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Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:54 pm

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lock ... SKBN1O31ID says:

Now Airbus will work with Lockheed and go after the next possible aircraft and refueling service orders. It is banking on the international success of its A330-based Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), which has been selected by 12 countries, including Australia, Britain and South Korea.

The aircraft is already refueling or capable of refueling most major U.S. combat airplanes, including the stealthy F-35.

The U.S. Air Force, which wants to ultimately replace its entire fleet of over 400 tankers, is examining ways to meet growing demand for aerial refueling with possible fee-for-service arrangements, purchases of hundreds of additional aircraft, and the future development of a stealthy tanker.

Senior executives from Airbus and Lockheed agreed in Madrid to jointly explore all those opportunities, but are still working on details of their future cooperation, according to sources familiar with the matter.

What could possibly go wrong? :biggrin:
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Francoflier
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:04 pm

Oh boy... not again.

:sigh:
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smithbs
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:48 pm

I see the "fee-for-service arrangement" statement and wonder: Did I hear a murmur from Sen McCain's grave?
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:42 pm

Revelation wrote:
What could possibly go wrong?

Francoflier wrote:
Oh boy... not again.

Why so gloomy? Clearly they both hope to gain something and Lockheed is hardly a manufacturer that's desperate for external help, or for orders.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:57 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
What could possibly go wrong?

Francoflier wrote:
Oh boy... not again.

Why so gloomy? Clearly they both hope to gain something and Lockheed is hardly a manufacturer that's desperate for external help, or for orders.

Gloomy? Nope.
Skeptical? Yep.

I doubt the end result will be something that in the long term saves the taxpayer's money, especially since LM is involved.
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texl1649
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:22 pm

Well, the race is back in, and yet heading into 2019, neither a330 nor KC46 are in USAF service. John McCain as noted is limited in his ability to actively/sanctimoniously mess with defense programs though, finally.

Marine One and post DC10 tankers have to happen some day now.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:54 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Well, the race is back in, and yet heading into 2019, neither a330 nor KC46 are in USAF service. John McCain as noted is limited in his ability to actively/sanctimoniously mess with defense programs though, finally.

Marine One and post DC10 tankers have to happen some day now.

Keep in mind:

Senior executives from Airbus and Lockheed agreed in Madrid to jointly explore all those opportunities, but are still working on details of their future cooperation, according to sources familiar with the matter.

So they are at 'letter of intent' stage.
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:58 pm

Honestly unless you are building something radically different adopting any other tanker than the one you have already built right now is just stupidity. It’s plenty big enough for anything we have flying.

Anyone suggesting a new tanker competition should be shot at dawn.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:36 pm

bigjku wrote:
Honestly unless you are building something radically different adopting any other tanker than the one you have already built right now is just stupidity. It’s plenty big enough for anything we have flying.

Anyone suggesting a new tanker competition should be shot at dawn.

I think the main interest is:

possible fee-for-service arrangements

USAF leadership would love to play that kind of budget game, IMHO.

It'd move the cost from the capital equipment side to the expense side so they can buy F-35s and B-21s instead of tankers, and it'd give lots of them and their cronies after-service jobs setting up and operating this new fee-for-service arrangement.

They'd find a way to make it look attractive up front, but since LM is not run by idiots, in the end it'd have to make more money for them than just supplying new tankers, or they wouldn't bother to get involved.

It is the kind of thing that would piss off the late Sen. McCain.
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:18 pm

Somehow I can't fathom fee-for-service being cheaper, in the longrun, than buying and maintaing the tankers within the Air Force. The contractor has to make enough money to buy the planes, train flight and ground crews, set up off station locations where maintenance can be done as needed, maintain the planes and probably a host of other expenses. Those accumulated expenses have to be paid by the Air Force. In the short term it might be cheaper but in the long term it's going to cost more. I have to wonder how Boeing is going to react if this proposal goes forward to become a viable program.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:25 pm

Is fee-for-service something between lease and wet-lease?
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:16 pm

EBJ68 wrote:
Somehow I can't fathom fee-for-service being cheaper, in the longrun, than buying and maintaing the tankers within the Air Force. The contractor has to make enough money to buy the planes, train flight and ground crews, set up off station locations where maintenance can be done as needed, maintain the planes and probably a host of other expenses. Those accumulated expenses have to be paid by the Air Force. In the short term it might be cheaper but in the long term it's going to cost more. I have to wonder how Boeing is going to react if this proposal goes forward to become a viable program.

The US Military already has a fee for service provider in the form of Omega. I'm not sure this is anything beyond that arrangement, perhaps with additional airframes specifically for the USAF given I don't believe Omega does boom refuelling, just hose and drogue. I do see a market for a limited fleet of boom equipped tankers that can take over some domestic work for the USAF and allies, probably not more than 20 to 30 frames.

