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USAF Tanker - No Bid Northrop or EADs

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AKPilot

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This is great news! Neither Northrop or EADs (military arm of Airbus) will bid on the USAF Tanker. Whoo-hoo!

USAF Tanker
 

MysticalRockets

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Great news? After the Air Force changed the requirements so only Boeing can fulfill them? Yeah, that's an open bidding process.

I'd walk away from that too. Actually, I'd be screaming for Congressional hearings as to who got paid...

Not saying anybody did, but its real fishy.
 

cjl

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Great news? I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. I love Boeing aircraft, but the whole point of the bidding process is to get the best aircraft, which can only really occur if there is actual competition.
 

Buckaroo

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The whole tanker replacement program has been so messed up for so long that there wasn't really any chance to come out of it in a positive way. Boeing finally has an opportunity to show it can be part of the military aircraft market (painting your name on aircraft designed and built by someone else doesn't count), hopefully the end result will be useful in the field. I personally wouldn't touch that program with a 10 foot pole... :p
 

CF-105

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Defence procurement should never be about politics. It should be about what does the job best. Unfortunately, it's more & more about politics. A couple of other prime examples: Sea King replacements for the Canadian Navy; the RN Invincible Class carriers were originally billed as "thru-deck cruisers" to sneak them past "anti-aircraft carrier" factions. The new Japanese "Helicopter-capable destroyers", which are actually helicopter carriers.

Are they still intending to replace Marine One with the EH-101? Damn fine chopper.

the USAAF flew Spitfires in WWII. The USAF & NASA have both used versions of the UK-designed Canberra.

I wouldn't recommend buying from Iran or any other country that isn't an ally, but if a friend builds something that fits the bill, why not use it?
 

stantonjtroy

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There is much more forign procurement going on than you know. Secondary and tertiary contractors are rarely listed in press reports. This I know for a fact. Don't assume too much from a headline.
 

Fred22

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The Americans have a great aerospace industry and I can't imagine Boeing turning oiut a bad product. If I were American I would expect that money to be spent in the states unless the foriegn aircraft had a stellar price and performance advantage which I don't believe is the case here. Did any american companies bid besides Boeing? Competition is healthy.
Cheers
Fred
 

CF-105

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I'm a bit rusty, but I believe the 120mm main armament on the M1 Abrams is made by Rheinmettal (I'm butchering the spelling, I know) of Germany.

The US Navy leased (or maybe outright purchased) Israeli Kfir fighters for use as "aggressor" aircraft.

Various small arms from FN, H&K, etc.

Suitability for the role, reliability, availability of parts & support vs cost should really be the prime considerations. And considering the overall purpose (allowing those who go in harm's way to do their job), I'm personally a bit less concerned about the price tag.

:2:
 

cjl

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Boeing finally has an opportunity to show it can be part of the military aircraft market (painting your name on aircraft designed and built by someone else doesn't count), hopefully the end result will be useful in the field.
Umm...

B-17
B-29
B-52
KC-135


(None of which were simply boeing "painting their name" on someone else's aircraft)
 

tbzep

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Umm...

B-17
B-29
B-52
KC-135


(None of which were simply boeing "painting their name" on someone else's aircraft)
You forgot one of my favorites, the B-47. Faster than most (if not all) fighters when it was rolled out. :cool:
 

cjl

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You forgot one of my favorites, the B-47. Faster than most (if not all) fighters when it was rolled out. :cool:
Very true, very true. How could I have forgotten the B-47 :)
 

Buckaroo

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Umm...

B-17
B-29
B-52
KC-135


(None of which were simply boeing "painting their name" on someone else's aircraft)
Good point, although I think most of the folks that designed and built those birds are long gone.

You sure can't argue with the track records of those aircraft though, hopefully Boeing will live up to their heritage.

As an ex McDonnell Douglas employee, I tend to get emotional whenever someone says Boeing... Boeing C-17, Boeing F-15, Boeing F-18... :p

Now as far as politics and military aquisition goes.... :mad:
 

Viperfixr

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Great news? After the Air Force changed the requirements so only Boeing can fulfill them? Yeah, that's an open bidding process.
While what you said may be exactly true, you might also be far from what really happened. Maybe the AF refined the requirements to the tanker they NEED, not the tanker EADS WANTS us to have. A huge A330 sized tanker isn't always a good option. Besides, the AF had an electron microscope level of observation watching every possible aspect of this competition. Can you imagine being the AF Program Manager for a new acquisition program like this? There's no possible way to make everyone happy or to quell the conspiracy theorists.

