beyond what the USAF wants be worth a cost, whether they are from Boeing or EADS? No. The USAF has only two responsibilities here. 1. Provide the warfighter with the equipment and capabilities they need. 2. Provide the taxpayers with the best absolute price (all factors considered) for a new airplane.

As far as a new team that replaces a fired KC-X evaluation team picking the KC-30, that will not happen. The new team would see the writing on the wall of what happened to the old team 'wanting' the KC-30. The new team will select the KC-767NG.

Unfortunately, it is appearing those who will make the decision on the new tanker are looking out for their own personal considerations in the selection of the new tanker, not those of either the warfighter or the taxpayer. They are concerned about their own post retirement employment.

Quoting Beta (Reply 15):
Let's focus on 1. Whether Boeing is shrewd to consider pulling out, 2. What will happen if Boeing does pull out? Shall we.

It may not be such a bad gamble at all. This RFP will be canceled as soon as Boeing announces a no-bid.

1. No
2. You already answered.

If Boeing were to pull out, the DOD would have no choice but to cancel the program (because if they don't Congress will). The DOD has spent a lot of PR saying this has to be a 'compitition' and not a sole sourse.
 
A342
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 9:42 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
If Boeing were to pull out, the DOD would have no choice but to cancel the program (because if they don't Congress will). The DOD has spent a lot of PR saying this has to be a 'compitition' and not a sole sourse.

Even if only one company decides to bid, it remains a competition from a legal point of view. Admittedly, no products will then really compete with each other, but anyone would have been free to submit a another bid. It wouldn't be the fault of EADS or the DOD if Boeing pulls out.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Lumberton
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 9:45 pm

Quoting Beta (Reply 11):
I'd argue that is the worst, dumbest idea.

I would have dismissed this out of hand except that the source is very highly regarded as knowing what he/she is talking about. Personally, think that the Obama administration is willing to crawl through ground glass to keep an "international" face on A-stan, so it would not be beyond the realm of possibility. It would smack of desperation at its worst.

However, there are the mid-term elections coming up and they figure they are going to lose seats. How many, is very much up in the air right now. A Republican win would not be a "lock" for EADS either; all incumbents are running scared: the whole House and 37 in the Senate. One senator has already bit the dust!

This whole thing stopped being "about the plane" years ago, when the then AMC commander and others in the DOD hierarchy bent the rules to accommodate EADS/NG's threats to pull out.

I think the only thing certain is that DOD will again look like a pack of horses asses as I noted earlier.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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par13del
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 9:56 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 17):
Even if only one company decides to bid, it remains a competition from a legal point of view. Admittedly, no products will then really compete with each other, but anyone would have been free to submit a another bid. It wouldn't be the fault of EADS or the DOD if Boeing pulls out.

Well tell that to the folks who demanded a competition after the first lease deal failed, or the folks who extended the time limit to allow EADS-NA to bid, in both cases they were pulling for the A330 so I'll take bets that if Boeing pulled out they would all express their sorry that US companies would not step up to the plate and announce their regrets while giving the sole source contract to the only bidder in the competition.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
If Boeing were to pull out, the DOD would have no choice but to cancel the program (because if they don't Congress will). The DOD has spent a lot of PR saying this has to be a 'compitition' and not a sole sourse.

Maybe the DOD thinks they have already given Boeing a bone by electing to purchase an additional 124 F-18 F/G's to close the non-existant fighter gap, a sacrifice no doubt on the DOD's part, now Boeing must do its part by allowing the US Airforce and it folks their proper packages and the war fighters their A330.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 10:06 pm

Quoting Beta (Reply 7):
Sometime I wish Pres. Obama would grow some backbone and really fire wholesale the DoD acquisition office, the top USAF civilians, and all 4-, 3-star AF generals, then bring in young blood, promote the young, promising Col, LTC with fresh ideas to flag ranks. The would partially cleanse some of the corruptions.

Nah, I think the more apporprate method is to courtmartial all the retired generals, admirals, etc who take jobs with companies who they gave contracts to. Might send a message when suddenly you are back infront of a court and come out the other side not with retirement, but a prison sentance, revocation of retirement, and have to pay back all accumulated pay and benifits.

