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Boeing NewGen tanker will be called the KC-46A
Pentagon awards KC-X contract to Boeing

Is there finally light at the end of the tunnel? We surely hope so because today the USAF -- for the third time -- announced a winner of the lucrative KC-X tanker contract. Boeing won the first time around, but the contract was rescinded. Northrop-EADS won when the contract was put into play for a second time, but Boeing successfully lobbied to have the award overturned.

This time Boeing has been awarded the contract to produce 179 aircraft to replace the aging fleet of KC-135 tankers. The tanker will be designated KC-46A and the first deliveries will occur in 2017. Boeing says that the KC-46A will support 50,000 jobs and 800 suppliers across 40 states.

"We're honored to be given the opportunity to build the Air Force's next tanker and provide a vital capability to the men and women of our armed forces," said Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. "Our team is ready now to apply our 60 years of tanker experience to develop and build an airplane that will serve the nation for decades to come."

"This contract award would not have been possible without the hundreds of Boeing employees across the entire company, and the thousands of our industry teammates, who remained laser-focused on our commitment to offer a solution that is first in capability and best in value,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "This award is also a tribute to the Air Force and Defense Department officials who worked so tirelessly to make this procurement process fair, ultimately resulting in the selection of the right plane for the mission. We look forward to working with our Air Force customer to deliver this much needed capability to the servicemen and women we are honored to serve."

"What a great day for The Boeing Company, and for the 11,000 aerospace workers in Washington state alone that will play a role in assembling the NewGen tanker," said Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. "Following an open, transparent process, the Department of Defense realized what I’ve been saying all along – and that is that Boeing has designed the safest, most cost-effective tanker to serve both our military and our taxpayers well. 

"I commend The Boeing Company for its determination and tremendous work to land this contract. This was an arduous process, and Boeing deserves our praise for its commitment to its workforce, as well as the men and women that serve in the U.S. Air Force."

EADS will have a chance to protest this latest verdict, but there isn't any indication at this time that it will.

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Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By kattanna on 2/24/2011 5:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
im sure that will be tomorrows headline

hopefully not though.

By lightfoot on 2/24/2011 5:32:11 PM , Rating: 5
Actually it will be more like "Tanker Contract Cancelled Due to Budget Cuts."

Due to cost overruns during the bidding process, it has been determined that the US military will not replace its existing fleet of aging tankers and will instead resort to begging other countries to refuel our aircraft.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By Keeir on 2/24/2011 5:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
Err... you looking for the word "protest", and EADS will have a while to decide to protest or not. They have 3 days to request a formal explanation why they lost, and another 5 past that to get the formal explanation... then another 5 to decide to protest or not. If they do protest, then the Government Accountability Office will have 3-4 months to decide whether the protest has merit.

It comes down to if the explanation makes sense with the original RFP. Lets hope the USAF and US Government have followed the FAR and RFP guidlines closely enough to convince EADS that a protest would have low chance of success.

That was the problem last time. The USAF graded the proposal differently that they guidlines put forward in the RFP... and when they explained to Boeing why they lost, it was clear to Boeing that USAF had not conducted the evaluation to FAR regulations.

By Amiga500 on 2/24/2011 6:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe they will protest.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By Keeir on 2/24/2011 6:17:26 PM , Rating: 3
I really think its too early to tell.

Without having information on why the USAF choice was made.. I can't evaluate it against the RFP guidelines.

The last time, it was clear the USAF had not properly evaluated the contract versus the RFP guidelines. It was clear as soon as Boeing recieved its debriefing. (For example, little to no credit was given for the large number of "optional" criteria Boeing's KC-767 proposal meet that the A330 based proposal did not.)

I really don't have confidence that the USAF is capable of following the proper process.

By Amiga500 on 2/24/2011 6:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
The Boeing offering was more than 1% cheaper than EADS - hence a load of performance comparisons did not come into play.

Should be a good deal for the US taxpayer - if Boeing can keep to cost and schedule.

