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Northrop Grumman/EADS KC-45A tanker  (Source: Northrop Grumman)

  (Source: Northrop Grumman)
Boeing calls out to the General Accounting Office for help

It seems almost inevitable that things would come to this, but Boeing will officially file a protest today citing its concerns over the U.S. Air Force's decision to go with Northrop Grumman/EADS's KC-45A tanker design. Even though the KC-45A, built on a highly modified Airbus A330 airframe, appeared to win the contract based on its superior performance on nearly every front, Boeing wants the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to further investigate the decision.

The call for the GAO to review the Air Force's decision came after Boeing was debriefed on the reasons why Northrop Grumman/EADA won the $35 billion contract two weeks ago.

"Our team has taken a very close look at the tanker decision and found serious flaws in the process that we believe warrant appeal," said Boeing Chief Jim McNerney yesterday in a press release. "This is an extraordinary step rarely taken by our company, and one we take very seriously."

"Based upon what we have seen, we continue to believe we submitted the most capable, lowest risk, lowest Most Probable Life Cycle Cost airplane as measured against the Air Force's Request for Proposal," McNerney continued. "We look forward to the GAO's review of the decision."

Boeing was greatly displeased by the U.S. Air Force's decision and goes on to state on many occasions its "75 years of unmatched experience building tankers" and how it "offered the Air Force the best value and lowest risk tanker for its mission".

Boeing was so enraged, in fact, that it issued a total of five press releases relating to the tanker contract after the final decision was handed down.

For its part, the Air Force is sticking by its decision to go with the KC-45A design. The KC-45A simply offered "more passengers, more cargo, more fuel to offload, more patients that we can carry, more availability, more flexibility and more dependability," according to Air Force Gen. Arthur Lichte.

It appears that Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADA may be in for a lengthy deliberation process as the GAO combs over the tanker program details and the decision to select the KC-45A. It remains to be seen if the GAO will buy Boeing's argument that the Air Force required the "bare minimum" and nothing more which the U.S. aircraft giant did indeed provide compared to the KC-45A.

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I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 12:04:25 PM , Rating: 5
"Based upon what we have seen, we continue to believe we submitted the most capable, lowest risk, lowest Most Probable Life Cycle Cost airplane as measured against the Air Force's Request for Proposal,"

Most capable? The A330 is bigger, carries more fuel, can do it for longer, can carry more passengers and cargo, and can do it on the same footprint as the KC-135 which it replaces (which was the USAF spec)

Lowest risk? The A330MRTT tanker is flying RIGHT now, the KC-45 is a derivative of this. Whereas the Boeing frankentanker is a mixing of various 767 (-200, -300,-400 and freighter)parts is still just drawings. That is an outright lie on Boeing's part.

Lowest life cycle? Are Boeing on drugs? The 767 line is due to close within the next few years. That means when the KC-Y contract offer comes up, the USAF will be forced to operate a mixed fleet which ALWAYS equates to higher than ideal costs. Meanwhile, the A330 line will be going strong, and parts support will continue to be much stronger as the fleet is comparatively younger.

I'm sorry, but from the perspective of someone in the industry, Boeing's argument is very short on facts and playing on (ill-informed) people's emotions.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By erwos on 3/11/2008 12:13:50 PM , Rating: 1
You seem to have no idea why Boeing is appealing. Let me help you out, and short-circuit any more of the "my plane is better than your plane!" idiocy.

Boeing isn't debating any of those points you listed. What they _are_ saying is that the military substantially changed the requirements for the contracts without giving the bidders enough notice. The changes to the requirements for cost and size were not properly relayed to Boeing, and thus EADS was able to use the information to put together a bid that Boeing could not have matched. If Boeing had been given proper access to that information, they may have put in a much more competitive bid. This is supposed to be a competitive process, and what the military did (allegedly) harmed that competition in a substantial way.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 12:36:56 PM , Rating: 4
You have absolutely no idea of the facts do you?

You know Boeing effectively wrote the original USAF spec, and tailored it to the 767?

Of course you don't. You don't have a notion what has been going on here. Boeing had 5 months to write the original ORD in 2002, then gave EADS 12 days with it.

John McCain (yes, the same one running for Pres) uncovered the dirty dealings within all this - hence why several people enjoyed time in federal prisons.

The airforce asked for proposals for the revised KC-Y comp in Jan of 2007.

As for the idea that Boeing would have bid the 777 - absolute lunacy and further evidence of ill-informed people speaking when they should be keeping quiet. Boeing were prepared to put forward a 777 proposal in Sept of 2006 if the USAF's revised ORD (released Jan 2007) required it. But the 777 was uncompetitive as well (it would not meet the KC-135 footprint, whereas the 330 could - not to mention development costs), hence why the 767 was still put forward... and lost.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 12:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry -


KC-Y should have been KC-X


On the dirty dealings - even back in 2002, the EADS proposal was better and substantially cheaper (10 billion cheaper), but due to certain people in charge of appropriations getting backhanders, Boeing still got the offer.

By othercents on 3/11/2008 2:16:00 PM , Rating: 5
85% of Boeing products will be made here. 15% outsourced.

60% NGEADS products made here. 40% outsourced.

I love this argument. Your saying that if a 100% US made product came along the US Government should ALWAYS purchase it instead of the competition? Even if the product was less effective than any other competitor? I'm all for giving contracts to US companies, but only as a last resort given that both products come up as a dead heat.


By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 2:34:17 PM , Rating: 2

The $10 billion is the other way around.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 2:37:43 PM , Rating: 1
Not possible. 35 + 10 is well over the limit that the Air Force set for the project of 40 Billion.

Go read up some more, the original contract from Boeing was going to cost 23.5 Billion.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 2:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
The 767 deal was costing $31 billion or thereabouts.

I don't know where you get your figures, but they are out.

In the 2002 deal, the EADS offer came in at around $10 billion under the $33 billion or so Boeing proposed. But the "USAF" chose Boeing - this was later proven to be highly illegal with large conflicts of interest for some resulting in jail terms.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 3:32:03 PM , Rating: 1
Your numbers are completely wrong and you know. You've already pointed out your own mistake in your other posts. The original Boeing contract was 17.2 Billion which the GAO said might cost up to 23.5 Billion. Not this 31 crap you keep spewing out.

The Airbus contract is 35 Billion. Wonder what the GAO cost estimates will inflate this number to? Yeah it will probably end up costing 40+ Billion.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 3:54:45 PM , Rating: 3
See my other post.

I guess both the Congressional budget office and one of you Presidential nominees know less about the figures than you.

Boeings original plan:

CBO estimates the cost of leasing 100 of these aircraft would total about $31 billion over the 2003-2020 period.

I'm not going to waste any more of my time with you.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 5:31:22 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but you aren't even beginning to understand the ins and outs of it.

First off, Boeing are not offering what EADS are offering, the 767 is far inferior in all measurable performance aspects.

2nd off, I've already stated the 767 line will be shut by the time the KC-Y contract comes up, which means non fleet commonality (I don't think many members on here truly grasp just how big an issue this is - in itself it should be enough to win the contract). The A330 line, in contrast is fully booked for a number of years yet.

3rd, the strong sales of the A330 means parts will be around much longer than for the 767, which will shortly become exclusive to the US, Japan and Italian airforces.

By mmatis on 3/11/2008 5:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
What did the RFP call for? It doesn't matter whether the Airbus is more capable than the 767 if the RFP didn't ask for that. USAF had an opportunity to ask for what they wanted. The offerors were supposed to bid to that, and USAF was supposed to evaluate the bids against the RFP. If they did, then this will be a fairly quick turnover. On the other hand...

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 5:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
if boeing gets this contract, the (kc)767 line will be open for the KC-y competition. There just won't be any commercial clients, forcing the airforce to pay all the costs for keeping the line open (hence the requirement of the airforce to consider the boeing offer as military instead of commercia derivative!)

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 5:56:27 PM , Rating: 3
Amiga500, where are you getting your information?