Don't forget you might retire from the military, but you never leave it.

Best of all you would keep all the current staff inline if they suddenly know that they *WILL BE* punished for breaking the law, instead of the current situation.

I can even suggest someone for the headliner court martial to open the event.

Gen. Arthur Lichte
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36267.html

Posterchild for whats wrong with the DoD procurment process today. Cook the books on a program? Get caught red handed? Well don't worry General, we will retire you so you can go take a job with the people you were cooking the books for. We won't even bother telling you not to contact all your buddies and former subordinate so you can try to cook the books on future programs too.
 
dl1011
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 10:39 pm

Quoting cpd (Reply 9):
The problem is, this is a stacked process, it has been purposely skewed against Airbus, but the powers that be have caught themselves out by trying to make it look fair and even.

That's interesting that you view the process as stacked against the 330 and I see the process as stacked against the 767!

I guess that our different locations provide a different perspective.

Best regards.
 
sphealey
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sat May 15, 2010 10:54 pm

Quoting DL1011 (Reply 21):
That's interesting that you view the process as stacked against the 330 and I see the process as stacked against the 767!

I have a hard time coming to grips with the concept of a "stacked deck" in a competition where the only two competitors have significantly varying capabilities. Both the 767 and the A330 are fine airplanes, but in terms of paper capacity they are not directly comparable - certainly not for this application. Any bid document that attempts to encompass the base requirements and the capability envelope of both airframes is bound to (a) appear "stacked" to one party or the other (b) fail.

sPh
 
Acheron
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 1:27 am

Quoting wingman (Reply 13):
Why the US government would bend over so much for three countries that have never returned the favor, nor plan to in the foreseeable future, is just incredible.

So, how many times people have to put images and information about american equipment in european service so some of you actually stop with the ridiculous statements?.

The percentage of american hardware in european service probably outnumbers the amount of european weapons in american service, so how about we cut the BS down?.
 
dl767captain
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 2:17 am

Originally I was for the 767 getting the contract but honestly it's all just become annoying now. The pentagon needs to grow a pair and just pick one already. Pick the A330 to replace the 707's and the 777 to replace the DC-10's that way everyone gets a share (personally I think a 747 tanker would be pretty cool but seems a little doubtful).
 
Beta
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 2:35 am

Quoting lumberton (Reply 18):
I would have dismissed this out of hand except that the source is very highly regarded as knowing what he/she is talking about. Personally, think that the Obama administration is willing to crawl through ground glass to keep an "international" face on A-stan, so it would not be beyond the realm of possibility. It would smack of desperation at its worst.

I believe you! But as I noted in the previous post, for a variety of reasons the "international face" in Astan will be severely disfigured, and atrophic in 2011 and beyond. No amount of $ can paper that over, I believe. Throwing the KC-X tanker money after that is not only desperation, but downright criminal. Sure, the US, the Brits, and possibly the Aussies will qualify as "international," I guess.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
As far as a new team that replaces a fired KC-X evaluation team picking the KC-30, that will not happen. The new team would see the writing on the wall of what happened to the old team 'wanting' the KC-30. The new team will select the KC-767NG.

Are you suggesting the new eval team will "cook" the book in favour of Boeing as opposed to the last one "cooked" book for EADS, Boom? If that is the case, then why is Boeing is making noise about pulling-out? No. I don't think anyone will blatantly cook the book this time. But it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a persistent group in the DoD and USAF, who clearly want the EADS tanker. It's less clear how much power and influence they exercise. By threatening no-bid Boeing is trying to pull the rug under these guys, I think.

Quoting lumberton (Reply 18):
I think the only thing certain is that DOD will again look like a pack of horses asses as I noted earlier.

   increasingly likely by the day!

Quoting sphealey (Reply 22):
Both the 767 and the A330 are fine airplanes, but in terms of paper capacity they are not directly comparable - certainly not for this application. Any bid document that attempts to encompass the base requirements and the capability envelope of both airframes is bound to (a) appear "stacked" to one party or the other (b) fail.