By FITCamaro on 2/24/2011 6:55:13 PM , Rating: 3
While I'm not upset that Boeing won, that is a pipe dream. Costs always go over. If nothing else, the unions building the plane will likely strike at some point and drive costs up.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By roykahn on 2/25/11, Rating: -1
By FITCamaro on 2/25/2011 6:32:48 AM , Rating: 3
Yep. You caught us. Crawl back in your hole.

By FITCamaro on 2/25/2011 6:31:39 AM , Rating: 5
Unions are one of the main reasons most manufacturing has left the US. Notice how domestic car companies are struggling to survive while foreign automakers come here, open plants in non-union strongholds, and do well? Lower wage costs means more money can be spent to build quality cars and/or offer them at cheaper prices. The unions at Boeing's Seattle plants are notorious for striking. They did so a few years ago on the 787 line. That is exactly what drove Boeing to open a parallel production facility here in Charleston. So that if the unions strike, production doesn't stop completely.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By roykahn on 2/25/11, Rating: -1
By lightfoot on 2/25/2011 12:33:41 PM , Rating: 5
workers are human beings, deserve respect, and have a right to fair treatment

Unfortunately Unions don't stand for those things anymore. They may have in the past and they successfully changed workplace safety laws, but that is NOT what Unions do today. Modern Unions bankrupt companies and reduce hiring flexibility by protecting the most inept, least productive workers at the expense of the most skilled and most productive.
Obama and his business buddies made more economic agreements with China recently

Obama's presidency was bought and paid for largely by the Unions.

By FITCamaro on 2/25/2011 12:40:02 PM , Rating: 3
Yes because any employee that isn't in a union in the US is just treated like crap and tortured daily.

Unions once stood for employee rights and fair treatment. Now they're about power. They don't give a crap about their members so long as the members keep paying their dues.

Look at the union employees from Ford, GM, and Dodge that have been caught smoking weed and drinking during the work day. Were they even fired after video was released? No. They were suspended and then went right back to work. Anyone in the private sector that's not in a union would be fired on the spot.

By roykahn on 2/25/2011 4:32:24 PM , Rating: 3
I'm assuming that you aren't working in the public sector and affected by the governments continued attacks on the working class. You can argue all you like, but you will see that the protests in Madison prove that many people disagree with you.

This isn't about drinking and smoking weed. It is about the gradual erosion of worker's rights and the widening gap between the ruling class and the working class. The government's strategy for tackling its economic problems has been to punish the poor and working class while rewarding the ultra-rich and bankers. The opposite should be happening.

By lightfoot on 2/25/2011 6:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
If public sector union employees really were as skilled and highly trained as they claim to be, they should have no problem finding a job in the private sector.

Of course they aren't, which is why they piss and moan so loudly when they are asked to take the same layoffs and pay cuts that the private sector has been taking for the past three years.
This isn't about drinking and smoking weed.

No, this is about people thinking that they are entitled to a job just because they have a union card and get their paychecks from the taxpayer.

By FITCamaro on 2/25/2011 7:01:26 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah the people affected with no basis in the real world disagree with me. The vast majority of Americans agree with Scott Walker.

Public sector employees work for us. If we can't afford to pay them, they either get fired or have to take less pay or benefits. The deal they're being offered is WAY better than I have at my company. I don't get a guaranteed pension. I don't get free health care benefits. Walker isn't taking those things away. He's saying that the employees have to contribute. And that they can't have an effective ability to shut down schools or the government to strike for ridiculous benefits in the future.

Personally I would fire all their asses after the current contract expires and offer the jobs to the private sector. There's plenty of people looking for work who would love the jobs and benefits they're being offered.

And by the way, FDR didn't think public sector employees should be allowed to have collective bargaining rights either.

All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public-personnel management. The very nature and purposes of government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people.


By roykahn on 2/25/2011 8:13:25 PM , Rating: 3
You might be misguided on a number of issues. The most striking is the following:

The vast majority of Americans agree with Scott Walker.

That is plainly false. Please do yourself a favour and read what Scott Walker has tried to do.

Polling shows that overwhelming majorities of Wisconsinites support collective bargaining. Overwhelming majorities are very upset with what the Governor is doing.