I don't see USAF acquisition team going to a fee for service model for refuelling beyond immediate needs. Given the success they have had with the T-X and the significant price reductions they gained the USAF would be buoyed by the prospect of a tender with those similar contract mechanisms in place and the massive saving expected.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:38 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
Is fee-for-service something between lease and wet-lease?


For something like this it is just accounting nonsense. You let someone else borrow the money to buy the things and guarantee them annual payments that will cover their loan. If you overuse it then they make tons more. The government agency likes it as it doesn’t have to pay out all the money today.

However the reality is you effectively borrowed the money either way. You might as well just borrow at government rates and buy the stupid things. It takes out the middle man.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:07 pm

About buying flying tanker time, remember the RAF model:

"AirTanker Services, operating as AirTanker, is a British charter airline which operates charter flights using reserve aerial refuelling aircraft.
In 2008 the Ministry of Defence signed the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) contract with AirTanker to provide the Royal Air Force (RAF) with an air transport and air-to-air refuelling capability. As well as supporting the RAF, AirTanker holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats." (Wikipedia).

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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:17 pm

bigjku wrote:
Honestly unless you are building something radically different adopting any other tanker than the one you have already built right now is just stupidity. It’s plenty big enough for anything we have flying.

Anyone suggesting a new tanker competition should be shot at dawn.


How right you are, and yet the US Government decided to go ahead with a new tanker when there was already one flying.

There is one advantage to having two options, and its called competition which might keep them both honest.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:55 pm

RobertPhoenix wrote:
bigjku wrote:
Honestly unless you are building something radically different adopting any other tanker than the one you have already built right now is just stupidity. It’s plenty big enough for anything we have flying.

Anyone suggesting a new tanker competition should be shot at dawn.


How right you are, and yet the US Government decided to go ahead with a new tanker when there was already one flying.

There is one advantage to having two options, and its called competition which might keep them both honest.

I think keeping LM honest has been tried in many shapes and forms (i.e. having a flying F-35 prototype before awarding the contract) and it hasn't turned out well.

Best case you get something like SpaceX where outsiders deliver breakthrough technology that shows a whole new approach (launchers that land themselves and can be reused) that government approaches would never try.

Worst case you get USAF generals setting themselves up for post-USAF careers in by-the-hour tanker firms, using their pull over former underlings to make it all work out for their own benefit.

Guess which one I think is more likely?

Trying to see why pure competition would help deliver the services at a price that USAF (with its cheap labor and pre-paid facilities) cannot provide for itself.

Can see why USAF brass would want to take money spent to buy more tankers and redirect to sexier programs (to boost their current career profile) or outsourced services contracts (to boost their future career).

As above, I'm pretty skeptical if not cynical.
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:07 pm

A KC45 fleet that could be quickly militarized If needed a la CRAF would be great tho. Buying new tankers seems to be too difficult for the USAF to simply execute otherwise.

For amusement, Airbus should make them Rolls power by the hour too.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:56 am

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=8f4fa8e6f335ec8a261d9142731e4ae2&tab=core&_cview=0

The announced LOI between Airbus and LM is a direct result of this RFI announcement. Don't be distracted by the FFS contract opportunity as the sole reason for this tie up. Rather, this is likely a strategic move to put Boeing on notice that the KC-46 program is not the USAF's only pathway to replacing a 60-year old fleet of KC-135Rs. As to the cost benefits trade-off between the DoD funding its own aging organic military AAR fleets, against the use commercially-provided air services is not a slam dunk to keeping the former in place for 100% of the mission requirements. A recent RAND report on the status of the KC46 program status stated that the current O&S annual cost to operate each KC-135R is over $10 million USD, plus the five-year recurring PDM cost of $12 million/aircraft. Based on the planned utilization rate of 500 flight hours/year for each operational KC-135 equates to over $20,000/flight hour. Meanwhile, the USTC RFI anticipates that commercial AAR services would be required to fly 7,000 flight hours per year. That provides a pretty high budget ceiling (140 million USD) for FFS commercial AAR providers to fit under, even with new-build A330 MRTT aircraft.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:32 pm

If it's a question of lease vs. buy, then why not lease more KC-46 (assuming that the KC-46 will be in full production by the time the lease contract kicks in)? Then you can avoid all the additional cost of additional infrastructure for a second frame.

bt
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 pm

bikerthai wrote:
If it's a question of lease vs. buy, then why not lease more KC-46 (assuming that the KC-46 will be in full production by the time the lease contract kicks in)? Then you can avoid all the additional cost of additional infrastructure for a second frame.