Sh..sh...you are not supposed to speak truth in these A v B matter, and expose the core of the problem.  
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 11:04 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
They will not let jobs that should go to Boeing and the US be given to EADS and the EU.



Should go? Then why have the competition in the first place? And EADS-NA is an American company employing American employees. And EADS is the largest Aviation customer for many US aviation related Industries. You "might have forgotten"this fact?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
EADS cannot match the number of 'saved' and 'new' jobs that Boeing could provide under this one contract.



The difference between the two is not that great, though we see the numbers varying depending on from what side they are coming. And with this new RFP with changes to the previous one, the numbers might (or probably will) change again. We can hardly conclude any final numbers from that.

But if it was about jobs, then Boeing should not have let so much work on the B787 be done elsewhere (by adopting the Airbus production model  ) because with that strategy they lost much more high quality, new technology jobs for the US then the extension of the "older tech" B767 line could ever save for America.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
The USAF has only two responsibilities here. 1. Provide the warfighter with the equipment and capabilities they need. 2. Provide the taxpayers with the best absolute price (all factors considered) for a new airplane.



They should provide the warfighter with the best equipment and capabilities they need as well. You forgot the word best in point number 1.  .

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
Unfortunately, it is appearing those who will make the decision on the new tanker are looking out for their own personal considerations in the selection of the new tanker, not those of either the warfighter or the taxpayer. They are concerned about their own post retirement employment.



In the whole history of this tanker replacement process, which is now dragging on for more then 10 years, this has always been the case. Nothing new here, but the possible outcome swings continuously from Boeing to EADS, and then back from EADS to Boeing, etc, etc, etc.

Quoting DL1011 (Reply 21):

I guess that our different locations provide a different perspective.



Not the different locations where you are will cause this, but much more the position you favor will cause this. Most independent views (worldwide) see the RFP-process being more skewed in favour of Boeing. But in the US that is not portrayed in most the media at all. Which, combined with the initial taken position, forms the opinion. Nothing is wrong with that BTW. Everyone is entitled to his of her own opinion. And how heavy the facts and the arguments should weigh in this long debate is personal as well.  .

Quoting Beta (Reply 25):
If that is the case, then why is Boeing is making noise about pulling-out? No. I don't think anyone will blatantly cook the book this time



I would agree with that. My guess is, since Boeing has more to do to get from the Japanese or Italian Tanker to the US-Specs Tanker compared to what EADS needs to do coming from the RAAF Tanker, Boeing is afraid of the fixed price part in the possible contract. They have seen how much a fixed price contract has hurt EADS with the A400M (EADS wrote off Billions in losses due to a fixed price contract for an aircraft for which the demands (technically and politically driven) were ever changing. They are sure concerned about that fact.
 
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 11:09 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 20):
Gen. Arthur Lichte
http://www.politico.com/news/stories....html

If EADS does not get the contract, how long do you think Lichte, Lott, and Oliver will keep there employment on the EADS-NA board?

Quoting Acheron (Reply 23):
The percentage of american hardware in european service probably outnumbers the amount of european weapons in american service, so how about we cut the BS down?.

Weren't most, if not all the US weapons in European Military Forces decided upon with a compitition? In all those cases was there a viable European contender?

I agree we need to cut down on the BS.

Quoting Beta (Reply 25):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
As far as a new team that replaces a fired KC-X evaluation team picking the KC-30, that will not happen. The new team would see the writing on the wall of what happened to the old team 'wanting' the KC-30. The new team will select the KC-767NG.

Are you suggesting the new eval team will "cook" the book in favour of Boeing as opposed to the last one "cooked" book for EADS, Boom? If that is the case, then why is Boeing is making noise about pulling-out? No. I don't think anyone will blatantly cook the book this time. But it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a persistent group in the DoD and USAF, who clearly want the EADS tanker. It's less clear how much power and influence they exercise. By threatening no-bid Boeing is trying to pull the rug under these guys, I think.

No, I am not suggesting the 'new team' would 'cook the books'. But they would know what happened to the team before them.