You can also read what a Democratic Senator had to say.
the no-bid contracts, the giveaway of Medicaid, Medicare and SeniorCare, and obviously the loss of worker rights that have been fought and died for for the last 50 years. So this is really probably the worst bill to come in Wisconsin

By wempa on 2/25/2011 12:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, workers are human beings, but that doesn't mean they should be entitled to automatic raises or be allowed to slack off on the job without being fired just because they have seniority. Workers certainly deserve a safe work environment and protection from things like age discrimination and sexual harassment, things that already provided by the law. Other than that, each person is responsible for making sure they have the skills and education to demand the salary and benefits they want.

By mellomonk on 2/25/2011 4:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Unions are one of the main reasons most manufacturing has left the US.

It's this kinda of nonsense on blogs and the like that folks actually believe. The United States is easily the top manufacturing country on earth, to the tune of $1.83 trillion. Despite the hype and dominance in 'low end' manufacturing, China produces roughly $1.75 trillion and needs to employ many times the workers to do it. The average US worker is far more skilled and efficient. And we will not even get into environmental impact of manufacturing activities.

Unions deserve some flack, but they do serve a purpose. Most transplant manufactures, particularly Foreign automakers, have non-union shops at this point. They are paying a fair wage and treating their workers okay. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if they begin to take advantage of their workers that organization will follow.

By InsaneGain on 2/25/2011 5:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
There is absolutely no doubt that unions are eroding the competitiveness of the U.S. At its most basic level, unionization is the monopolization of a supplied service (labor), and if you understand basic economics, you understand why this lack of open and free competition is damaging to any economy. Unions use this monopoly to extort ever growing benefits that have no bearing on the supply and demand for this service, distorting and misalocating the efficient use of resources. For example, the heavy unionization and grossly inflated benefits of the public sector will attract talent away from the private sector; talent that it has no place attracting. Why do you think Boeing outsourced almost all basic assembly for the 787 to non-unionized sub contractors? Unionization helped machinists extort higher wages than supply and demand would dictate in the short term, but in the end, unionization will end up moving the jobs elsewhere.

By sorry dog on 2/26/2011 11:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
There is absolutely no doubt that unions are eroding the competitiveness of the U.S. At its most basic level, unionization is the monopolization of a supplied service (labor), and if you understand basic economics, you understand why this lack of open and free competition is damaging to any economy. Unions use this monopoly to extort ever growing benefits that have no bearing on the supply and demand for this service, distorting and misalocating the efficient use of resources.

I find it odd when hard core free market republican types are for additional laws restricting the free market of labor from combining to increase their negotiation power.

If the labor is unionized on a factory level then that is not a true monopoly as there are other labor players that can be hired outside of the union. Now if the union is a national power for a particular trade like all electricians nationally are union then that is another matter. If unions were not allowed to become the only player and competing unions were allowed then the system would be much less corrupt.

In some industries where you only have a few employers it is only natural that wages will be pegged (either collusively or not) as there is a oligopoly for those jobs. By not allowing employees to increase their bargaining power is also a distortion of the free market.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By rudy on 2/25/2011 5:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
Why is the average US worker more skilled and efficient? Because all the ones that are not have seen their jobs shipped off to China or elsewhere. The reason the US has a highly automated production industry is because it is more costly and less accurate to have the so claimed skilled US workers doing the job than it is to build a custom machine and robotics system to do the same job. Look everywhere and you see that automation is heavily found whereever we still have jobs.

Next look at trends the US is importing way more than it exports in most sectors. Time after time you see one industry after another being pulled apart and sent overseas. We may look OK now but what will we looked like in the future.

People in the US have to stop thinking about things like it is a union vs non union problem, like people need a certain amount of money to have a decent life. These things are true but people in other countries are happy to take those jobs for far less. And believe it or not they are humans too just as capable with their abilities as any US worker, they will increase their education as well. The trend is moving in their direction and Unions have had a large hand in this trend as well as bad government policy.

By sorry dog on 2/26/2011 11:36:29 AM , Rating: 2
Why is the average US worker more skilled and efficient? Because all the ones that are not have seen their jobs shipped off to China or elsewhere. The reason the US has a highly automated production industry is because it is more costly and less accurate to have the so claimed skilled US workers doing the job than it is to build a custom machine and robotics system to do the same job. Look everywhere and you see that automation is heavily found whereever we still have jobs. Next look at trends the US is importing way more than it exports in most sectors. Time after time you see one industry after another being pulled apart and sent overseas. We may look OK now but what will we looked like in the future.