I presume the infrastructure cost will be borne by the contractor, and since they are setting up a new business, it won't matter whose infrastructure they purchase.

Omega ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_Aer ... g_Services ) happily operates both 707 and dc-10, not sure why adding a330 would change things for a new vendor much if at all.

It surely helps that other NATO countries utilize a330mrtt.

WingedVictory wrote:
Don't be distracted by the FFS contract opportunity as the sole reason for this tie up. Rather, this is likely a strategic move to put Boeing on notice that the KC-46 program is not the USAF's only pathway to replacing a 60-year old fleet of KC-135Rs.

I'm having a hard time seeing USAF going through an evaluation process and selecting anything but KC-46 for its needs, for all the same reasons we discussed here over the years ( infrastructure, ramp space, booms in the sky, etc ).

On the other hand, if it is a FFS scenario where the metrics work diferently, I could see a contractor selecting a330mrtt for a FFS fleet, especially since Airbus will be very incentivized to get its foot into the door and Boeing is incentivized to recover $3.4B in write downs on KC-46 ( https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/07 ... 6m-charge/ ).
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Max Q
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:26 am

What new capabilities could Airbus offer with this same product that they didn’t have before ? !


The KC 46 is well on its way to being a fine
tanker and good replacement for the KC135, the kinks are being worked out



What possible advantage would there be to introduce a new type with a similar level of
performance that has such a large wing span it will limit the number of tankers
that can be parked on some bases


What’s needed is a KC10 replacement
and the 777F or /8F is perfect for that requirement
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:51 am

Max Q wrote:
What possible advantage would there be to introduce a new type with a similar level of
performance that has such a large wing span it will limit the number of tankers
that can be parked on some bases

I'm not sure these aircraft would be parked at existing bases, they would be operated by civilians and based wherever their corporate entity decided to base them.

Max Q wrote:
What’s needed is a KC10 replacement
and the 777F or /8F is perfect for that requirement

I wouldn't assume the old KC-X, KC-Y, KC-Z game plan is still intact.
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:34 pm

Ok

Still don’t see any advantage in the Airbus idea
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:18 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
Is fee-for-service something between lease and wet-lease?


I suppose it is theory something like this, but with the gas station up in the air, and a "1,000,000 USD per gallon" price tag :D

Image

bigjku wrote:
For something like this it is just accounting nonsense. You let someone else borrow the money to buy the things and guarantee them annual payments that will cover their loan. If you overuse it then they make tons more. The government agency likes it as it doesn’t have to pay out all the money today.

However the reality is you effectively borrowed the money either way. You might as well just borrow at government rates and buy the stupid things. It takes out the middle man.


Well said. Welcome to the age of governments (intentionally) falling for silly deals, because on the short term it appears as they made a good deal. Can't blame the companies for offering... but can blame governments.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:03 pm

Max Q wrote:
What new capabilities could Airbus offer with this same product that they didn’t have before ? !


While not really new, the capabilities of the KC-30 are now proven, and many of the US aircraft have already been cleared to use it.

They have also proven the ability to convert ex passenger aircraft into KC-30s, the Australians did this for some ex Qantas aircraft.

The A330-800 is also now available, with the higher MTOW and obviously the new engine.
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:37 pm

Max Q wrote:
Still don’t see any advantage in the Airbus idea

USAF picked KC-46 based on its own criteria: fitting in to existing hangars/ramps, certain levels of inter-operability, compatibility, survive-ability, desired basing strategy, manpower projections, etc.

I think the selection criteria for non-USAF contractor assets will be different, which would allow a corporation to chose different assets.

Things that were not credited in the KC-46 competition (i.e. little/no credit for exceeding USAF targets) could be a benefit to a corporation that doesn't have the same constraints USAF has.

For instance they may be able to meet the contract targets more profitably with a smaller number of larger tankers, whereas the USAF was very clear on what they wanted and what they would pay for.

Then we add in the fact that Airbus is very motivated to get more US DOD business and undermine Boeing's tanker "franchise" which should provide cost benefits to the corporation, or at least a lot of negotiating leverage.

Clearly the post above by WingedVictory tells us USAF also wants there to be competition to keep the pressure on Boeing.

And as Zeke points out, A330 is already being used in the desired roles and already has a cheap feed stock for conversion from pax to tanker configuration.

We could end up with some corporation(s) providing "baseline" refueling capabilities (and jobs to retiring USAF officers) using (new or converted) A330s, and USAF using "bespoke" KC-46 for front line duty that will eventually get replaced by the stealthy tankers being discussed in our other thread.