The 767 and A330 by specs are nearly identical in capabilities[per Boeing and Airbus web site information] save for the fact that the 767 can carry almost twice the cargo.

Furthermore, the 767 is not scheduled for "end of life" until 2016[again per Boeing's web site] and will be supported for the operational life of the fleet. If Boeing is putting in a bid using the 767 then it would mean that they are willing to cost effectively support the fleet for the life of the contract, which they have with the 707[KC-135].

The A330 has had strong sales, no doubt there, but in the passenger market only. The tanker market is quite another story. Half of Europe, most of Africa, most of South America and most of Asia use the 767 tankers. Heck, even the Russians have purchased 767 tankers.

Really, you need to quit spouting misinformation! You're making yourself look like a complete dolt!

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 6:05:24 PM , Rating: 4
I'm an aero engineer.

The 767 and 330 variants offered for this are NOTHING alike.

The 767 line is winding down and has only a few more years to go before closing off completely (2012 at latest without KC767 orders from USAF).

Boeing putting in an offer means Boeing are willing to make (effectively) bespoke parts for the USAF at a hideous price. That is NOT a good deal for the US taxpayer.

The KC-135 costs a bundle to keep flying - hence why the USAF are desperate for new tankers.

I don't know where you get this idea that the 767 has multiple tanker sales. Only Japan and Italy have bought the KC-767. Ironically you accuse me of spreading FUD while its you who is grossly incorrect!

By michael67 on 3/12/2008 8:17:33 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, and I'm Mickey Mouse...

I am a offshore supervisor am I also lying ?

Correction, 2016...

They are all ready waiting for orders do you really think they keep the line open that long if they have no production?

Boeing has already committed to cost effectively supporting the 767 for the existing passenger fleet and will for the 767 tankers.

the KC-767 is going to be build on a end of life cicle airframe were the KC-30 is being build one a beginning of life cycle.
Basically the 767 frame is getting old.

Wrong again. The Air Force is desperate to replace the KC-135 because the air frames are aging beyond repair, not because parts are expensive...

And how dose that calculate back in being really expensive ?
If you have to repair it all the time it descend matter how cheap the parts are they are getting expensive if you need loads of them not to mention the man-ours

Do some more research...

I couldn’t find any flaws in his arguments ware yours are full of them.
"Only Japan and Italy have bought the KC-767"
I to couldn’t find any other countries that got them, and both are getting them beyond late!

I did a Google on "KC-30+KC-767+compair" this was the results I got back ignoring forums and so on.

Pro KC-30

In the middle

Pro KC-767

Ridicules Pro KC-767
This one is saying KC-767 is better because it using less fuel then the KC-30.
Its like saying small truck is always better then a bigger one because it uses let fuel and totally ignores the fact that the bigger also carries more load and the prize of carried fuel per gallon to the combat zone is the same ore better

The ting I noticed was that all the post on the KC-30 ware pointing out facts why it was better

Ware the Pro KC-767 had headliners saying like:

And was just filed up whit patriotic mumble mumble instead of pointing out there, there and there are we better then the KC-30

Whit all the outsourcing Boeing dose I cant really see how they can get 44.000 extra jobs in the US
Ware the KC-30 proposal got detailed Nr's for there 25.000 jobs, whit "what were and how" is going to get jobs, Boeing just throws a Nr in the air and says these are the Nr of Americans that are getting jobs, and they start waving the flag, whiteout producing a single document whit the lay down of real job Nr's

It looks to me like, by being arrogant and thinking were American we just have to wave the flag and we got the deal, instead they lost to the better tanker.

Maybe they will wake up and see, if your not competitive you lose,
Maybe then they will come whit a better competitive deal and more worked out proposal next round then Northrop Grumman whit there stinking EU partners.

Think in the end we all win by keeping Boeing sharp and get them from there fat asses

Funny detail what I was reading in all of this, if they hadn’t fucked up the deal in 2002 by cheating they would properly had the deal now,
Because airbus would have never bin ready whit the package the have now to offer and a plain that all ready is flying.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 2:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
It definitely was the case for the original offers in 2002 - I'll have to check, but I'd guess that was maintained in this round as well.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 2:56:49 PM , Rating: 3
Its becoming obvious to me I am wasting my time with you.

You don't know what your talking about, and are pulling figures from your rear end.

The "original deal" was a lease by Boeing, which the government priced as costing them over $30 billion. Many variants were later investigated as a means of lowering the cost, before the whole thing was re-started.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 3:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
You can't explain it. The original Boeing contract was 17.2 Billion. The GAO estimates it might cost 23.5 Billion. The Airbus contract will cost us 35 Billion.

A lease to buy deal that would have cost us 10+ Billion less than when we will pay for now.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 3:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Rubbish. Absolute utter crap.

The GAO estimated the original Boeing contract would have cost them the far side of $30 billion.

Go read John McCain's own site to get some accurate figures:

"the Airbus price was $5 million to $17 million cheaper per plane than Boeing's 767."

Unless you think a man running for president is going to lie about this.

Or go to the congressional budget office. All figures over $30 billion.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 3:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
The GAO estimated the original Boeing contract would have cost them the far side of $30 billion.

Thanks to more than 4 years of investigations and market inflation all resulting after McCain's inquiry.

Unless you think a man running for president is going to lie about this.

Not a compelling argument.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Cygni on 3/11/2008 4:04:19 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, 31b for the KC-767 leases, or 34b for the vastly more capable A330/KC-45A... choices, choices...

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 4:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
17.2 for the leases. 23.5 overall. 31 now that we've blown 4 years of investigations, redesigns, etc.

Now we will pay 35. Not to mention we have two more deals to go to refit the fleet.

We are going to loose 30-34.5 Billion if not more over the next three deals for one plane or the other when both exceed what the Air Force is looking for.

By CubicleDilbert on 3/11/2008 6:33:03 PM , Rating: 1

why all the fuss about either $25B or $30B?

In other news I just saw that the Iraq war burns around $12B PER MONTH!

So, all these planes cost not much more than a few weeks/months in Iraq!!!!!
An then McCain trumpets to the press that we might stay another 100 years in Iraq if neccessary.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 6:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
Thats potentially 15 Billion thats dedicated to new spending, not the war, which is a nice diversionary tactic btw.

Thats a half dozen B-2's.

100 F22's.

100's of a mixture of other crafts.

Extrapolate to whatever plane you wish...

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 2:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
I love this argument. Your saying that if a 100% US made product came along the US Government should ALWAYS purchase it instead of the competition?

Another export that will now be turned into an import commodity. The bleeding continues to grow.

Still can't figure out why the economy is slowing and the trade deficit isn't getting any better can you?

Original Boeing contract would have cost 23.5 Billion for a plane that met the specifications. Now we are suckered into a slightly better plane for 35 Billion much of which will go overseas.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 5:59:27 PM , Rating: 3
then again - the kc 767 would not have created any jobs - just kept poeple working on the 767 instead of beeing transferred to the 787.
The kc 330 will create whole new line. Don't think EADS will only be building the kc there. Airbus is frantic about getting work done in the US - They want to help your economy!, mostly because when the exchange rate between the euro and dollar really hits airbus - they're dead without some massive US dollar turnover.
The kc 45 will create more new jobs than boeing ever will - not just for the kc, also for the a330F's they'll build on the same site!

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 6:41:02 PM , Rating: 1
the kc 767 would not have created any jobs - just kept poeple working on the 767 instead of beeing transferred to the 787

This makes no sense. If they have both the 787 and 767 they can't transfer people from the 767 plant. They will have to hire people for the 767 plus whatever they need for the 787 line.
They want to help your economy!