One of the biggest factors in shipping operations off shore is that executives are able to do a cost analysis that show explicit costs of offshore manufacturing is cheaper and less risky for the company and when bottom line improves in the short term they are able to claim the reward and responsibility. The problem is that these same executives will likely be long gone or absolve responsibility when the long-term problems become apparent. Among these long term costs are loss of expertise, political costs associated with a foreign country, loss of power as a buyer, increased risk to intellectual property, increased supply chain risks, increased risks to product quality, and the list goes on.

Unions driving up labor costs is certainly a factor in this, but I see this problem of Investors unjustly rewarding short-term performance over long-term competitiveness as a much greater fundamental problem. You are already seeing companies coming home from China as the savings were often at the cost of competitiveness.

Unions have been around a long time yet extravagant executive compensation is a relatively recent phenomenon.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By Keeir on 2/24/2011 7:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
Curious, do you have a source for the 1% cheaper remark?

And we both know that EADS and Boeing both have had issues with keeping the costs and schedules of recent programs under control.

A380, 787, 747-I, A400M, A330 MRTT, KC767 for Italy...

I don't really care which Tanker won... but I want the US government to be open about the requirements and then use those requirements to choose the correct aircraft.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By Souka on 2/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By ebakke on 2/24/2011 8:31:42 PM , Rating: 5
Do you also object to the US military advertising on TV? How about billboards, or magazines? Are you OK with them having recruiting offices in malls? Talking to high school/college students? ROTC? Paying them? Health benefits?

The NASCAR sponsorship is but one of many advertising/recruiting tools. Tools that in some variant or another are required when you have to entice people to voluntarily join your military instead of forcing them to.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By roykahn on 2/25/11, Rating: -1
By FITCamaro on 2/25/2011 6:34:26 AM , Rating: 1
Hey we found a new Pirks. Just with an anti-American attitude instead of mindless Apple love.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By roykahn on 2/25/11, Rating: -1
By Mudhen6 on 2/25/2011 8:26:54 AM , Rating: 2
No, you're just an outstanding comedian.

RE: Northrop-EADS sues the USAF over tanker contract
By rcc on 2/25/2011 11:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
On behalf of all of us who have served, or are serving, in the US Military. Go Pound Sand!

If you are bright enough to find any.

By roykahn on 2/25/2011 8:18:47 PM , Rating: 1
On behalf of all the countries that have had and still are under US occupation, go back home!

By drlumen on 2/27/2011 2:05:33 AM , Rating: 3
As an American I agree with you 100% on the point of us leaving other countries.

If a country's people, like Iraqis, are being oppressed and tortured by a cruel leader not only should we not go help liberate them but if we have any citizens there we should pull them all out!

Genocide in Bosnia? Get our people out of there!

Muslim extremists torturing Afghani citizens and fostering terrorism? Get our people out of there!

Human right's violations in China? What, me worry?

People starving in Africa, Bangladesh, or some other famine country of the week, or a tsunami in Thailand, Sri Lanka, earthquakes in Haiti, South America or Russia? Get our people out of there!

I know if we stayed out of all those places the US would have a much better economy and less debt than it does now!

By rcc on 3/2/2011 5:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
And many of the people in other countries would still complain about the US not providing services, relief, etc. It really is a no win situation.

By gamerk2 on 2/25/2011 7:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
Here's the difference in cost: The EADS design has already been tested with an F15, in actual flight. The Boeing design exists on paper.

Which do you think will have lower R&D costs?

I'll be shocked if the cost for the Boeing design doesn't jump in the very near future...

By Amiga500 on 2/25/2011 8:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
If the costs do rise significantly, Boeing can kiss goodbye to KC-Y.

By anon3803 on 2/25/2011 12:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
While the specific tanker design and configuration Boeing has proposed exists only on paper, at least Boeing has 767 tankers in operational service with Japan and Italy. The A330 tanker (MRTT) only has a few built and are still undergoing flight testing (i.e. none delivered or in operational service). Please understand the situation before repeating the propaganda from one side or the other.