There is a camp within the DOD that only wants the KC-30, there is another camp that wants the KC-767NG. Most (not all) of my tanker friends want Boeing's product. They fly them now and trust the KC-135 and KC-10 and see no reason to change horses now. A few USAF crews have flown on the KC-767A/J for Italy and Japan, none have flown on the KC-30A for the RAAF.
 
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par13del
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 11:23 am

Quoting dl767captain (Reply 24):
that way everyone gets a share

Which is just as bad, why exactly does everyone have to get a share of the US tanker money? The European nations already have their tanker which is also being sold internationally, and since the bulk of their forces use the drogue method and the bulk of US forces use the boom method the number of their a/c that will be refuelled by US tankers is minimal at best.

Quoting lumberton (Reply 18):
Personally, think that the Obama administration is willing to crawl through ground glass to keep an "international" face on A-stan, so it would not be beyond the realm of possibility. It would smack of desperation at its worst.

Except the Administration really only sets the tone, the folks who actually run the country are all the civil and public servants who make up the government. The tanker debacle has gone over two administrations, democrat and republican


Quoting Acheron (Reply 23):
The percentage of american hardware in european service probably outnumbers the amount of european weapons in american service, so how about we cut the BS down?.

Someone actually admitting that the US buys European weapons, shocking  
Quoting Beta (Reply 25):
I believe you! But as I noted in the previous post, for a variety of reasons the "international face" in Astan will be severely disfigured, and atrophic in 2011 and beyond. No amount of $ can paper that over, I believe. Throwing the KC-X tanker money after that is not only desperation, but downright criminal.

No one ever said you have to pay for something before and during, you can also pay after.

Quoting Beta (Reply 25):
But it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a persistent group in the DoD and USAF, who clearly want the EADS tanker.

The best strategy would be to find out who they are and what it is that they want, increasing the US trade deficit and diminishing the industrial capacity is probably only a means to an end.
 
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 1:01 pm

Quoting Beta (Thread starter):
Boeing is reportedly considering no-bid for the KC-X Tanker contract

Every company is allowed to play the "no-bid" card once. It belongs to the tactical moves. Stirring up histery as well.
Many things are difficult, all things are possible!
 
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par13del
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 2:01 pm

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 26):
because with that strategy they lost much more high quality, new technology jobs for the US then the extension of the "older tech" B767 line could ever save for America.

How is giving the contract to EADS-NA which is producing another countries product under license any different, they will gain no high quality or new technology jobs since those will remain in the EU and the US workers like in all the foreign plans presently in the US will be assembling products, what am I missing? Will EADS-NA be able to take Airbus technology and design the next tanker for the other competition on its own or will Airbus have something to say about how its technology is used? That is the entire reason why the EU and European nations have been building their own military industrial base, so that will not be "beholding" to the US on how, when and why they deploy their forces, if its bad for Europe why is it good for the US?

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 26):
They should provide the warfighter with the best equipment and capabilities they need as well. You forgot the word best in point number 1. .

Well based on this site what is the best equipment that the US has that other nations agree with, as far as a lot of European folks are concerned, they already have the best and the US has second best, heck we have even seen threads where the Euro-Fighter has "bested" the F-22, so................why would the US change now 
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 3:52 pm

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 26):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
They will not let jobs that should go to Boeing and the US be given to EADS and the EU.



Should go? Then why have the competition in the first place? And EADS-NA is an American company employing American employees. And EADS is the largest Aviation customer for many US aviation related Industries. You "might have forgotten"this fact?

Yes, a lot of US companies currently do work with EADS, many of those same companies also do work for Boeing. For some of those companies EADS is their biggest customer, others it is Boeing. I did not forget that fact. Nor did I forget the fact that US companies are not the biggest suppliers for EADS. As far as EADS-NA goes, it is not an American company, it is a division and local branch of a European company. It is not called EADS-US for a reason, it is a contintent wide branch of EADS, covering the US, Canada, and Mexico. EADS-NA has only about 3000 employees as it stands today, some ar US citizens, while others are Canadians and Mexicans. EADS-NA claims they support 200,000 US jobs, which would include the guy at the local McDonalds counter. EADS-NA only contributes $11B to the US economy annually, which in the US is peanuts. They are only located in 32 US cities in 17 states.