Do you know how silly that sounds. They want to make money, no more no less.
And No, this will not help the economy. Their money will be sent overseas, this doesn't help our economy at all. It increases the deficit every time we buy an additional part from the EU at a horrible exchange rate.
when the exchange rate between the euro and dollar really hits airbus - they're dead without some massive US dollar turnover

What??? This makes zero sense. The exchange rate means nothing to Airbus, its the Air Force thats forking over the money. In any means importing more goods WILL NOT HELP THE ECONOMY. We have to get exports up and imports down.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 7:49:36 PM , Rating: 3
pt 1) you're right. I guess I meant to say it wouldn't cost any US jobs. however many people boeing would've assigned to the kc767, NG-EADS will create at least as many new jobs in Mobile.

pt 2) Offcourse boeing is different? NG is (was?) the contractor for this contract. Profit will go to them. Eads is sub-contractor.

pt 3) This is not a cost plus pricing contract. It's a fixed price contract. NG-EADS takes the fall for the exchange rate.
Airbus is constantly hit by the weak dollar. Airplanes are bought in dollars, EU work is payed for in Euro's. Current hedging contracts help EADS till about 2010, Then they'll have to face the full exchange rate!. That,s a 60% fall in income right there.

You're right, importing products is not the way to improve the domestic market. Importing production will! EADS will build a complete factory for this contract, 15 airplanes a year is not an efficient use of such an investment. That's why airbus will relocate all a330F construction to the US, and possibly other programs to. Again, make sure much of your costs are payed in the same currency (or one with a positive exchange rate) as your costs. Simple economics dictates that airbus is verry interested in selling EU production plants (which tey are) and buying US production capacity (which tey will, independant of this kc contract!)

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 2:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
Airbus are going to move the A330F line to Mobile if they get the contract. As I said at the bottom of the page, you can be assured more orders will go to Mobile with the low dollar and Airbus being capacity restrained at the moment.

As for your comment regarding "the 767 makes up a vast majority of the current refueling platform" - thats wrong. Only Japan and Italy use the 767 as tankers - and believe me, they will get screwed for parts in the future.

The USAF uses KC-10 (DC-10) and KC-135 (737) tankers.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 2:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
Airbus are going to move the A330F line to Mobile if they get the contract. As I said at the bottom of the page, you can be assured more orders will go to Mobile with the low dollar and Airbus being capacity restrained at the moment.

Uh, which will bring them from 0 to 60%.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 2:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
You choose to neglect the other orders coming in (like the A330F) which is not considered part of the workshare for the tanker contract.

The KC-45 deal will almost certainly see more jobs created in the US than the 767 deal through expansion of Airbus' manufacturing facilities in the dollar zone.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 2:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
Jobs will be created either way. The job count is nothing but an estimate at the moment and will without doubt change.

But more of the money will be staying here and it would be cheaper with the Boeing plan.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 2:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yes... did you see the pathetic Boeing "estimate".

A more accurate figure would be about half of what they said.

Do you want me to break out the crayons to try and explain what Airbus bringing civilian production lines to Mobile means?

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 3:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
Subtracting jobs from one place and adding to another doesn't mean much of anything overall. Yeah Mobile will benefit but Everett will degrade.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 3:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Subtracting jobs from one place and adding to another doesn't mean much of anything overall.


Then why exactly are you against the A330? Its the better package all round.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 3:59:26 PM , Rating: 1
10+ Billion more for the Airbus deal. Probably much more over time with the increasing deficit.

This deal is only one of three deals the Air Force will make to replace the fleet. The cost will end up being well over 30+ Billion more if the next two contracts end up going the same way.

More money going overseas in an already turbulent economy in an industry where the exports are currently very high and one of the few bright spots.

Both are more capable than the model they are replacing so its really a moot point seeing as the Air Force can go anywhere in the world it pleases at the moment. Given they overshadow the current model the economics are the key issue.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Cygni on 3/11/2008 4:14:43 PM , Rating: 3
Its more like 3b more for the Airbus deal (vs the original KC-767 lease), for a vastly more capable aircraft. Your philosophy of the KC-767 being 'good enough' just because its better than the 707 based KC-135 isnt exactly a great comparison, as the KC-135 has greatly struggled in providing Pacific service, forcing our KC-10 Extenders to base out of Northern California.

The A330/KC-45A provided the Air Force what it wanted. Greater Pacific service capabilities with the ability to limit some of the 'Tanker leapfrog' suffered by the KC-135, and also the ability to help alleviate some pressure from the ridiculously in demand airlift assets of the Air Force. Both of these points the KC-767 couldnt address. Thats why Boeing lost.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 4:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
The difference you are citing is the GAO's recent estimate of Boeing after 4 years of market changes versus Airbus's word. Much like Boeing word of 17.2B in 2004. The GAO will inevitably make that 3B a much larger number when they do an independent estimate of the Airbus contract and take into account market changes.

The numbers will inevitably change and they won't be going down.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 5:05:08 PM , Rating: 1
The capabilities of the A330 and the 767 are nearly identical to varying degrees. The cost of upfront cost and upkeep are what make the 767 a better choice, both now and in the future. Boeing lost because someone made a bad decision. I have no problem paying my fair share of taxes, but when things like this come to light, I get very angry. The 767 is the better choice from nearly every angle and will not cost as much.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Cygni on 3/11/2008 5:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
You are woefully uninformed. The KC-767 and A330/KC-30 are not nearly identical. The KC-30 carries 45,000 more pounds of fuel, as well as having much greater transport capability. It also offers long time service cost advantages over the KC-767. It will also be available much sooner than the KC-767 (41 in the time it would take to recieve 17 KC-767 from Boeing.

Simply look at this size comparison:

Or hear it from the Air Force itself: 'Gen. Arthur J. Lichte, commander of Air Mobility Command, said that the Northrop/EADS KC-30 had been chosen because it offered “more cargo, more fuel offload, more passengers and more availability."'

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 6:17:17 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks, but I'm going to go with manufacturers specs, rather then take your word for it. Both sets of specs are freely available on their respective web sites...

The A330 can carry 36,700 lbs of fuel. The 767 can carry 23,900 lbs of fuel. Yet they both have the same range, and the fact that the 767 can land on shorter runways would make it a more versitile aircraft. Both of these fuel numbers are for aircraft usage itself not for refueling uses... Do your research a bit better. Maybe this is why the EADS got the bid, they made the argument that just because the A330 is bigger physically it could do and carry more, which is false, and the higher ups in the Air Force bought into it...

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 6:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
are you high - do you even know what the difference between a b767 and a330 is... go do some homework!

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 6:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
No I'm not high. You seem to be. And I do my homework before I open my mouth. Which is why I can say with confidence that the information I've stated is correct.

Any other wise-cracks?

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 8:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
I know it's just marketing material, but comparing with boeing's marketing info, only the maximum number of patients differs - which may just be a difference between the term litter and patient.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 8:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
Compare this with the boeing couterpart -

Wich would you choose???

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 8:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
That link is just marketing mumbo-jumbo. The A330 airframe is not designed to handle the load required without extensive and costly modifications. The 777, is more qualified to handle the loads the Air Force requires. And that is without extensive modifications. The 777, instead of the 767, would have been the aircraft Boeing submitted in the bid if they had been properly informed of the change in requirements, which it would seem they weren't.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 8:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
The A330 airframe is not designed to handle the load required without extensive and costly modifications

Uhm... I heard the KC45 will be an 1:1 copy of the (flying) KC30, with some software, electronic and US specific changes - another paintjob and such.

The boeing offer was deemed more rskfull because they offered an aircraft that exists only on paper. Boeing did not offer the kc767 as it has been sold to japan and italy - they wanted to get funding to create a whole new hybrid of all the 767 versions - hence the frankentanker.
They had the option of offering the 777. They had the option of offering both the 777 and 767. They didn't - their choice. They'd rather have the usaf finance a new version of a no longer selling aircraft than invest in an capacity increase for the production line of the great-selling 777. Their choice.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 8:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm... I heard the KC45 will be an 1:1 copy of the (flying) KC30, with some software, electronic and US specific changes - another paintjob and such.

The KC-45 uses the EXACT SAME airframe as the A330 MRTT.

Another instance of lexluthermiester not even able to display google info never mind real knowledge or wisdom to back it up.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 9:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
I never said they had differing airframes. Another instance of Amiga500 sticking his foot in his mouth. Learn how to read...