I've used dual role KC-10s many times, and that's a great plane to pack a lot of gear, people and drag the fighters across a pond--very versatile. You'd think bigger is better with that sole mindset. The problem is that we also need A LOT of tankers in many places, all at once. That drives a more "smart" sized tanker potentially purchased in higher quantities---like the 767. Even this KC-767 tanker will carry more than the KC-10, off-load a lot more gas than anything we have, and get rid of the ancient KC-135s.

We have the oldest Air Force in the history of the Air Force--it's a fact. The average airline is a hair under 15 years old. This year the Air Force's average aircraft age is over 34 years old, and that's much older than most of the people flying, maintaining and sustaining these weapons systems. Bottom Line: we need new tankers NOW.

If we had a problem with foreign made equipment, we would not be carrying Italian made 9mm handguns (shot Expert with one last week), shooting European ammunition (used 90 rounds of it via the Italian handgun), copying Israeli helmet mounted targeting technology (most our fighters are getting it), use South Korean depots to overhaul our F-16s, or have selected a European designed helicopter to transport our President in.
 

cjl

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Huge A330?

The KC-10 has a max takeoff weight of 590,000 lbs. The KC-767 will have a max takeoff weight of >400,000 lbs. The A330 has a MTOW of 510klbs, for comparison. As for your statement that the KC-767 carrying more than a KC-10? Absolutely not. The fuel load of a KC-767 will be around 200klbs, while a KC-10 can carry 356klbs. The A330 based tanker would have still been smaller than the KC-10 (though bigger than a KC-767). I agree that size isn't everything, and in many cases the smaller one is better, but to say that the A330 would make a bad tanker because it was too large is ridiculous considering how much smaller it is than the KC-10.
 

powderburner

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The extra size of the Northrop entry has been a glitch in the evaluation ever since the new tanker program began. I mean, how do you evaluate someone offering something extra? Is it really a good thing, if you have to pay for extra gas to haul around the extra airplane size? (forever)

It's kinda like you need a minivan, and someone is trying to sell you a semi. No matter how cheap they pitch it, it will always be "in the way" when all you really wanted was a minivan. It will always cost more to maintain. It will put limits on where you can drive it (or land it). So is it really a better value? How do you make a fair comparison when someone else is offering you a minivan, exactly what you asked for in the first place?

To me, the bigger issue is not whether Northrop "plays" in this game. I mean, they are big boys who can make their own decisions. The more important question(s): Have we gone too far with consolidation, are there enough viable/competent/capable/interested airframers left, is it really smart to expect contractors to stand around with their thumbs in their ears waiting for a "chance" at new business once in a blue moon? Does our government really not understand that this industry cannot be shut off for years and then expect it to pop right back just because someone in DC is awake again?
 

MysticalRockets

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People may disagree with me, but this whole matter stinks.

First they open it to bids. They get some. Then they throw them all out and make drastic changes so that only one company can even have a chance at bidding on it?

The whole thing smells of corruption. If someone didn't get paid off in a major way, I'd be surprised. I do expect congressional hearing will happen though. I have no doubt about that.
 

MysticalRockets

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While what you said may be exactly true, you might also be far from what really happened. Maybe the AF refined the requirements to the tanker they NEED, not the tanker EADS WANTS us to have. A huge A330 sized tanker isn't always a good option. Besides, the AF had an electron microscope level of observation watching every possible aspect of this competition. Can you imagine being the AF Program Manager for a new acquisition program like this? There's no possible way to make everyone happy or to quell the conspiracy theorists.

I've used dual role KC-10s many times, and that's a great plane to pack a lot of gear, people and drag the fighters across a pond--very versatile. You'd think bigger is better with that sole mindset. The problem is that we also need A LOT of tankers in many places, all at once. That drives a more "smart" sized tanker potentially purchased in higher quantities---like the 767. Even this KC-767 tanker will carry more than the KC-10, off-load a lot more gas than anything we have, and get rid of the ancient KC-135s.

We have the oldest Air Force in the history of the Air Force--it's a fact. The average airline is a hair under 15 years old. This year the Air Force's average aircraft age is over 34 years old, and that's much older than most of the people flying, maintaining and sustaining these weapons systems. Bottom Line: we need new tankers NOW.