So an $11B company wants to bid on a contract that is 3 X the size of the whole company itself?

http://194.97.136.197/1024/en/organisation/organisation.html

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 26):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
Unfortunately, it is appearing those who will make the decision on the new tanker are looking out for their own personal considerations in the selection of the new tanker, not those of either the warfighter or the taxpayer. They are concerned about their own post retirement employment.



In the whole history of this tanker replacement process, which is now dragging on for more then 10 years, this has always been the case. Nothing new here, but the possible outcome swings continuously from Boeing to EADS, and then back from EADS to Boeing, etc, etc, etc.

Well, I agree with you here, except the KC-X program started in 2002, about 8 years ago. Even that has been dragged on to long.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 26):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
The USAF has only two responsibilities here. 1. Provide the warfighter with the equipment and capabilities they need. 2. Provide the taxpayers with the best absolute price (all factors considered) for a new airplane.



They should provide the warfighter with the best equipment and capabilities they need as well. You forgot the word best in point number 1.

Agreed. We just disagree on which tanker is the best for the US Warfighter.

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 26):
Quoting Beta (Reply 25):
If that is the case, then why is Boeing is making noise about pulling-out? No. I don't think anyone will blatantly cook the book this time



I would agree with that. My guess is, since Boeing has more to do to get from the Japanese or Italian Tanker to the US-Specs Tanker compared to what EADS needs to do coming from the RAAF Tanker, Boeing is afraid of the fixed price part in the possible contract. They have seen how much a fixed price contract has hurt EADS with the A400M (EADS wrote off Billions in losses due to a fixed price contract for an aircraft for which the demands (technically and politically driven) were ever changing. They are sure concerned about that fact.

Exactly how does the RAAF KC-30A compare to the USAF 372 requirements outlined in the RFP? It has no self defense features, no armored cockpit, no cargo door, no cargo floor, and if the flight control computer does not get a softwear rewrite then it cannot provide defensive manuvering. The RAAF tanker cannot refuel "all US current and future know fixed wing aircraft" and cannot perform the emergency breakaway manuver as currently written (yes that is required).

Both EADS and Boeing have protested the fixed pricing, that is not as one sided as you say it is.

The fixed price contract for the A-400 was torn up by EADS because of gross mis-management onm their part. The contract for the A-400 was signed in 2004, and the program is 4 years late with first deliveries now scheduled for about 3.5 years from now. The contract, when it was signed, was not protested by EADS. The different EU customers were asking for an A-400 with the capabilities of the C-130 (air refueling, low level tarrain avoidance, cargo hauling, etc.) but a bigger capacity and faster flying aircraft. The requirements have not changed since EADS and the 7 EU customers signed the contract 6 years ago. What did change is a 30% price incrrease for a less capabile version.

The USAF said it would adjust the price per airplane beginning with the Block 5 production (airplane # 40 and beyond, I believe), then look at it again in Block 7. There are 13 planned production blocks for the KC-X.

But with the current economic problems with the Euro now (even though the price is in USD), due to the German and French cave into a (up to) 1T Euro bailout of Greece, the Euro may not survive without significant help from Germany. France has already threatened to pull out of the Euro. After bailing out Greece, the EC still has to consider what to do about the same problems in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Italy. I believe in Europe, this problem is referred to as "PIIGS". This economic problem could cause large swings in the Euro/USD exchange rates in the coming years and have a dramatic effect on future KC-30 prices, or any other EADS/Airbus aircraft, as well as all European exports..

[Edited 2010-05-16 08:55:21]
 
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par13del
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 4:12 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
This economic problem could cause large swings in the Euro/USD exchange rates in the coming years and have a dramatic effect on future KC-30 prices, or any other EADS/Airbus aircraft, as well as all European exports..

Carefull with this financial analysis, folks might say providing the tanker contract to EADS-NA is the perfect way for the US to aid whatever stabilising options the EU governments choose to sort out their economic problems, after all, it does take a global village.  
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Sun May 16, 2010 5:11 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 32):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
This economic problem could cause large swings in the Euro/USD exchange rates in the coming years and have a dramatic effect on future KC-30 prices, or any other EADS/Airbus aircraft, as well as all European exports..