I said that the A330 airframe would have to be extensively modified to support the loads the Air Force needs of it.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 8:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
also, it may just be marketing mumbo-jumbo, but is it false???

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 9:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
Outright false? No. Inaccurate? Yes. Twisted truth? Yes.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 4:55:26 PM , Rating: 2

You seem to continually put you foot in your mouth.

First, there are very many more countries using the 767 tankers than just Japan and Italy. Now I'm not well versed on the exact number, but it would, in fact, be accurate to say the 767 tanker is greatly used through out the world.

Second, NONE of those countries are charged any more than US operators for parts. Any additional costs for them would be in transporting said parts, which isn't much.

Third, The KC-135 is a modified 707 , not a 737.

Are you in the habit of spouting misinformation?

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 5:33:24 PM , Rating: 3
First, there are very many more countries using the 767 tankers than just Japan and Italy.

Name them.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 6:58:37 PM , Rating: 1
I feel no need to...

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 7:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
Because they don't exist you ido!t!

Ahh feck it. What is the point in arguing with stupid people. Here is me wasting my time arguing with two people that probably don't even know the difference between an aileron and an elevator.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 8:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
80C2 is a 80A with a slightly enlarge fan diameter, extra LP turbine stage and a higher OPR. The C2 has a higher BPR as a result of the larger fan and higher fan loading.

Now. Something you cannot find easily with google.

Give me the two equations for turbulence viscosity as used within the industry standard 2-equation RANS turbulence models within CFD.

Run along boy - your way out of your depth here.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 8:55:51 PM , Rating: 2
are we going to quote bernoulli during a discussion on the wisdom of Boeing in fighting the USAF choice of the KC-X winner???

c'mon children - play nice.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 8:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're not an engineer. You missed two of the three main differences between the two engines and you could have looked up the first on wikipedia. There are of course many small mechanical changes though-out the two engines, the main changes where the aforementioned fan blade array diameters. Next are the fuel consumption ratios and noise output ratios. The 80C2 is more fuel efficient and quieter than it's 80A counter part. The 80C3 improves upon those points ever further.

Now I may be a bit out of my depth, but I never claimed to be an aerospace engineer either. You sir are nothing more than a fraud. You missed two critical points to a very basic question that ANY aerospace engineer would have got right...

By Amiga500 on 3/12/2008 5:57:20 AM , Rating: 2
the main changes where the aforementioned fan blade array diameters. Next are the fuel consumption ratios and noise output ratios. The 80C2 is more fuel efficient and quieter than it's 80A counter part.

You silly little child.

The sfc improvements come from the extra turbine stage and the higher operating pressure ratio. The noise improvement comes from the higher bypass ratio.

But, of course, if you actually had knowledge instead of google data you'd know that.

By blowfish on 3/11/2008 9:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
A rudder! Now you're talking! Isn't that the control surface that Boeing are not very good at? Their poor rudder control system causing several 737's to crash when the rudder moved in the opposite direction to that commanded by the pilot?

So did Boeing replace the control systems when they discovered the fault? No, they carried on covering up crashes, blaming them on pilot error, that old chestnut.

In the meantime, the airlines at least started training their pilots on how to react when the rudder did it's "excusion" thing.

To this day, not all 737's have had the replacement parts fitted. That's Boeing for you. I'm nervous every time I have to fly on a 737.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 10:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the accidents you speak of were due to a malfunction in a hydraulic valve that had an unknown temperature differential problem. This valve was manufactured buy a company under Boeing contract, not by Boeing themselves. Per NTSB advisement and FAA order, all 737's fitted with the valve in question were replaced with properly functioning units. Note, not all 737's were fitted with this particular valve. Not Boeing's fault.

Blaming Boeing for these accidents would be like blaming Airbus for the A330 crash in the Azores. Not their fault.

By Cygni on 3/11/2008 5:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
The KC-767 has only been ordered by the Italian Air Force, and the Japanese Defense Force. 4 each.

It also competed against the A330-MRTT in Australia and the UK, and as in the US, lost.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By rcc on 3/12/2008 1:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
The USAF uses KC-10 (DC-10) and KC-135 (737) tankers.

KC-135 should read (707)

By Amiga500 on 3/12/2008 4:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed it should - apologies.

By boogle on 3/11/2008 2:46:12 PM , Rating: 4
Are you saying the US should only buy from pre-approved local vendors? A bit like the Soviets did? Hmmm.

You can either have a free market, or not. It works both ways, and it always sucks to be on the bad-end. But it's great to be on the good end.

To put it another way: Would you rather have your CAP (or long-range bombers) in the air for a long time, defending your life. Or would you rather save a little cash (and that's debateable), but risk having no CAP, and therefore lose a major city? Extreme example I know, but in the military the needs come before everything else.

By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 3:26:00 PM , Rating: 1
Didn't know the bombers currently had a cap? Seems to me they can go anywhere whenever they want as is. Are you saying we should spend 10 Billion more for no real world gains?

By boogle on 3/11/2008 5:03:46 PM , Rating: 4
CAP is 'Combat Air Patrol'. Basically a patrol of fighters constantly in the air to intercept enemies. They use in-air refueling so they can stay in the air longer and therefore protect whatever it is they're protecting. Usually the people they're protecting would rather they were in the air, than on the ground refueling.

Bombers are another matter, they do have a very long range - but they still require in-air refueling. Often more than once on a long-range mission. This is so the bombers (especially B2s) can be based far, far away from the front lines.

So as you can imagine, a good in-air refueling system is very, very important and you don't want to skimp on it. They're also dual-purpose and can evacuate casualties, since they're large long-range aircraft already in the area. Always nice to be evacuated, and it would seem a big reason for going with the Airbus aircraft is it can carry more casualties.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 5:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
big reason for going with the Airbus aircraft is it can carry more casualties.

That is totally false! The 767 can carry a maximum of 375 people or 110.5 tons of whatever you want to carry and has a range of 5,625 NM. The A330 can only carry 335 people or 62.3 tons and has a range of 5,669 NM. The 767 can carry a little less than twice as much and travel a nearly identical distance. And the Boeing bid was well below that of EADS.

The more reading I do about this the more angry I get, and the more I understand Boeing's outrage.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 5:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
The 767 can carry a little less than twice as much

I of course meant payload, not people.

By boogle on 3/11/2008 5:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
Actually to quote the original article:

For its part, the Air Force is sticking by its decision to go with the KC-45A design. The KC-45A simply offered " more passengers , more cargo, more fuel to offload, more patients that we can carry , more availability, more flexibility and more dependability," according to Air Force Gen. Arthur Lichte.

Basically you're talking about the airliner, rather than the refuel version. Having said that the airliner can only carry 245 passengers (with 3 class divisions):

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 6:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
That is assuming 3 class configuration. I was quoting single class configuration and raw payload numbers...

By boogle on 3/12/2008 5:03:20 AM , Rating: 2
Same problem as before the tanker isn't the same as the airliner in both versions.

By HotBBQ on 3/11/2008 1:27:43 PM , Rating: 5
Thank goodness. Someone with an iota of understanding of the technical details of this proposal. Boeing and Northrop had the exact same RFPs (Request for Proposal) at the exact same times. Northrop's proposal provides more capabilities (at a higher cost), quicker deployment, and lower risk to the customer (the A330 is currently deployed as a tanker for many years with foreign services). The GOA will quickly determine that Boeing simply lost because their proposal was inferior and that will be the end of the story. The nationalist propaganda being spewed by Boeing's cheerleaders is undercutting the fact that the Air Force made the right decision for the military.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Grast on 3/11/2008 5:09:27 PM , Rating: 1

What happens during the next great war or unpopular war. Our might fleet of air tankers become more expensive to operate becuase the value of the dollar decreases and Airbus decides to charge more. This should not be about the lowest dollar. I want to make sure that any aircraft in the inventory can be reproduced, manufactured, or repaired for 40+ years regardless of the political temper of foriegn countries.

Airbus is a company which is swade by Europe policies. If we get in an unpopular war, it is possible the UE could prohibit the further sale of parts and supplies for its products. Where would we be then? A fleet of aircraft with no repair parts and not a suitable replacement.