By anon3803 on 2/25/2011 1:03:51 PM , Rating: 3
On top of the lower R&D costs, what about the cost to retrofit all the fields that the MRTT would have to land at? It's not all R&D; the A330 option was larger airplane than the 767 which is already a size up from the existing KC-135s. The overall cost to the government should be cheaper with the 767 option, which is why they won the contract. The MRTT was really too much airplane to replace the KC-135, a KC-10 maybe, but not the KC-135.

By pukemon on 2/25/2011 12:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
Northrop Grumman didn't partner with EADS for this round so you can be pretty sure they will not be suing. EADS decided to go solo, didn't work out too well for 'em. There was no way they could get around it not being 'murrican.

By Wulf145 on 2/25/2011 2:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
I very much doubt it since it was clear from the start that EADS would not win the contract.
As I wrote in another Post some time back, the procurement process will continue until Boeing got the contract as there is too much politics involved.

And here comes the politicians:
By Chillin1248 on 2/24/2011 10:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
Here are the initial statements from several U.S. lawmakers on the U.S. Air Force's decision to select Boeing to build the service's KC-X next-generation tanker.

¦ Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wa.: "Today's long-awaited decision by the Pentagon is the right one for our military, our taxpayers and our nation's aerospace workers," said Murray, an avid Boeing supporter. Boeing intends to build its 767-based tankers in her home state.

"At a time when our economy is hurting and good-paying aerospace jobs are critical to our recovery, this decision is great news for the skilled workers of Everett and the thousands of suppliers across the country who will help build this critical tanker for our Air Force," she said." This decision is a major victory for the American workers, the American aerospace industry and America's military. And it is consistent with the President's own call to 'out-innovate' and 'out-build' the rest of the world.

¦ Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala.: "After having already won the competition three years ago and having brought to the table the best refueling aircraft for our military, it's deeply disappointing that Mobile and the Gulf Coast were not chosen as the home of the new Air Force tanker," said Bonner. EADS intended to assemble its tankers in Bonner's district of Mobile, Ala. "Unfortunately, the best tanker for our military was not selected. I intend to demand a full accounting as to why.

"While there was great optimism that our team would ultimately prevail, we've also been conditioned to expect the unexpected," he continued. 'This competition has been challenged before and it's not unlikely it will be challenged again. It will ultimately be up to EADS to determine whether they will protest this decision and I will fully support whatever decision they make."

¦ Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.: "I am deeply disappointed that the EADS team was not selected to build the next air refueling tanker for the Air Force," Sessions said. "Three years ago, EADS won this competition because their aircraft had objectively superior capabilities and offered dramatic savings for the taxpayer. In light of today's result, I intend to examine the process carefully to ensure it was fairly conducted.

"Regardless of today's unfortunate outcome, the EADS team's decision to manufacture the aircraft in Mobile was a clear affirmation by a world-class corporation of our state's remarkable workforce," he continues. "EADS would not have chosen Alabama if they did not firmly believe that our state was a great place to do business in the global economy. I look forward to assisting them in expanding their presence in Alabama."

¦ Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.: "I applaud the Obama administration for this decision, especially after such a long process, and I am delighted to see the Department of Defense select the best air refueling tanker for our nation's brave war fighters at the best price for our taxpayers," said DeLauro. Boeing intends to install Pratt & Whitney-built engines, which are built in Connecticut.

"The award comes at a critical time when we need to be creating jobs and driving long-term economic growth, in Connecticut and nationwide," she said. "Along with terminating the costly and unnecessary Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine program, this has been a great week for defense manufacturing jobs in Connecticut."

¦ Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.: "Today, I applaud the United States Air Force and Boeing on bringing 50,000 jobs to our nation and taking the first step in assuring current and future U.S. air dominance," Inhofe said. "The KC-135 tanker aircraft has proven essential to our nation's defense as the success of our recent military operations would not have been possible without the utilization of our tanker inventory. Replacing the first 179 aging Eisenhower-era KC-135s is paramount to maintaining our military's strategic advantage.