Carefull with this financial analysis, folks might say providing the tanker contract to EADS-NA is the perfect way for the US to aid whatever stabilising options the EU governments choose to sort out their economic problems, after all, it does take a global village.

BHO has already promised up to $150B to Mommy Merkel and Daddy Sarkosy, funneled through the IMF.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/rig...epublicans_introduce_legislat.html
 
dl1011
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Mon May 17, 2010 3:21 pm

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 26):
Most independent views (worldwide) see the RFP-process being more skewed in favour of Boeing. But in the US that is not portrayed in most the media at all.

So what you really are saying is: "I guess that our different locations provide a different perspective."  
 
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zeke
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Mon May 17, 2010 5:34 pm

The longer the process is delayed, the fewer unknowns...

http://www.airbusmilitary.com/PressR...MRTT-refuels-second-A330-MRTT.aspx

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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Mon May 17, 2010 6:18 pm

Thanks for the picture and update on the KC-30, Zeke. Do you know if both tankers refueled each other, or was it just RAAF #1 refueling RAAF #2? Do you know how much fuel was transferred? The link does not mention fuel transferred, so this could have neen dry contacts.

Why hasn't RAAF #2 been painted yet? IIRC, the first RAF leased tanker has already been painted ant the RAAF #2 tanker was built/converted before the work on the RAF tanker was complete.
 
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uka330
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Mon May 17, 2010 6:26 pm

From the website..

During the flights, performed over the Gulf of Cadiz in southern Spain, fuel was passed from the refuelling aircraft´s Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) to the receiving aircraft´s Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI).

Programme director Airbus Military Derivatives, Antonio Caramazana, said: “This latest flight demonstrates the ability of the A330 MRTT to refuel a true widebody aircraft and to conduct buddy-buddy refuelling between two tankers, which is a vital enabler for even longer range deployments.”

Ross
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Mon May 17, 2010 6:35 pm

Quoting UKA330 (Reply 37):
During the flights, performed over the Gulf of Cadiz in southern Spain, fuel was passed from the refuelling aircraft´s Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) to the receiving aircraft´s Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI).

I read that, but don't understand why they did not say what quanity was passed, or if it was transferred into the fuel tanks. There should be a drain aft of the R-1 door (I doubt they would put the drain before or above the door). This drain would normally drain water and small amounts of fuel from the receptical to prevent ice buildup or fuel leaking into the cockpit. On US aircraft, this drain is about a 1/2" (13mm) tube.
 
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Mon May 17, 2010 11:15 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 28):
Which is just as bad, why exactly does everyone have to get a share of the US tanker money? The European nations already have their tanker which is also being sold internationally, and since the bulk of their forces use the drogue method and the bulk of US forces use the boom method the number of their a/c that will be refuelled by US tankers is minimal at best.

I'm not saying sell the 777 in Europe I'm only talking about the US. Saying the US can get the A330 to replace the 707's and the 777's to replace the DC-10's. Europe would be completely different and since I don't live there I don't speculate on their needs
 
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 1:24 am

[quote = KC135TopBoom, la r

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
I read that, but don't understand why they did not say what quanity was passed, or if it was transferred into the fuel tanks.

because 99.9999999% of the population don't give a hoot about those details???
 
astuteman
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 8:32 am

Quoting Beta (Thread starter):
Boeing is reportedly considering no-bid for the KC-X Tanker contract

Posturing. no more, no less. Just like EADS did. They won't pull out [no}

Quoting DL1011 (Reply 1):
This is going to be a fun thread!

don't know about "fun", but it's generated a lot of heated air over what seems to me to be a rather obvious tactic.

Quoting trex8 (Reply 40):
because 99.9999999% of the population don't give a hoot about those details???

And the other 0.0000001 % will nit-pick whatever they publish, no matter how detailed.  

Rgds
 
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bikerthai
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 2:16 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 41):
And the other 0.0000001 % will nit-pick whatever they publish, no matter how detailed.

It's a fringe benefit of being part of the elite.   
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
dl1011
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 2:42 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 41):
don't know about "fun", but it's generated a lot of heated air over what seems to me to be a rather obvious tactic.