Why don't you ask Iran how those F-14's are doing that we sold them. Awnser: Grounded because we do not sell repair parts. The same thing could happen with AirBus.


By CaptRTM on 3/11/2008 5:38:43 PM , Rating: 1
I think you will find that Iran has got some of those F14 up flying again. As for the buy american have a look at i dont see you guys bitching about all the small contracts that they have with the US armed services comes to more than $10 Billion.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Manch on 3/11/2008 7:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
BAE systems is a UK based company. Our relationship w the UK is far more stable than it is with the rest of Europe.

I understand his concern about the EU/France or Russia "regulating" or blocking sales of parts to us because of a diverging political interest much like we have done to Iran and Venezuela. I'm not even concerned that it's a foreign company. Such is the world we live in but there are precautions that we should take.

What does concern me is that EADS(Partially owned by BAE systems btw) is partially State owned(France ~15%, Russia ~7%).

Therefore I think there should be certain conditions for this contract Either build 100% of the plane on American Soil or only allow the outsourcing of non-critical parts from American soil. This will ensure that future political conflicts/unrest will not disrupt our ability to maintain our fleet forcing us to cannibalize parts.

I know Russia's 7% stake may seem smallish but it gives them influence.

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 9:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
Russia is not a major concern. Our ties to them are getting stronger not weaker. The bigger concern is that if things between us and France go sour we could end up holding the short end of the stick. As feeble a suggestion as that may sound, it is a greater possibility than most realize. However another possibility is that this deal could strengthen our ties to France. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out. My personal concern is how much more is the current deal going to cost the tax payers in the long run as opposed to the Boeing option, which in my lowly opinion is the better choice.

By Manch on 3/12/2008 9:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
France just had a change of leadership that has positively affected our relationship with them. Russia has a strong movement trying to bring back the "old days". To top it off their strategic alliance with China poses a serious threat to us. China has openly stated some of it's military goals. Taiwan, espionage is a huge issue between them and us. Russia and china both constantly use their veto power to stop resolutions from going thru in the UN(the debate on how worthless the UN is another subject all together). The biggest threat that we face from France is it's inability to take a stand on any issues other than "I surrender" or parlay!!! Despite the fact that we are now "friends" with Russia, it's still quite an adversarial relationship. Just recently when Kosovo announced it's independence Russia got pisssed! Of course we backed Kosovo.

Aside from all of that, the influence of foreign companies is already very prevalent in our military. Yes, both contracts need to be considered carefully and everybody will never agree on a solution, my original point stands that despite wether or not the NG/EADS option was better, critical parts for the AC must be made in the states, the tooling needs to be here, or at least the ability to ramp production of these items should a political or otherwise fallout happpen between us and France/Russia or the EU.

I don't see our relationship going so bad so fast with France that they would directly attempt to block parts. I do think that Frances inability to show any backbone would allow other EU countries or more importantly Russia put either monetary or political will on them to make them say uncle.

By HotBBQ on 3/11/2008 7:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hahahahahahahahahah. You Boeing people are hilarious. A hypothetical war with Europe within the next 40 years that stops our tanker fleet from operating? Seriously, you all need to stop. It's pathetic.

By Jetster on 3/11/2008 12:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
good post, from what I have read from NYTimes articles, Boeing was acting very arrogant, and didnt even bother to build a prototype, everything was on paper, in contrast to airbus. Boeing thought they're the only one to land the deal with. This blow just shows the company that dont things granted, or you'll get spanked

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Keeir on 3/11/2008 12:38:57 PM , Rating: 2

No offense to you or NYTimes. But Boeing has Built TWO different working 767 Tanker designs. One for the original contract with the US military and One current being delievered to Italy and Japan. Actual -Working- in simulated combat situations 767 Tankers.

I am thinking that Boeing felt that actual practical demonstrations of working 767 Tankers was better than a show proto-type.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 12:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
Boeing has built a 767 tanker variant for the Japanese and Italians. Both of which were late in deliveries.

The Boeing proposal for the KC-X program was substantially different, requiring different wings, and various other parts of essentially all 767 variants.

The Airbus 330MRTT being tested right now for the Aussies in comparison is a small step away from the KC-45, utilising the same body, with some detail changes.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Grast on 3/11/08, Rating: 0
By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 5:36:40 PM , Rating: 1
This is a national security issue. I do not like foreign coutries/compianies determing the scale or type of aircraft in our fleet.

Somethings have to be produced completely locally.

I totally agree. Not to mention being more cost effective...

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 6:22:20 PM , Rating: 5
and you wonder why the us economy is down???

What happened to the us car industry after the whole buy-american craze ended...

competition is good for business, customers and humankind. I understand it's a tough message to hear, but the better offer won, the only way for boeing to overturn this is to include some prohibitive new rules in the evaluation.

This is a national security issue. I do not like foreign coutries/compianies determing the scale or type of aircraft in our fleet.

They didn't The USAF made the choice!

Somethings have to be produced completely locally.

Like anything is these days... airbus builds 787 parts, spirit (formerly boeing fuselages) produces airbus parts. Welcome to the global village!

By michael67 on 3/11/2008 8:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
Somethings have to be produced completely locally.

We EU whiners should then also stop buying the US F22?
And only make and buy euro-fighters?

Man wake up it not all only about the US that happening in the world.

Military contracts are a give and take deal, some things you buy here some there, its just what gives you the best deal.

And whit all military contracts there going to be a kickback in other areas.

And "if" the EU and the US would have a real fall out docent the air-force got all the blue-prints and give them to a local producer to make them if it was really needed and just break the terms of the original contract in that case that would normally prevent something like that?

By Cygni on 3/11/2008 1:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the first KC-767's (with totally different wings than the plane Boeing offered for KC-X) got delivered less than a month ago, after well over a year in delays... hardly a positive.

By stburke on 3/11/2008 12:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
Boeing has a history of being very arrogant and complacent when it comes to supposed sure deals, such as this one. JetBlue intended on having 737's as their fleet but Boeing didn't take them serious and blew them off. Legacy carriers such as United, and Northwest started to buy Airbus products because Boeing kept offering dated 737's. Now you see the market share of commercial aircraft at ~50/50. Compare that to 25 years ago.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Cygni on 3/11/2008 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
You pretty much nailed it. Boeing essentially has only themselves to blame. I work in the industry, and I was fully expecting Boeing to walk away with this contract due to Northrop relying on an EADS airframe. Im shocked that the Air Force seemed to actually put their needs above those of the politicians demanding pork for their constituents.

This contract would have been Boeing's if they would have offered a version based on the 777, but they disbanded that team and focused on the 'frankentanker' 767 just to keep the 767 line alive. It was obviously the wrong decision.

By stburke on 3/11/2008 12:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
The 777 was too large and heavy for what the USAF wanted. I'm a little shocked as well but I'm pleased that the better aircraft was chosen.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Cygni on 3/11/2008 1:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well, as we've now seen, the Air Force was after a big plane all along. A 777-200 based airframe would have had the same wingspan as the KC-45A and nearly identical MTOW, but would be about 3m longer.

It's kinda hard to really say since an actual 777 tanker doesn't exist, but a 777-200 based tanker would have been roughly equivalent to the A330 in size with probabaly roughly capacity. In a situation like that, with two very similar airframes, I have to imagine the USAF going with the Boeing offering over EADS.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 1:12:38 PM , Rating: 3
I think the Boeing 777 proposal was based on the 777F :-)

i.e. Too big.

Either way, it would have required substantial redesign costs which simply aren't an issue with the 330MRTT morphing into the KC-45.

By Cygni on 3/11/2008 1:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think they planned on basing it on the 777-200LR actually (which has a much larger wing than the base -200), but like you mentioned, either way the program never got off the ground so its a little academic at this point.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 3:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
I double checked.