If we had a problem with foreign made equipment, we would not be carrying Italian made 9mm handguns (shot Expert with one last week), shooting European ammunition (used 90 rounds of it via the Italian handgun), copying Israeli helmet mounted targeting technology (most our fighters are getting it), use South Korean depots to overhaul our F-16s, or have selected a European designed helicopter to transport our President in.
I absolutely agree with the third paragraph. We DO need a lot of new planes. I have no issue with that whatsoever.

But...

Look at the F-22 fiasco.

Maybe its time to manufacture new models of some of the older designs. Is there really anything wrong with the F-18 design? Or the F-16 design? I don't think so. Nothing that a new electronics package couldn't fix.

And this would be a HUGE boost to our economy. Right when we need it.

I'm not saying somebody -DID- get paid off, but it sure sounds like someone did. Somebody has a lot of explaining to do. And I expect some of that to be under oath.
 

Micromeister

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The Americans have a great aerospace industry and I can't imagine Boeing turning oiut a bad product. If I were American I would expect that money to be spent in the states unless the foriegn aircraft had a stellar price and performance advantage which I don't believe is the case here. Did any american companies bid besides Boeing? Competition is healthy.
Cheers
Fred
Exactly Fred!
Couldn't say it any better, I am American and I want US dollars spent on US products. Our country is NOT for sale contrary to recent popular mistake thought.
I'm sick to death of hearing about foreign auto makers being #1 in the US... down right UnAmerican. US dollars should STAY on US soil. Yeah and that goes for the China imported everything as well...:shock::bangpan:
 

FatBoy

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I'm a bit rusty, but I believe the 120mm main armament on the M1 Abrams is made by Rheinmettal (I'm butchering the spelling, I know) of Germany.
Not exactly. Rheinmetall makes 120 ammo for Germany but not the US. When the US upgraded its M1 Abrams (with a 105mm rifled barrel) to the M1A1 (120mm smooth bore) in the early 80's, Rheinmetall at the time was the only 120mm maker. The US partnered with Rheinmetall for the original 120mm technology, but US ammo and gun systems have always been made here in the US from US sources. The gun system remains largly unchanged from the 80's, but the US ammo designs have advanced well beyond the technology from back then.
 

Mikus

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Umm...

B-17
B-29
B-52
KC-135


(None of which were simply boeing "painting their name" on someone else's aircraft)
Dern it, you beat me to it. ;)

And personally, I'm tired of American money leaving America. This nation can do better than producing only managers and entertainers. :2:
 

Fred22

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I hear ya Ed but I really love the penthouse suite even if its a little drafty :)
Cheers
Fred
 

Fred22

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In Canada when a foriegn company gets a large defence contract they have to offset the spending by spending money here,
"Under the IRB Policy, winning contractors are required to make investments in advanced technology sectors of the Canadian economy in an amount equal to the contract value. The investments can either be directly related to the procured item, or indirectly related to it. IRBs are the Canadian version of industrial participation, practiced around the world by over 100 countries."
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ad-ad.nsf/eng/ad03657.html
Do they have a similar policy in America?
Cheers
fred
 

UhClem

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People may disagree with me, but this whole matter stinks.

First they open it to bids. They get some. Then they throw them all out and make drastic changes so that only one company can even have a chance at bidding on it?

The whole thing smells of corruption. If someone didn't get paid off in a major way, I'd be surprised. I do expect congressional hearing will happen though. I have no doubt about that.
Not quite correct. They issued an RFP and then received two bids. But various things happened including scoring the Northrup proposal higher because of the larger airframe when the RFP explicitly didn't allow for that. Boeing submitted their bid under the assumption that the ground rules in the RFP would be followed. When they weren't they appealed the award and prevailed.

Now it comes around again and people are whining because the RFP was not changed to favor the larger A330 airframe. Then rather than offer a smaller airframe, Northrup takes their ball and goes home.
 

ScrapDaddy

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Umm...

B-17
B-29
B-52
KC-135


(None of which were simply boeing "painting their name" on someone else's aircraft)
.... You forgot boeings early fighter line the p-26 peashooter, there when America needed it most at pearl harbor (good bless them) then the rest of the fighter line the pb-1, f3b, pw-9 p-12 and the rest o the early bombers the b-9 (which lost the contract to the macdonald Douglas B-10) and you remembered the b-29 but you forgot the B-50 for some reason... And what about the Boeing PT-17, one of the most widly used trainers of world war II
 

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