It hasn't heated up too much yet. When the name calling and insults start, then it will be heated.  
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 2:47 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 40):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
I read that, but don't understand why they did not say what quanity was passed, or if it was transferred into the fuel tanks.

because 99.9999999% of the population don't give a hoot about those details???
Quoting astuteman (Reply 41):
And the other 0.0000001 % will nit-pick whatever they publish, no matter how detailed.

I would say your percentages are a little off. The USAF and RAAF military planners care, as well as the tanker crews. I also noticed the extra reenforcing that the KC-30 needed around the USARRSI. The C-141B, KC-10, C-130, and other aircraft that use the USARRI don't need that muc

Quoting astuteman (Reply 41):
Quoting Beta (Thread starter):
Boeing is reportedly considering no-bid for the KC-X Tanker contract

Posturing. no more, no less. Just like EADS did. They won't pull out [no}

Agreed.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 42):
It's a fringe benefit of being part of the elite.

If the end user of the KC-30A or KC-767NG (the crews and maintaners) is being 'elite', then I guess you are right.
 
astuteman
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 3:42 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 44):
If the end user of the KC-30A or KC-767NG (the crews and maintaners) is being 'elite', then I guess you are right.

Would that be better phrased as "Part-time Elite"?

All the nit-picking seems to be aimed at the EADS product.
I don't see much dissection of the Boeing offering going on by the "Elite".

Although I might well have missed it  

Rgds
 
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par13del
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 4:07 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 45):
All the nit-picking seems to be aimed at the EADS product.
I don't see much dissection of the Boeing offering going on by the "Elite".

Maybe that's because it's not flying as yet and if pictures of the Italy of Japan variants are posted they will get knocked down as not being the real thing.
Lets blame Zeke for his diabolical plot of posting pictures 
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Tue May 18, 2010 5:18 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 45):
All the nit-picking seems to be aimed at the EADS product.
I don't see much dissection of the Boeing offering going on by the "Elite".
Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
Maybe that's because it's not flying as yet and if pictures of the Italy of Japan variants are posted they will get knocked down as not being the real thing.

Correct, but neither is the RAAF and RAF KC-30/A-330MRTT. They are not to the USAF specs., either.

astuteman, it is much easier to "nit-pick" the EADS product because just about everytime the engines are started on the RAAF KC-30, EADS throws out a press release. You don't see the "nit-picking" of Boeing's offer because they have released few details about the KC-767NG publicly.

All we get is dancing around the facts with fancy wording in those EADS PRs like;

"This type of operation further illustrates the capability of the new-generation A330 MRTT tanker to refuel any kind of large receiver, even wide-body aircraft like another A330 MRTT or receiver aircraft with complex aerodynamics such as the E-3 AWACS tested in February."

http://www.airbusmilitary.com/PressR...MRTT-refuels-second-A330-MRTT.aspx

All the KC-30 demonstrated is it can refuel some of the same aircraft the KC-135 can. Why is the A-330MRTT a "new generation tanker", and the KC-767 isn't? Also, the aerodynamics of the receiver airplane (except the C-5, E-4, and VC-25 and other wide bodies) don't have a major aerodynamic effect on the tanker, unless the tanker is somehow behind the receiver. I have refueled the E-3 AWACS dozens of times, and can assure you the "giant frisby" has no aerodynamic effect on the tanker during refueling, it is well behind the tanker. Now if they mentioned the buffeting and wake turbalance from the tanker and the Boom on the RotoDome, then yes, there is a tanker effect on the receiver, nothing big, but it is there.

"During the flights, performed over the Gulf of Cadiz in southern Spain, fuel was passed from the refuelling aircraft´s Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) to the receiving aircraft´s Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI)."

http://www.airbusmilitary.com/PressR...MRTT-refuels-second-A330-MRTT.aspx

What kind of PR mumbo-jumbo is that? Did they refuel only the UARRSI or did they refuel the A-330MRTT? Did any of this fuel actually make it into the fuel tankes of the receiver? If it did, how did those fuel tanks react to the increase in fuel? How well did the fuel quantity indacators, floats and electrical connections work? What about the fuel vent system, did that work inflight? Were the in tank pressures increased, reduced, or stayed about the same? What about the fuel system valves and transfer fuel system? Was there a weight imbalance that could have effected the CG? There are many other engineering questions that need to be asked by the RAAF (and USAF) of EADS.