"Now, we must ensure that funding levels remain constant and quality planes are delivered on time. I look forward to the next steps, including determining basing locations," he said. "The 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus, AFB has long stood ready to train the next generation of tanker operators, and they look forward to continuing the mobility training mission. The 76th Maintenance Wing (MXW) and Oklahoma Air Logistics Center Aerospace Sustainment Directorate at Tinker, AFB will play key roles in maintaining the new tanker."

¦ Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., co-chairmen of the Senate Tanker Caucus: "I'm pleased the Defense Department has finally awarded the contract to replace our nation's aging fleet of KC-135 tanker aircraft," said Hatch.

"The awarding of this contract is long overdue," Conrad said. "The men and women of our Air Force need and deserve the most up to date equipment. That includes the best refueling tankers in the world. This announcement is the first step to getting a long, drawn-out process back on track so that we can deploy these much-needed replacements to support our troops."

¦ Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: "I am pleased that the Air Force has made a decision to award a contract for a replacement aerial refueling tanker," McCain said. "The tanker aircraft that the Air Force will ultimately buy under this contract will be critical to how joint operations are conducted for the foreseeable future. I look forward to the Air Force demonstrating over the next few weeks how today's decision was made fairly, openly and transparently. Only such a process will ensure that we obtain the most capable aerial refueling tanker at the most reasonable cost."

¦ House Armed Services Committee leaders: "Today's announcement moves us closer to providing the world's premier aerial fighting forces with a new and much-needed aerial refueling capability," they said. 'Our primary goal on the Armed Services Committee is to provide our military's men and women with the resources they need in the most effective and efficient way possible.

"Moving forward, the committee will continue the necessary oversight to ensure the evaluation was transparent and fair to each competitor," they continued. "We look forward to receiving more information from the Air Force as we review their decision-making processes. The Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee will hold a hearing on this issue as soon as enough information is publicly available."

Taken from:

RE: And here comes the politicians:
By knutjb on 2/24/2011 10:57:51 PM , Rating: 5
As one who has worked in the field of inflight refueling the Boeing choice is correct. It was what the Air Force had originally asked for before Darlene Drunion was allowed to screw the whole thing up; everyone has a boss and her's failed. Her failure of ethics in the contracting side made this unnecessarily long and expensive. The EADS is an ok jet but not the right one for the AF based on logistics and how it is intended to be used. There are decades of usage data for this determination.

With all the congressional attention I am quite sure the SECDEF ensured all the rational used to justify the winner was clearly spelled out and easy as possible for even the politicians to grasp.

FYI EADS was selected by Naval officers who didn't have the AF's best interest in mind, they didn't understand the MDS priorities and had too many buddies in Northrup Grumman.

As for the law maker's tearful jubilation or sorrow they are ALL putting their own self interests above our military. Big surprise... If the aforementioned Col. Drunion hadn't mucked this up and McCain, a Navy guy, had not made more of the issue than was necessary they would be rolling off the line today.

RE: And here comes the politicians:
By FITCamaro on 2/25/2011 6:45:55 AM , Rating: 2
No doubt each Senator was looking after the best interests of their state. However, that is their job.

RE: And here comes the politicians:
By Aikouka on 2/25/2011 4:09:36 PM , Rating: 3
I do agree that it is part of their job to represent their constituents, but I would personally have a problem if my senator pushed a product (or promoted a bill, etc) simply to gain appeal (i.e. "re-elect me!") rather than for the good of the country. That's one of my biggest pet peeves about politicians these days... it's become all about following party lines or trying to gain mass appeal to ensure voter favor rather than caring about the issues.

Personally, I doubt any of those politicians making comments even know which tanker is better or even care.

RE: And here comes the politicians:
By Keeir on 2/25/2011 6:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
I do agree that it is part of their job to represent their constituents, but I would personally have a problem if my senator pushed a product (or promoted a bill, etc) simply to gain appeal (i.e. "re-elect me!") rather than for the good of the country.

Errr... a Senator's number 1 duty is to push bills and products that are the best for thier home state. If every Senator does this, then in the end, the country will get the bills and products best for the most number of people. I don't like Senators that vote party lines while ignoring what is best for thier home state ... or lump together issues in trading favours for favours ...