The fighter jocks that run the USAF really won't care if the jet fuel is coming out of an A330 or a KC-46.
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itchief
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:06 pm

Revelation, your "The fighter jocks that run the USAF really won't care if the jet fuel is coming out of an A330 or a KC-46" needs some work. The current Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein is a F16/F117 guy. The Current Vice Chief of Staff, General Stephen W. Wilson, is a B1/B52 guy. I am sure there is a good mix of Fighter and Bomber guys leading the USAF.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:33 pm

itchief wrote:
Revelation, your "The fighter jocks that run the USAF really won't care if the jet fuel is coming out of an A330 or a KC-46" needs some work. The current Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein is a F16/F117 guy. The Current Vice Chief of Staff, General Stephen W. Wilson, is a B1/B52 guy. I am sure there is a good mix of Fighter and Bomber guys leading the USAF.

Thanks for the info.

Maybe I should change my line to "the fighter and bomber jocks who run the USAF really won't care if the jet fuel is coming out of an A330 or a KC-46"? :biggrin:
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:52 pm

So when you outsource a capability that basically only the US Airforce uses, is that really outsourcing to someone who is already doing the job for commercial reasons or are you just setting up someone to do the jobs for you?
Is it really cheaper to hire civilian labour versus using folks that are already in the military, note that I said cheaper, not whether the tax payer will be used to fund whatever price that is charged.

The boom refueling is the domain of the US Airforce, the civilian operator who is going to hire pilots and boom operators at civilian rates will do what with these a/c when not working for the US Airforce?
 
texl1649
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:44 pm

A stealthy manned tanker does seem quite expensive/silly, I would agree. Tankers I would think would be the first things to go to unmanned, not attack aircraft, in my judgment, if going “into harms way.” But the USAF loves nothing more than having a large pilot officer corps, and massive acquisition programs.
 
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:14 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
Welcome to the age of governments (intentionally) falling for silly deals, because on the short term it appears as they made a good deal.


So they are noticing that the KC-46 stemming from such a deal doesn't really cut it? :-))))))))))
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:42 pm

WIederling wrote:
AirlineCritic wrote:
Welcome to the age of governments (intentionally) falling for silly deals, because on the short term it appears as they made a good deal.

So they are noticing that the KC-46 stemming from such a deal doesn't really cut it? :-))))))))))

I think this deal is not about the current KC-46 orders, it is about creating competition so that Boeing doesn't get greedy on future tanker orders.
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:02 pm

Revelation wrote:
I think this deal is not about the current KC-46 orders, ........


I didn't write anything about the current deal.
My insinuation was that the interest in further KC-46 might be lackluster :-)
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:31 am

WIederling wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I think this deal is not about the current KC-46 orders, ........


I didn't write anything about the current deal.
My insinuation was that the interest in further KC-46 might be lackluster :-)

Fair enough.

My opinion is IMHO the USAF interest in paying for tankers instead of more "exciting" stuff is lackluster, and one way to pay less is to give a motivated competitor a sniff at the business.

It seems Airbus is at least willing to talk to LM about going down that path, but all that means is they are a potential threat to Boeing's presumed "franchise".
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:14 pm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markcancia ... y-or-trap/ has an interesting take from Mark Cancian, a "senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a major think tank in Washington DC":

DOD is considering using private companies to provide aerial refueling services for its massive aircraft fleet. Airbus and Lockheed Martin have teamed up to pursue the opportunity, and others may be considering jumping in. However, the market faces programmatic and legal obstacles; the effort may be more beneficial to the government than to industry; and the last people who tried this went to jail.

The jail reference is the obvious one, the legal aspect was new to me:

The legal problem is that the Airbus and Lockheed legal teams would need to convince government overseers that this was not a capital lease, that is, a fiction allowing DOD to acquire an exclusive asset without paying up front. The way to do this is to show that there are other customers and that the fleet does not exist solely to take care of DOD.

We’ve been here before. The government did something like this back in the 1990s when McDonnell Douglas was having a hard time delivering the new C-17 cargo aircraft. Delays and cost growth angered DOD and the Air Force. In response, the Air Force started looking at militarized versions of the Boeing 747 aircraft as a complement or alternative. The 747 alternative got some Congressional support and DOD internal analyses showed some real advantages. That got Lockheed’s attention, and it rapidly fixed the C-17. The 747 alternative was shelved.

Intentionally or unintentionally, the same thing could be happening here. That is, the government could be using this aerial refueling alternative as a way to put pressure on the original contractor. If Boeing gets its act together, then the opportunity could evaporate. If not, then the program could go forward. Either way, the government wins.

