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The Air Force tanker drama continues...

The ongoing saga between Northrop Grumman/EADS, Boeing, the Air Force, Congress, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) continues to languish on in the face of an aging tanker fleet. Northrop Grumman/EADS formally won the contract earlier this year -- the $35B contract would have given the Air Force 179 Airbus A330-based KC-45 aircraft to replace 531 KC-135 tankers.

Boeing filed an official protest of the deal with the GAO in early March and received redemption in mid-June when the GAO agreed that errors were made during the selection process. "We recommended that the Air Force reopen discussions ... obtain revised proposals, re-evaluate the revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision, consistent with our decision," said the GAO at the time.

It now appears that Boeing isn't quite satisfied with just having the competition reopened -- according to the Wall Street Journal, it now wants more time to design a suitable aircraft to meet the Air Force's needs or it is threatening to walk away from the competition altogether. Boeing now wants an additional six months to submit a proper bid that the Air Force would be willing to accept.

"I think the option we would have if we were not given the six months, there is a really high likelihood that we would no-bid the program," said Boeing defense unit head Jim Albaugh.

The Defense Department is already considering giving both Northrop Grumman/EADS and Boeing two additional months to submit new bids for the competition according to close sources, but Boeing's Albaugh said that is not enough. "This is an airplane that's going to be in the inventory 40 years. What we're asking for is an additional four months to have a meaningful competition."

For Boeing, the request for more time and the threat of a "no-bid" is somewhat of a payback to Northrop Grumman/EADS which performed a similar feat back in 2007. The maneuvering by Northrop Grumman/EADS forced the Air Force to make some changes to the requirements for the competition that put Boeing's entry at a disadvantage.

Boeing's current proposal is based around a 767-200 airframe -- it is simply too small and doesn't meet the fuel capacity requirements of the Air Force. Albaugh acknowledges that without the extra time to bid a larger version of the 767-200, it will lose the contract.

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RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By Radnor on 8/22/2008 12:01:38 PM , Rating: -1
That logic is perfect. I might suggest to the Idiot that is running Portugal atm, that the Military should have 100% Portuguese technology. And 100% Portuguese in Food, cars, electronics, oil, clothing,wine...well wine we already export.

It is not like your buying Fighter Jets to North Korea. Bleh...

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By MrBlastman on 8/22/2008 12:21:23 PM , Rating: 4
Well, if the world wants us to continue to be their police force, we need to keep our Military strong. Just look at Georgia - they get invaded by the Russians and what happens?

They call the USA crying for our help asking us to send in our troops.


The rest of the world loves to throw mud at America - except when they are in trouble. The minute they get in a jam they come crying to us where a few months earlier they might have been spouting all forms of hatred in the air about us.

100% Hypocrisy

We might not be perfect - nobody is, but we are a darned fine nation. National Defense is of utmost priority. It is why we have the freedoms we have. Without it, freedom would have died a long time ago in America. The only fault with that logic is right now freedom in America is trying to be destroyed from the inside out by our own Government, crazy citizens and other loons. Fortunately with the way our Constitution is set up, I have a feeling we'll continue to be around a while longer.

Keeping our Military Tech on our soil only helps shore up our ability to defend ourselves and keep ourselves strong. If we falter, it is our own fault, not someone elses.

I love the rest of the world and the variety of culture that abounds. It is a wonderful place. We can not though, be expected to sacrifice the means to protect ourselves when we have the ability to do it as a gesture of goodwill.

Something about Troy accepting a horse of some sort comes to mind.

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By Ammohunt on 8/22/2008 1:30:34 PM , Rating: 5
Georgia and other former Warsaw pack countries have been Americas stauchest allies since the fall of the USSR. They are not at all like the whiney ass European surrender monkeys. I personaly would sooner send troops in defense of a fledgling democracy like georgia then some european countries.

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By saiga6360 on 8/22/2008 3:21:15 PM , Rating: 4
Oh yeah. We did such a bang up job with Georgia.

What a mess.

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By Kiijibari on 8/22/2008 4:14:00 PM , Rating: 1
Where is the difference to US invading Iraq ?
Sure there where WoMD in Iraq as US officials told us all the time.

Now Russian officials told us that Georgians shot first ... why should we not believe them ?

Ok, Gorgia is a democracy and we have to defend the freee world ... well is it really ?
Just read what OSCE wrote:

Most monitored TV channels 19 , including public TV, devoted significant and favorable coverage to activities of the authorities. For example, four main TV channels broadcast live a 22-minute prime- time news item about a meeting of the President, cabinet ministers and regional officials in Kutaisi. Media coverage of appearances of the President, Government ministers and local government representatives at ceremonial events, often in the presence of UNM candidates introduced as such, indirectly benefited the UNM campaign. During the media monitoring of the last six weeks of the election campaign, public TV devoted similar proportions of its political and election prime-time news coverage to the United Opposition (18 per cent) and the UNM (17 percent). While the ruling party was given overwhelmingly positive coverage, the coverage of the main opposition bloc was mainly neutral. The biggest share, however, was devoted to the President and the Government (together 32 per cent) with an overwhelmingly positive tone

The vote count was assessed less positively; some 22 per cent of IEOM observers assessed it as bad or very bad. A considerable number of PECs did not perform basic reconciliation procedures before opening the ballot boxes, such as counting and entering into the protocols the number of signatures on the voter lists or unused ballots. The mandatory mathematical consistency checks before and at the end of the actual count were frequently skipped. In one of three counts observed, voters’ choices were not announced aloud during the count. Determination of ballot validity was not always reasonable and consistent. Unauthorized persons were frequently present and at times participated in the process. IEOM observers reported three cases of outright falsification.

If you call this a democracy, then Russia is one of the finest, let's protect them ;-)

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By BZDTemp on 8/22/2008 3:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
Pardon. But what makes you think the rest of the world wants or needs the US to be a police force?

And what exactly has the US done in recent years that was not motivated by it's own interest?

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By kyp275 on 8/22/2008 4:19:22 PM , Rating: 4
what exactly has any nation done throughout the history of mankind that was not motivated by its own interest?

it's not that the rest of the world wants or needs the US to be the police, though some certainly do, it's just that nobody else has stepped up to the plate.

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By mindless1 on 8/22/2008 5:00:23 PM , Rating: 5
What makes you think the rest of the world doesn't want or need one of the superpowers to intervene. If you feel more comfortable relying on China or Russia, go ahead.

RE: This is getting ridiculous...
By FITCamaro on 8/22/2008 5:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Hit the nail on the head.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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