The DailyTech spam filter...
By Amiga500 on 2/25/2011 4:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
Is screwed up.

I tried to post a very pertinent point last night, several times, using several variations - only to be continually refused by the spam filter.

Basically, now Boeing have 3 things on their plate.
(1) Design and build this KC-767/KC-46A
(2) Design and build a counter to the A320NEO
(3) Design and build a counter to the A350-1000

Boeing had real trouble running the 747-8 and 787 programs in tandem - which means three programs in parallel is very unlikely and very high risk.

So they have a choice - surrender the bulk of the narrowbody market to the NEO, or surrender the 300+ big twin market to the A350-1000.

RE: The DailyTech spam filter...
By theapparition on 2/25/2011 9:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct that the spam filter is completely FUBAR. I suggested a simple check for previous post count. It is doubtful someone with thousands of posts is all of a sudden going to start spamming.

As for Boeing, your ananysis is off. Boeing has separate design team for commercial and military products, and have many locations where that design effort happens. Boeing also has a LOT more than 3 contracts that they are managing right now.

RE: The DailyTech spam filter...
By Amiga500 on 2/25/2011 10:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
They are not going to use a different team (like Phantom Works) for this.

Integration of the various 767 variant parts (wing, fuse, tail surfaces, cockpit) will be done by the commercial division.

This might seem silly at first glance, but if you knew the mechanics of it - it would make perfect sense. Indeed, using the military division to do it would be ludicrous.

RE: The DailyTech spam filter...
By Keeir on 2/25/2011 2:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Its true... typically a military division would only handle the "special" parts of a tanker... you know like the boom.

BTW Amiga... I notice that two of the projects are EADS. The truth is both Boeing and EADS have large amounts of commerical and military programs on thier plates.

Before the long delays of the A400M and the A330 MRTT, I would have given EADS the upper hand when it comes to schedule risk... but both companies have shown recently that they just can't get the job done.

RE: The DailyTech spam filter...
By Amiga500 on 2/25/2011 7:01:23 PM , Rating: 1
Too many project managers running things and not enough engineers.

Hence why both OEMs can't get the job done.

Till they realise bullshitters with MBAs don't actually get the job done, the job won't be done.

RE: The DailyTech spam filter...
By sorry dog on 2/26/2011 12:11:00 PM , Rating: 1
But if the engineers could bullshit then you wouldn't need the MBA's...and any large company...especially one that works for the government...needs a bullshit department.

RE: The DailyTech spam filter...
By Amiga500 on 2/27/2011 6:21:57 AM , Rating: 1
Engineers don't bullshit 'cos they are the ones that actually have to deliver.

Its ok some useless prick with an MBA that doesn't know his/her aileron from his/her elevator saying "this plane will be ready in 4 years". The engineers know rightly it takes about 8 years to design and build a LCA from scratch.

By HrilL on 2/24/2011 6:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
Boeing had the better design that was more versatile and fit more roles. It also could be used at a lot of smaller air strips and this allows it to fly shorter distances to get to the planes that need refueling.

Boeing FTW on this one. Hopefully they don't go completely over budget but I suppose that is to be expected of either company.

RE: Good
By Kiffberet on 2/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Good
By rcc on 2/25/2011 12:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
But when Boeing won the first round it was ok for EADS to protest and subsequently win?

Obviously the process was flawed at least twice, but there is no need to cherry pick your protests. : )

RE: Good
By karielash on 2/26/2011 6:33:21 PM , Rating: 2

It had nothing to do with any competitor, in fact Boeing were the sole bidder first time around, they were actually caught trying to screw the US taxpayer out of billions of dollars in a lease program.

The USAF were then ordered to re-open the bidding process due to misconduct (which ended in federal prison for several people) at which point EADS/Northrup then joined in the bidding. The ONLY company to lodge ANY protests about this bidding process so far is Boeing.