Seems there is a lot of "inside the Beltway" maneuvering going on here.

For Airbus, it could all end up in tears, again.
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smithbs
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:28 pm

Revelation wrote:
I think this deal is not about the current KC-46 orders, it is about creating competition so that Boeing doesn't get greedy on future tanker orders.


I didn't think keeping Boeing from raking in excess cash was a problem on the KC-46. It's a fixed price contract and I was under the impression Boeing was still underwater on it due to an impressive amount of late charges.
 
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keesje
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:38 pm

I wonder if a private / commercial cooperation could work. If an contracted operator wants to combine the tanker service with commercial cargo operations, other cargo operators would probably complain about unfair competition..
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mxaxai
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:44 pm

Revelation wrote:
For Airbus, it could all end up in tears, again.

I think Airbus chose this cooperation with an eye on the "future air lifter/tanker" project as well.
Why? With the A400M only recently introduced, the European governments are unlikely to initiate a successor program before, say, 2040 (unless something unforeseen happens). At the same time, they will likely look at an actual stealth transport with envy, even if they're unwilling to buy it. Here comes Airbus. They have significant experience with building large aircraft, as well as with overall systems design. Lockheed brings the best stealth technology and significant sensor/data processing knowledge. A joint project could make it politically acceptable in Europe to buy a product with >50% US content and in the US with significant European content. Instead of two project selling 200 each, you could have one that sells more than double that; similar to the F-35 and its international cooperation.

At the same time, the A330MRTT is a well established product now so Airbus is under no pressure to pursue this US contract at all costs.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:02 am

zeke wrote:
Max Q wrote:
What new capabilities could Airbus offer with this same product that they didn’t have before ? !


While not really new, the capabilities of the KC-30 are now proven, and many of the US aircraft have already been cleared to use it.

They have also proven the ability to convert ex passenger aircraft into KC-30s, the Australians did this for some ex Qantas aircraft.

The A330-800 is also now available, with the higher MTOW and obviously the new engine.


Would be interesting to have the A330-800 move in that spot. With the right amount of orders, it should not be a problem to develop such a variant, but then again, it comes with Rolls Royce engines, so less American components. The Lockheed angle is interesting, they should add more weight to the discussion.

I think the most ration thing for the USAF is just to add more KC-46's and will be less of a hassle to get that through Congress.
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keesje
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:40 pm

Dutchy wrote:
zeke wrote:
Max Q wrote:
What new capabilities could Airbus offer with this same product that they didn’t have before ? !


While not really new, the capabilities of the KC-30 are now proven, and many of the US aircraft have already been cleared to use it.

They have also proven the ability to convert ex passenger aircraft into KC-30s, the Australians did this for some ex Qantas aircraft.

The A330-800 is also now available, with the higher MTOW and obviously the new engine.


Would be interesting to have the A330-800 move in that spot. With the right amount of orders, it should not be a problem to develop such a variant, but then again, it comes with Rolls Royce engines, so less American components. The Lockheed angle is interesting, they should add more weight to the discussion.

I think the most ration thing for the USAF is just to add more KC-46's and will be less of a hassle to get that through Congress.


I have heard nothing about an A330 NEO MRTT. Yesterdays order was also for RR powered.
https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-releases/en/2018/12/France-orders-three-more-Airbus-A330-MRTT-tankers.html

This Australian MRTT has CF6-80s. Don't which engines have the preference among MRTT operators.

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SQ22
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:58 pm

I was surprised that Flightglobal's opinion on this announcement has not been mentioned here before.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ns-454244/

For them the timing of the announcement was no coincidence.

An Airbus/Lockheed collaboration should be of real concern to Boeing, and their announcement’s timing – shortly after their rival’s 767-based KC-46A missed its latest target for a long-delayed first delivery to the USAF – can have been no coincidence.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus, Lockheed join forces to pursue U.S. military refueling orders

Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:23 pm

SQ22 wrote:
I was surprised that Flightglobal's opinion on this announcement has not been mentioned here before.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ns-454244/

For them the timing of the announcement was no coincidence.

An Airbus/Lockheed collaboration should be of real concern to Boeing, and their announcement’s timing – shortly after their rival’s 767-based KC-46A missed its latest target for a long-delayed first delivery to the USAF – can have been no coincidence.

Thanks for the link.

It'd be nice if they said whose opinion it was.

It does make a good point that Boeing is probably more concerned now that LM is in the picture.

The link above in #45 also points out it may be a statement of discontent on the part of USAF.

It also points out in the end the threat to favor an alternate to C-17 ended up being an idle threat.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of it's own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has it's seasons, it's evenings and songs of it's own

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