It is based on the 777F - which also happens to be a common frame with the 200LR - both of which are substantially bigger than the A330 MRTT.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Cygni on 3/11/2008 4:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
The proposal never got past 'Hey wouldnt it be neat if...' so its hardly worth arguing about. Boeing specifically hasnt offered a 777-200 based variant because they feel its too close to the KC-767 in size, so they have only offered the 777-200LR based platform (with a 750k MTOW).

However as we clearly see now, a 777-200 variant would have been a better offering. The Air Force wanted a bigger plane then the KC-767, and Boeing didn't offer it.

By CubicleDilbert on 3/12/2008 8:39:30 AM , Rating: 2
Boeing did not want to offer the 777.
The 777 is highly successful and their order list is endless and waiting list very long.

The problem was the senile 767, which after 30 years was on life support already. Having the USAF paying for it and keeping it alive for another 30 years would have been very convenient.

I guess the USAF saw through it, and in addition they secretly asked Boeing staff about preference customers. Guess what, USAF officials got the strong impression that private customers, esp. the 787 problem customers, get 1. classs treatment. USAF would have to stand in the waiting line.

I got this news from

By Ringold on 3/11/2008 2:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
Im shocked that the Air Force seemed to actually put their needs above those of the politicians demanding pork for their constituents.

That had little to do with it; they seemed to make certain that these tankers would still be built in the US. The Air Force still took care of the needs of politicians demanding pork for constituents, it was simply a different group of constituents being fed the pork this time around.

Unfortunately, some of these constituents happen to be European now, but alas.

RE: I'll just blow some of that pish out of the water
By Loc13 on 3/11/2008 3:20:03 PM , Rating: 1
You have no idea what you're talking about do you?

Quote: "Whereas the Boeing frankentanker is a mixing of various 767 (-200, -300,-400 and freighter)parts is still just drawings. That is an outright lie on Boeing's part.

The KC-767 is already in production and in delivery phase to various countries. Japan just received their second KC-767 tanker last week.

Please get you facts straight.

By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 3:46:32 PM , Rating: 3
I suggest you do some further reading.

The 767 variant that Italy and Japan are using is not the same as what the USAF would have been using.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 6:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
I second amiga's motion

By Keeir on 3/11/2008 8:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think though that structurally your focusing on the wrong items.

If the Boeing wings etc do not behave 100% at predicted, its a small change in operating efficiency.

If the EADS Boom/Refueling do not work with US planes 100%, its a complete failure.

In the end, the Air Force was forced to give more wieght to things such a Fuel/Price and Volume/Price. Northrup/EADS were able to offer a significantly cheaper airframe upfront, which has been a traditional strength of Airbus aircraft airframes (IE Cheap easy to make structure).

Waa waa waa
By Spivonious on 3/11/2008 11:57:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be upset to if my company just lost a $35B bid, but whining about it just makes you look bad.

RE: Waa waa waa
By ghost101 on 3/11/2008 12:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
True, but lets just say in the run up to an election, if they create enough uproar, this may never happen again. Just a few weeeks ago i was reading in the Economist how this scenario was so unlikely due to the current polictical climate. Even though 59% of the production is still in the US for the Northrop/EADS proposal.

RE: Waa waa waa
By ghost101 on 3/11/2008 12:11:19 PM , Rating: 3

"More than 60% of the value of the KC-30 would be sourced in America,..."

RE: Waa waa waa
By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 1:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
85% of the Boeing aircraft would be sourced in America.

RE: Waa waa waa
By Spivonious on 3/11/2008 2:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares? I'd rather have the better aircraft for the job than to support a lesser design simply because it would generate jobs.

RE: Waa waa waa
By SandmanWN on 3/11/2008 4:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
It will generate jobs in Mobile and degrade jobs in Everett. Thats not a gain.

This contract is way more than the deal back in 2004. Now an additional 25% of the cost of the planes will be going outside the US compared to the original deal.

Both planes meet the Air Forces requirements.

RE: Waa waa waa
By deeznuts on 3/11/2008 12:57:42 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah they sound like Toshiba!

Boeing's Pyrrhus Victory
By CubicleDilbert on 3/11/2008 1:26:04 PM , Rating: 5
I am sure Boeing will get the contract after congress's decision in 100 days.
It will be a Pyrrhus victory.

The US taxpayer will get an outdated model (767 is a 30 year old design!) at the end of its life time. Spare part prices will balloon for the USAF in a few years.
Now that all other countries who need tankers see what is happening and why USAF chose the Airbus over the Boeing they will certainly have a closer look and Airbus ultimately could be favored.

With "Buy American" factor outweighing other factors such as performance and costs, Boeing will have a tough time to sell their military planes to other countries, who certainly will "buy local" then. There are other manufacturers as well. It can be assumed that Europe, who mainly bought American in the past 50 yrs, will "Buy European only" in future. Other states will follow.

If Boeing would have won the scandalous contract in 2002 without McCains intervention, Boeing's absurdly expensive lease contract would have been the prime target at WTO's current subsidies investigation.

It seems Boeing has lost its edge some time ago and then behaves like the old big 3 in Detroit. Whining and urging American patriotism. This might work for some time, but eventually the buyer will figure out that buying the brand-new shiny Mercedes (made in Alabama) is really a better deal than the "..good ol' Oldsmobile" proudly made in America and re-introduced due to popular political demand in Detroit.
We see today how many proud Americans rather buy a cheaper and better Toyota. And if they want to show off, they prefer a fancy European prestige car.

What is the difference between
a.) Boeing 787 (wings built in Japan, electronics in Japan & Taiwan, fuselage in Italy, finally assembled in Everett, USA)

b.) Boeing 330 tanker (wings built in Great Britain, fuselage in Germany, avionics in Spain & Italy, pre-assembled in Europe and finally assembled in Mobile, USA)

For Boeing the tanker means an additional 1-2 planes a month, which is peanuts compared to their production line.

But losing valuable internationl military orders due to the political mess and visibility will hurt them much more.

Boeing has been sitting on their fat ass for too long a time now. They definitely need competition. But except NG there is nothing left. In other terms this is called a monopoly, and that is how they behave towards USAF, congress and the taxpayer.

In addition it is nice to hear their true feeling and opinion on Europe. Well, it seems Europeans...
... can not be trusted, they are socialists, opportunists, illegal financing obscure conglomerates.
And according to Boeing's congress puppets, folks in Alabama have " clue about airplanes, no experience in high-tech! Those southerners should stick to cotton and oranges..."

RE: Boeing's Pyrrhus Victory
By Ringold on 3/11/2008 2:28:06 PM , Rating: 1
Well, it seems Europeans... ... can not be trusted, they are socialists, opportunists, illegal financing obscure conglomerates.

Can not be trusted: The Swiss already have shown an ability to disrupt our supply lines over political disagreements.

Are socialists: Who just won the election in Spain? Thats right, Socialist Party. Who now leads non-Turkish Cyprus? That's right, a Communist. What do economists call the general prevailing system in France, Belgium, and much of Western Europe? Thats right, socialism.

Opportunists: They are human, correct?

Illegal financing: While the US may supply Boeing a steady stream of contracts, at least the US receives goods and services for its money. The EU just forks over things like interest-free bonds.

I tend to think this'll prove to be a good lesson to Boeing, but careful not to take your argument too far. We'd be fools to outsource too much of our national defense to the lowest bidder.

RE: Boeing's Pyrrhus Victory
By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 6:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Can not be trusted:

Offcourse the trustworthy americans don't do this at all...

Are socialists

nobody claims they aren't - I am and am proud of it. I like having healthcare!. It's just the combination of this characteristic with the ones following... you know, context


is actually seen as a bad thing in much of the world.

Illegal financing:

Yes, bacause its much better to spen $100 dollar for $10 value than to extend a repayable! non-interest loan. at least the EU gets it's money back (most of the subsedies airbus recieved have been repayed (60%+))

Yes, you do have to make sure your national interests are save. ITAR regulation take care of that. If airbus for some reason would no longer supply the needed parts, NG will have all the production information they'll need to source everything at boeing - trust me

RE: Boeing's Pyrrhus Victory
By Ringold on 3/11/2008 9:11:13 PM , Rating: 1
I am and am proud of it.

