Print 17 comment(s) - last by roadhog1974.. on Jun 8 at 5:51 PM

Exactly who the partners are is unknown

No one suspected how the bidding war for one of the most lucrative contracts ever offered for military aircraft would play out when the U.S. started trying to replace its aging fleet of tanker aircraft years ago. The bidding process has been fraught with fighting and political maneuvering that has left the military with an insufficient fleet of tanker aircraft in service.

Northrop Grumman pulled out of the bidding process after claiming that the RFP heavily favored the competing Boeing aircraft leaving EADS alone without a U.S. partner for the bid. Boeing gloated and the Pentagon stated that it would continue forward with the bidding process even if there were only one bidder.

Eventually EADS came back to the table after the deadline for aircraft proposals was extended with a militarized version of its A330 built by Airbus. Later Boeing tried to play a national security card claiming that it had been hampered by foreign companies withholding material support and goods.

EADS has now announced that it has found U.S. partners for its bid to win the lucrative tanker contract. However, EADS is not stating who its U.S. partners are. EADS CEO Louis Gallois said, "We have the complete team of partners we needed for sensitive equipment but we don't give the names because we don't want to put them under pressure."

 reports that EADS had previously been talking with Raytheon and L-3, but whether or not either of those firms has partnered with EADS is unknown at this point. EADS is feeling confident in its chances to win the contract and has previously stated that its aircraft has already undergone hundreds of hours of flight-testing and that its tanker has offloaded 290,000 pounds of fuel. At the same time, EADS points out that the Boeing offering dubbed "New Generation Tanker" is still only a paper design.

Gallois was also quick to point out that, "We see the nervousness of Boeing attacking us every day in the press. If we have no chance, why would they attack us?"

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By ebakke on 6/4/2010 12:18:12 PM , Rating: 5
Just build the god damn thing already!

RE: Enough!
By danobrega on 6/4/2010 12:55:57 PM , Rating: 5
They'll finish the tanker when the planet is out of gas. :D

RE: Enough!
By carniver on 6/4/2010 1:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
That's the spirit! But who's going to build it again?

And we're back to square 1

RE: Enough!
By ebakke on 6/4/2010 5:40:42 PM , Rating: 1
But who's going to build it again?
I honestly don't give a damn. Flip a coin and move along.

RE: Enough!
By Calin on 6/7/2010 5:29:38 AM , Rating: 2
Antonov? Ilyushin? Mitsubishi?
Flipping a coin now would be even more wrong now than it would have been in the past.

RE: Enough!
By Iaiken on 6/4/2010 2:00:19 PM , Rating: 1
If they go with the EADS design, it's already designed, tested, flight tested and functionally tested.

It's just a matter of kitting out some US partners to actually build the damned things.

RE: Enough!
By michael67 on 6/5/2010 5:19:44 AM , Rating: 1
Yep agree Boeing bid is still on paper, when they finaly going to build it, after lots of delays, it's properly going to be over budget by +100%, it is not like it's going to be the first time they done that.

RE: Enough!
By FormulaRedline on 6/7/2010 9:26:24 AM , Rating: 1

The Boeing tanker is not only designed, built, and tested, it is actually in service.

RE: Enough!
By FITCamaro on 6/5/2010 12:49:15 AM , Rating: 2

My company has been waiting for this damn thing to be awarded for I think its 13 years?

Hmm, EU money helping save US tax payers some cash
By BZDTemp on 6/4/2010 1:37:46 PM , Rating: 3
EADS still being in the game can only help ensure a better and cheaper solution regardless who wins thus saving US tax payers some money.

Only fair it seems since the premium payed for medicine in the US means cheaper medicine everywhere else including in the EU. The pharmaceutical companies make so much in the US they can sell a lot cheaper elsewhere :-)

By Iaiken on 6/4/2010 2:08:39 PM , Rating: 1
Only fair it seems since the premium payed for medicine in the US means cheaper medicine everywhere else including in the EU. The pharmaceutical companies make so much in the US they can sell a lot cheaper elsewhere :-)

Ironic, using competition as a forum to lambaste the EU over the lack thereof in the pharmaceutical industry.

At least Canada and the EU have the balls to say "If you want to sell in this market, you're going to have to prove that the price you are charging is a reasonable one." Exorbitant overcharging by pharmaceutical companies is one of the reasons that socialized medicine cannot work in the US.

One of my friends markets for Pfizer and there are some pharma products where the markup is 500%. His commission on these products is absurdly MORE than the base cost of the actual product. Rather, I should have said former friend as I am unwilling to speak with him after that brag demonstrated his lack of scruples and his willingness to personally profit off the misery and desperation of others.

By mcnabney on 6/4/2010 10:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Canada and the EU have actual caps on pharmaceutical prices. The prices are not set by 'the market', but instead by the governments. Drug companies can either sell at the set price, or not at all.

I actually don't think this is a bad idea since nothing in medicine follows the rules of the free market. Drugs that do the same thing never compete on price. That smacks of collusion and cartelism. And the US consumer is stuck paying for it.

/end rant

By Wulf145 on 6/4/2010 2:17:36 PM , Rating: 2
Comeon, the only way EADS has a chance of winning is if Boeing bid a converted C3 cargo plane, anything more modern and they will get the contract. As far as I can see EADS is doing it for show, so that it does not seem too much like a nobid contract.
If by some mistake EADS wins, all Boeing will do is pull the 'we-are-American' card and there will be another round of bidding. This will continue until Boeing will get the Contract.

By BZDTemp on 6/5/2010 7:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Hey - I did not say EADS will win. What I'm saying that just the fact they are in the game will make a difference as it forces Boeing to do better. A bid with only one bidder will always let the bidder take some sort of advantage.

Still I think if the selection is fair then EADS could very well win. What they have on offer does not look bad and I'm sure they can deliver much faster than Boeing - something which is becoming more and more a priority as the bidding process drags on.

By Wulf145 on 6/7/2010 6:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't think that you did, I am just pointing out is that the EADS bid is a waste of time and rescources for all participents as their chances of aktualy winning it are minimal (in my opinion).
Whoever wins the contract will surely get a Cost-plus contract which means that any budgetary oversight goes out the window.
IIRC not one DOD procurement contract was ever completed within its original budget - I could be wrong though.
What the DOD should do is only award fixed-price contracts with fixed requirements, I am convinced that this would make the Procurements cheaper in the long run.

By Executor115 on 6/8/2010 1:31:48 PM , Rating: 2
EADS isn't in the competition because they expect to win, but because they want to make sure Boeing doesn't make a ridiculous profit off the contract. Just like the 747-8 isn't going to make a profit, but it'll make sure Airbus never comes close to recouping the money they sunk into the 380. Basically, if it hurts the other side more then them, both Boeing and EADS will do it.

doing it all wrong
By roadhog1974 on 6/8/2010 5:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Both are good planes, they should just buy 20 of each and
purchase more as needs arise.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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