By CubicleDilbert on 2/25/2011 1:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think, in the end the outcome was the very best possible for American tax payers. Only because EADS was able to offer a very aggressive pricing and detailed time tables for production then Boeing was forced to do the same.
Think about it when the first bidding contest ended. Boeing offered a total financial rip-off to the government. Think about it, the government is in the end the American citizens who have to cough up the tax money every month.
Boeing complained and complained that this was the very best offer they could give.
Now with EADS all of a sudden the planes are much cheaper and Boeing is forced to deliver on fixed price.

I think, even EADS wins in the end. Because the profit margin for the tanker bid was so tiny, they can sell many more planes around the world for a regular price. Much more profit. The bidding contest showed that they have very competitive tankers and even were selected once by the US government.

By tamalero on 3/1/2011 1:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
amusing how in the end it depends on how much who lobbies more about their product than the actual product performance.
I wonder if Boeing came with the Patrioc this, american jobs that.. and other "you commie" like remarks to get the balance against grumman.

Buy American
By azcoyote on 2/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Buy American
By BZDTemp on 2/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: Buy American
By Smartless on 2/24/2011 6:38:45 PM , Rating: 1
To refresh this argument again. The process does require that the company be American for the purposes of wartime supply and the WTO wouldn't tell the American Government what to do for many reasons. Let's also remind ourselves that Northrop is an American company partnered with Airbus. Not that any of it matters since both companies depend on Worldwide businesses to produce a single plane.

As for the corrupt politicians... If that were the catchall to all the world's problems or a dime for every time we've heard that one. I think the other posts are the most accurate in that in these changing times where the military sees much more public scrutiny, everyone has been chickenshit to piss anybody off. Unfortunately, to run a country successfully you will NEVER make everyone happy.

RE: Buy American
By Broadwing on 2/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: Buy American
By Keeir on 2/24/2011 6:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
LOL that type of blatant protectionism would put the US in hot water with the WTO. And with the economy you refer to that is not something the US needs.

Really? And who does the WTO deal with offsets?

Most countries (but not all) require large offset amounts to be fulfilled to foriegn bidders.... Many belong to WTO. Many require more than the value of the contract to be spent in the country...

Thats pretty much just as good as having a law requiring local support such as the US has.

RE: Buy American
By BZDTemp on 2/25/2011 10:27:37 AM , Rating: 2
There is a difference in how the system works and what the laws say. A law requiring the US military to shop domestic would not change things much with regards to actual trading but it would certainly be a red flag frowned upon.

RE: Buy American
By Keeir on 2/25/2011 1:56:06 PM , Rating: 2

Many of the countries of the EU insist on more than 100% offsets... by law of the country. For the WTO or the EU to get upset about straightforward American laws is nothing but sophistry.

Oh, we let foriegn companies bid, provided they spend more than the value of the contract here... versus... we just don't let foriegn companies bid.. but we don't require our domestic producers to spend the entire value of the contract here.

Overall, the US exports large amounts of our defense dollars to other countries... through the acquistion of parts and services from overseas subcontractors. Many of WTO/EU nations who protest ensure that every single dollar of the defense budget AND more gets spent in thier own country.

RE: Buy American
By ClownPuncher on 2/24/2011 6:56:02 PM , Rating: 1
Because the Smoot-Hawley tariff act worked so well in the 20's? Open trade in a global market crushes protectionist economies every time.

RE: Buy American
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2011 6:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
Military contracts nearly always go to US based companies due to export control laws.

RE: Buy American
By room200 on 2/24/2011 9:21:15 PM , Rating: 3
And our economy is wonderfully. Err, wait a minute....

RE: Buy American
By chick0n on 2/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: Buy American
By Wulf145 on 2/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: Buy American
By FITCamaro on 2/25/2011 6:44:35 AM , Rating: 2
Anything that Boeing used on a plane like this that's made in China, EADS would likely as well. They can't use computers made in China, anything on the airframe can't be sourced to China, etc. Sure maybe the seat fabric might be made there. Or the carpeting. But export control laws prohibit any high tech part being made anywhere but the US or our allies with an export license for the technology.

RE: Buy American
By Shadowself on 2/25/2011 8:32:58 AM , Rating: 1
That law is already on the books. There are specific, limited cases where a contract issued by the U.S. Government will have a "Buy American" clause in it. However, it can be used only rarely. There are many constraints to its implementation.

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