If you enjoy lower long term rates of growth than non-socialist nations, and in trade not having to make as many personal decisions nor take as much personal responsibility, then that is your right. Just don't delude yourself in to thinking you're getting your cake and eating it too.

is actually seen as a bad thing in much of the world.

It's generally seen that way here as well. My point was that it is human nature; white, black, chinese, American or European.

at least the EU gets it's money back

Perhaps it shouldn't be a shocker that a socialist views a no-coupon bond being repayed as the EU really getting its money back, but I'll point out that time has value and inflation is not zero, and let you figure out the rest.

Anyway, like I said, this may be a good thing for Boeing. A good spanking never hurt anyone on occasion. It's just not a trend I'd like to see continue; Europeans can't be trusted on military or defense issues. At least, not the Western ones. If these were being built in Poland I'd feel more comfortable, despite it being a former Soviet satellite, heheh. They're less detached from reality.

Stop crying already!!!
By daniyarm on 3/11/2008 12:21:40 PM , Rating: 4
Sure, lets just spend even more of our tax dollars just so Boeing can be happy and Air Force can have a worse plane. Boeing bid sucked and lost, end of story.

RE: Stop crying already!!!
By weskurtz0081 on 3/11/2008 12:41:22 PM , Rating: 1
I wonder what the difference would be in unemployment and subsidies?

RE: Stop crying already!!!
By HotBBQ on 3/11/2008 1:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
None. Boeing 767 factory workers are to be moved to the 787 production line. Boeing is in fact hiring right now!

You're all missing one very important point...
By Symbyant on 3/11/2008 2:34:41 PM , Rating: 3
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned in any of the previous posts is the difference between value and cost. When any competetive proposal is up for the grabs, given that the proposals all meet the minimum requirements, the one that is chosen does not have to be the cheapest one. It all comes down to if one airframe provides more value than the other. There are allowances for this when the DoD procures any equipment, whether it be a gun, a computer, or an airframe. Sure the Airbus may be more expensive, but if it is better performing in a number of areas and less risky (a big factor in determining value), and that added performance comes at a reasonable additional cost, then it is fair for the Air Force to award the contract to Northrop-Grumman.

It has nothing to do with one of the earlier posts (probably a disgruntled Boeing employee) about the Air Force changing minimum requirements and not communicating that to Boeing. All companies go into the business knowing that it is competitive and if a company makes a better product on most fronts and provides more value for the money, even if the minimum requirements had not changed in the slightest, the AF and any other DoD entity is able to award that contract. I'm not necessarily saying that I know the the NG solution had more value than the Boeing solution (the GAO will determine if the AF "value" argument will hold), I'm just saying that value can trump cost for two platforms that both meet minimum specs.

RE: You're all missing one very important point...
By Symbyant on 3/11/2008 2:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to add that despite my points above, I would rather see Boeing get it so we help bolster our own economy and not the EU's.

By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 6:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
what about helping NG to stay in the airframe business - so the airforce will have a choice when the Awacs replacement comes along???

Bad for us
By nckyd81 on 3/11/2008 4:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think outsourcing should be made illegal, plain and simple. For all businesses and corporations, they use it to their advantage and they really don't care about the economy when their pockest are still being filled.

RE: Bad for us
By ikkeman on 3/11/2008 6:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
... cannot think of a comparably stupid comment

By DASQ on 3/11/2008 11:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
There are just whining about their loss now? And want intervention even though they probably don't deserve the slightest pat on the back?

By Screwballl on 3/11/2008 12:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
As this is a large moment for Mobile, AL, the only ones they are hurting are the potential employees of this area.
Boeing just needs to get off their butt and do something about it rather than whine and cause a delayed income boost needed for the Gulf Coast.

So Silly...
By GTaudiophile on 3/11/2008 2:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
I read somewhere (but cannot provide a source) that the Airbus A380 uses more parts built in the USA than Boeing's 787.

Anyway, the 767 is simply an obsolete dinosaur and the 777 is simply too big for the Air Force. The A330 seems like a logical choice. And it will lead to more American jobs. EADS will build a factory in Alabama, and after the tanker production run has finished, Airbus will shift the production of standard A330s/future aircraft to the USA. Everyone wins...except Boeing.

By Fnoob on 3/11/2008 5:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
Just FYI - the KC-45 tanker is being contructed in Mobile, AL (USA).

So whine on you crazy Washingtonians, no dice this time. But it is nice to know this is not entirely a foreign project. N.Grumman is a US company.

Also, the difference I heard quoted was $60Billion. That was how much more Boeings bid was over the NG/EADS bid.

So, to summarize, still built primarily by the US, in the US - and saves the US taxpayers ~60Billion. Works for me.

By rudolphna on 3/11/2008 6:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Think what you want, its your own opinions. I just trust Boeing over Airbus. I apologize, i was indeed mistaken about that F- series jets. the F/A 18 is a Boeing built aircraft though. Its like cars again though. most foreign cars are built in the US, but they take away tons of buisness from companies like Ford and GM, and if you havent been paying attention, employees of those companies have been laid off by the thousands, especially in my home state of Ohio. far more than these foreign companies are hiring. The proceeds still go to other countries.

I think you're all confused.
By mindless1 on 3/12/2008 4:20:25 AM , Rating: 2
This was not a competition to build the best tanker, this was an attempt to meet what the Air Force specified. Now they're losing out for doing what was asked.

By CubicleDilbert on 3/12/2008 9:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
I aks myself now why there was an international bidding contest at all. USAF officers exactly followed the new rules, but in case of unfortunate outcomes these rules have to be disobeyed. In addition the USAF is the scapegoat now.
It seems to me that it is 100% politicians fault!

In the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) questioned whether the contract hurts the U.S. trade agenda by undermining the United States trade representative’s WTO case against EU subsidies to Airbus.

“What defies common sense to me is that one arm of the administration — the U.S. trade representative — argues that subsidies to Airbus hurt our companies,” Baucus said Tuesday.

“Yet another arm of the administration — the Defense Department — rewards a subsidized company with a $40 billion contract to purchase illegally subsidized aircraft.”

It is like the senator shuffling money and paperwork from his left to his right pocket, and presenting to the taxpayer a hefty handling fee for it.

"The universe and the stupidity of politicians are endless, but I am not so sure about the universe"
Albert Einstein

By carbonated on 3/12/2008 9:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know much about all this but I get a sick feeling from it.

The economy is in the tank yet we will send more jobs over seas even though the military could live with the Boeing plane and the price is lower. I guess 4 or 5 billion is a drop in the bucket to them.

Better plane or not, on principal alone we shouldn't give the contract to EADS-you can bet your @$$ they wouldn't give it to Boeing if the tables were turned.

Something reeks here...I have a feeling greed (hint, lobbyists)is at the bottom of all of this!

Keep the jobs here-Europe can take care of themselves.

Shame on us!

By sv17ein on 3/28/2008 12:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
Just to set the timeframe: I built electronics gear for the F-105 at General Dynamics in Rochester (around 1966).
I'm now on the European side of the pond and getting quite a few chuckles over the process.
"Sour grapes" and "sore looser" come to mind - BTW not very American if you ask me.
Let me put it squarely as a question to be pondered upon:
How many Boeing fighters will be procured by non-US controlled armed forces (in Europe?)if the USAF is "prohibited" from sticking to the Grumman/EADS deal?
Me Jar Jar Binks thinks 0.

Information that the media don't want you to know
By borowki on 3/11/08, Rating: -1
By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 9:42:25 PM , Rating: 1
Don't know why you got rated down, but that statement was pure comedy. Clearly folks on here need a sense of humor...

By skarbd on 3/12/2008 6:09:34 AM , Rating: 1
I have really enjoyed this thread :)

1. Boeing really needed a rocket up their ass, it was going to be this contract or another one soon, but you cannot have a major contractor taking liberties and expecting to win contracts by default. Its not a good position to be in.