So, yes, if EADS is going to say it, I'm going to evaluate what they said.

Has the KC-30 completed the NATO/USAF standard breakaway procedures?

Can the KC-30 "tobaggon"?

Can it refuel (during war time) with the landing gear down?

Can it refuel with total electrical failure, using only the airplane batteries?

Is it relaible, can it maintane USAF required MCR?

Can the crew bail out if they need to?

I ask these same questions of the KC-767.

The KC-135 EADS wants to replace can do all those and much, much more.
 
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Wed May 19, 2010 2:55 am

Quoting astuteman (Reply 41):
Posturing. no more, no less. Just like EADS did. They won't pull out [no}

Sure, it's posturing. But why need to? If the contract is in Boeing's pocket as many believe, why does it need to resort to such posturing? Lately some rumblings in press reports have reported that DoD has quietly changed some of the key evaluation parameters to favor the "bigger-is-better" EADS tanker despite steadfast denials. That would certainly jive with Lumberton's journalist source in earlier post. I believe Boeing is clearly worried about such shifts in evaluation and points-award system, hence it is making noise about no-bid. Boeing was caught flat-footed once last time round.
Many (myself included) were dismissive of NG as not serious when it threatened to walk away. Look what happened. I believe Boeing is more serious than people think it is.
 
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RE: KC-X Tanker Saga Continues

Wed May 19, 2010 5:18 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 44):

I would say your percentages are a little off. The USAF and RAAF military planners care, as well as the tanker crews. I also noticed the extra reenforcing that the KC-30 needed around the USARRSI. The C-141B, KC-10, C-130, and other aircraft that use the USARRI don't need that muc

All aircraft with a slipway installed need reinforcing around it. It is no different to a window or door in the fuselage, they all need reinforcing around them. If you look at the fob.gov site you will see that an RFP is currently out for the UARRSI Structural Aircraft Ground Test Support for the HC/MC-130J.

The main thing that sticks out is the difference in primer colour, the light green is applied when the sheets are made, the dark green as part of the mod, the mod includes the installation of lighting.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Correct, but neither is the RAAF and RAF KC-30/A-330MRTT. They are not to the USAF specs., either.

One of the specs that the RFP asks for is for a boom that is capable of 1200 gal/min refuelling another KC-X, that photo demonstrates both.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
What kind of PR mumbo-jumbo is that?

The photo says it all, the UARRSI is not flying by itself, it is built into a KC-30.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Did they refuel only the UARRSI or did they refuel the A-330MRTT? Did any of this fuel actually make it into the fuel tankes of the receiver? If it did, how did those fuel tanks react to the increase in fuel? How well did the fuel quantity indacators, floats and electrical connections work? What about the fuel vent system, did that work inflight? Were the in tank pressures increased, reduced, or stayed about the same? What about the fuel system valves and transfer fuel system? Was there a weight imbalance that could have effected the CG? There are many other engineering questions that need to be asked by the RAAF (and USAF) of EADS.

The KC-30 fuel tanks are basically on the CG, it does not have a large CG shift during any stage of flight. The fuel indicators on the KC-30 work the same way as they normally do during any other internal transfer, centre tank to wing, outers to inners, or tail to inners, or even during ground refuelling. I am not sure exactly without opening up the manual, but the number of fuel level sensors for an A330 would be up around 50, and they are not floats, they are capacitance type.

The fuel vent system obviously worked, if it did not work, the wing would have exploded, the USAF have had happen a few times in the past. All A320/330/340/380 aircraft can transfer fuel between tanks during flight, adding fuel to a tank in flight is not something new for these airframes. Boeing aircraft however generally do not do that, with the exception of the 747 which moved fuel forward from the tail, however fuel was not moved aft during flight.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):

I ask these same questions of the KC-767.

Hmm...I read most of these threads, first time I have seen you ever ask such questions of the "always perfect" KC-767.
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