2. I saw people arguing about specifications. You don't get to understand the massively complex specifications involved in bids like this, by reading 10/20 webpages (Certainly not webpages from the various companies). You need to be sinking yourself into the design documents and know exactly what you want, which the USAF would have done. To 2nd guess the USAF on which plane deserved to win the contract, would imply you know significantly more than them.

Of course if you feel that the USAF deserves a built in America only planes, regardless of any other considerations (Like the often used National Security), then its your decision. The supply chain will have been nailed down for national security reasons.

If the designs had been close to each when their respective points scores had been totaled up, do you think the USAF would have bothered to consider the Airbus design. For them to go through all this shit, means there were signifcant differences.

3. Be under no illusion, running costs are vital, even when you have a military budget as large as the US. USAF must squeeze as much from there budget as possible, since they cannot guarantee they will have the money they need in the future.

4. Do you think when the final deal was inked, that the USAF would have not considered the polictical implications (as soon as they knew which way they were going)? They would have structured it, in such as way as to get as much assembly/construction undertaken in the US as possible. Airbus would have also structured their bid to take into account the polictical storm.

5. No one seems to mind when the rest of the world buys so much military hardware from US. I don't see this causing polical outrage in the US. Funny that.

By rudolphna on 3/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Boeing
By FITCamaro on 3/11/2008 12:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
The budget air carriers from what I've seen fly a pretty equal mix of Airbus and Boeing planes. Now the larger planes do seem to be more predominantly Boeing. But thats because Boeing has been putting a quality product for years that beats Airbus's.

Honestly I'm mixed on this. I'd rather see the work go to Boeing since I trust them more than Airbus and yes its "Made in the USA" vs. giving work to foreign nations that generally dislike us. But this complaint only further delays a contract that has been delayed for years. The company I work for has an interest in this contract that could mean our location getting work and people keeping their jobs or layoffs due to a lack of work.

RE: Boeing
By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 12:48:40 PM , Rating: 4
Boeing should have used the newer 777 and/or 787 for the design

Both of which are over half built overseas...

Sorry for some facts getting in the road of your xenophobia.

RE: Boeing
By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2008 9:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Amiga500 sticks his/her foot in their mouth yet again.

Both the 777 and the 787 are 80% manufactured and 100% assembled in North America, and most of that in the US. Sir you need to get you facts straight.

RE: Boeing
By steven975 on 3/11/2008 12:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
The F14, F15, F16, and F/A-18 are NOT built by Boeing or even Lockheed for that matter (well, one is, but it is NOT their design)

F14 (grumman), F16 (General Dynamics, acquired by Lockheed), F15 (mcdonnel douglas), F-18 (originally a northrop design).

After Boeing's conduct in this whole matter, they were lucky to even be allowed to bid!

RE: Boeing
By CubicleDilbert on 3/11/2008 1:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't matter. It matters that "Buy American" kills everything.
The rest of the world will be suspicious about American technology, there is always a political background there from now on.

RE: Boeing
By sviola on 3/11/2008 12:58:11 PM , Rating: 3
You, Sir, are an idiot.

RE: Boeing
By CubicleDilbert on 3/11/2008 12:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure eventually congress will give Boeing green light for the tankers.
But you are forgetting something important: reciprocity in a global business.
Boeing outsources to other countries just as Airbus. Get some facts on the 787.
EADS is European, not a "conglomerate". Just like our US has different states, so has Europe. Europe has bought American planes for over 50 years. Most of their military still is American. I am afraid, this will suddenly change pretty soon after the congress verdict.
Boeing really screwed the taxpayer on the first contract! Now they lost and are whining. With Boeing building the tankers the taxpayer will get an old plane (the 767 design is 30 years old!!) for an inflated price. I would rather see BG/Airbus open a new plant in Mobile to get some competition in US soil with American workers.

RE: Boeing
By Amiga500 on 3/11/2008 1:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
Airbus are going to move the A330F line to Mobile as well.

It is also extremely likely that further assembly work would be moved to the US to take advantage of the weak dollar and to free up space for when the 350XWB ramps up (and the 787 is hitting a sh!tload of problems - so the A350 program will gain from that - the A330 passenger variants already have).

The NG-EADS deal is probably a better deal for the US economy longer term as it gets US workers' foot in the door with regards assembling for both the top 2 aircraft manufacturers.

RE: Boeing
By CubicleDilbert on 3/11/2008 1:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. As an American airospace outfit I rather have two large customer, in Mobile and Everett than only one on whose fate I would totally depend on.

Many high-tech firms would welcome the introduction of a new extra-large customer. Many alread ship to both Airbus and Boeing.

RE: Boeing
By whirabomber on 3/12/2008 8:39:03 AM , Rating: 1
Outsourcing any national defense project to any overseas company is a disaster waiting to happen. Any world event - war or natural - that disrupts ocean traffic between the nations involved will cut the supply of parts, planes, and in the event of war possibly provide an enemy with inside information on the weak spots of military equipment.

An extreme example but a possible future for such a deal is to look at Iran, they are regretting every buying F-14's as they have very few means of getting parts. Soon they will have a fleet of decoys as not a one will be able to fly.

It is better to stick with a local company than provide money to foreigners in any case. China is making good use of US dollars by building up its military. Nothing like funding a country that has never been our friend.

That and I haven't seen a European built aircraft win a war since WWI (Americans flew “left over’s'” provided by France and England) unless the European plane was fighting another European plane.

RE: Boeing
By CubicleDilbert on 3/12/2008 8:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
We live in a global commerce world.
Guess what, many suppliers are distributed across the world. Even EADS (the owner of Airbus) ships a lot of stuff to Boeing.

In addition I think the world has changed. There won't be global wars anymore, only local conflicts.
Hell, China is one of the major investors in US debt. Taiwan is one of the major investors in China. So, a lot of political talk, but no action. The US does not provide money to foreigners, they take money from foreigners in exchange for US property.
The whole Iraq war is financed on debt. You should check how much US business and real estate has changed ownership during Bush's empire. There is a reason that one US dollar went from EUR 1.78 to EUR 0.56

Don't start with stereotypes about Europe and the war. The allied forces lost about 30.000 air men over Germany in WWII. I assume the Fritzes did not fly around just for circus entertainment!
Please do not mention the ancient war, it is ugly...

RE: Boeing
By whirabomber on 3/12/2008 9:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I read a quote saying that the world had found peace and a way to not have another war like it. That such a war could never take place. It was made after the surrender of Germany at the end of the Great War - WWI. Then WWII happened.

I do believe a WWIII is a viable reality to consider. I do believe the groundwork is slowly being made. I do believe the next WW will be over oil, trade, or the most likely of the 3 - space. There are only so many safe orbits and real estate for choice satellite positions over intel target areas. There are only so many safe orbits for communications satellites that are realistically usable.

Even though there are several thousand satellites in orbit that are being tracked but with stealth being the latest rage, there will more than likely be stealth satellites that are hard to see and even harder or not possible to track with radar. Such an event will create the opportunity for something to go bump in the night.

Add any other of the hundreds stress points nations have with each other a fight could ensue. Sadly I see globalization being the dividing line - each nation will decide who brings in the most money to pick an ally.

On the note of globalization, the only good I've seen come of it is the rich can find cheaper labor in other countries for production work and justify it with globalization. The quality of goods have not improved, the job security once held by the pervious generation is gone, and I no longer feel safe picking up foreign made goods due to the bad rap China has given them. So no, globalization is just another word for making money by someone not you.

RE: Boeing
By justjc on 3/14/2008 7:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even look at which parts were to be built in the EU and which in the US?

According to Dailytech's announcement of the contract win "The main structures for the aircraft including the body and wings will be manufactured in Europe by Airbus. Final assembly and militarization of the aircraft will be undertaken by Northrop Grumman in Mobile, Alabama."

The way I read it the parts which are essential to keeping the plane operational will be US built.

About non US fighters winning wars I do belive the Israeli Pilots would say that it was French built planes that won the big victory in the Six Day War(1967) and had a big influence on the Yom Kippur War(1973). I could probably find more, but the Israeli use was the first that came to mind and I didn't bother to google for more.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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