MILAVIA Forum - Military Aviation Discussion Forum

Author Topic: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?  (Read 34087 times)

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2843
  • Country: nl
The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« on: April 22, 2010, 02:56:23 PM »
I don't know if you have been following the news, but the tanker joke (expression courtesy of shawn A) is back on. Although it is becoming more of a Boeing Joke...

New RFP, requirements allegedly favoring a smaller tanker, ie Boeing's 767. First EADS/NG declined to bid for the contract, meaning Boeing would be the sole contender. Ultimately, they've convinced EADS to give it another go. But Northrop Grumman gave up, so EADS North America will either find another partner or go at it alone. Funny, that probably will mean even more work for Europe.

BUT, here it comes again, Boeing already started to complain again! We can argue for a long time about which bid is better, which company is better, or which is more "fair trade". But one thing is for sure imho, Boeing is the biggest child, no argument there.

company announced:
"From the outset, Boeing has been 100 percent focused on responding to the needs of our Air Force customer and preparing a competitive proposal. Only Boeing can produce a tanker that will meet the Air Force's 372 requirements and promise delivery of a combat-ready, safe and survivable tanker that is the most capable for the warfighter, the lowest cost for the taxpayer, and backed by Boeing's proven U.S. work force. We are confident in the superior value and capabilities of our NewGen Tanker and intend to present a compelling case for it in our proposal."

Gimme a break!

Ray Stephanson, mayor of Everett, where Boeing's 767 jet is built, said he's dismayed at EADS' return to the contest.
“Are they willing to submit a bid that's substantially under the cost to produce it?” he asked.


Boeing should know as well as or even more so than others that the real money will be earned on support.

And here come the senators!

“For years, Airbus has gone to any length to gain U.S. market share and undercut American workers. ... Whether it's extending deadlines, threatening to drop out if the rules aren't changed in their favor, or receiving billions in illegal, trade-distorting subsidies, no ploy is spared,” Sen. Patty Murray from Washington state said.

Analyst Hamilton thinks Boeing and its supporters are on slippery ground with the subsidy argument, given that Boeing may well lose a counter complaint against it brought by Airbus.

The pure US-worker, unsupported Boeing company, it's great isn't it... phhfeww.

“Why not just shut up and go ahead and bid?” Hamilton said.

Amen!

Article: http://www.enterprisenewspapers.com/article/20100421/BIZ/704219874/0/ETPZoneLT
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline shawn a

  • Hero of Flight
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
  • Country: us
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 07:27:39 PM »
Is there a reason the 787 airframe is not being considered?

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2843
  • Country: nl
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 11:40:33 PM »
Probably will take longer and cost more... more risk for Boeing / won't be done on time. They've got the 767 line set up already, it's flying as tanker, to militairize and convert them to tankers will cost enough plus they've alrdy got a challenging road ahead of them with this new boom.

But good question, maybe other reasons as well. I mean the 787 has really light composites right... but are they up to military spec?

Also it makes business sense... the airline market wants the 787, so what money can you still make from the previous designs. I guess Executive VIPs + Maritime Patrol were the chosen options for 737, and 767 as tanker? Obviously it already has been tanker for before the 787 was "invented". So...

I've also got another question, now the requirements are more in favor of a smaller tanker than the 330... why not offer the 310, like the Luftwaffe ones?

  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline shawn a

  • Hero of Flight
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
  • Country: us
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 06:55:58 AM »
Hi Niels,
I've been away for a few days-took a dirigible ride.
About the Military specworthyness of the -87, didn't it already need some wing root redesign to add strength?
With EADS deciding to rebid all alone, I fear more BS from the loser in any competition, plus the added resentment some Americans will have about the "foreign" product.
The joke couldn't possibly get any more stale, but I fear the worst.
We should have had a new tanker flying years ago.

Offline shawn a

  • Hero of Flight
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
  • Country: us
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 12:49:40 AM »
BUT WAIT!, THERE'S MORE!!
A group of duly-elected cretins are now proposing to unilaterally penalize the EADS bid by about $5 million per aircraft.
SURPRISINGLY  ;) ,these representatives are from states with significant amounts of Boeing work.
We may have the biggest guns in the OK corral, but we're just using them to shoot ourselves in the foot!

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2843
  • Country: nl
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 04:28:38 AM »
Whoop, there it is.

It's a difficult enough decision in itself, all the lobbying doesn't help anyone... but well, gotta love democracy, right... :'(
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline shawn a

  • Hero of Flight
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
  • Country: us
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 09:08:31 AM »
Actually, I don't think it's a difficult decision at all. Simply shuck the politics, and choose the best machine for the job.
America has developed an OCD mentality, endlessly nitpicking over petty, irrelevant issues, unable to commit to a decision.
It doesn't even matter if the "wrong" tanker is chosen - look what we do with 707's and DC-10's--WE MAKE THEM WORK!
If we could just make a decision, at least we would have something to improve!
Darleen Druyun should be up before a firing squad for the crap she caused!

Offline shawn a

  • Hero of Flight
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
  • Country: us
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 07:02:23 AM »
The bell hasn't rung to end round 4, so the contenders are still slugging away!
The May 17th issue of AW&ST has 2 advertisements for the tanker opponents-- Boeing's is on the centerspread on heavier paper stock than the rest of the magazine, with two curious statements, one is "combat ready" wow, silly me thought that only Japan and Italy have 767 tankers ready to go. I believe those tankers have some significant differences than what Boeing is still calling the KC-X in the ad (as if they have not yet decided which airframe to use) The other hilarious statement is "superior combat maneuverability for greater survivability"--There is a word to describe a tanker that has to have "superior maneuverability" during combat to survive--That word is TOAST!
I've been to Seattle, and actually drunk the water at Boeing field, and I'm not delusional, so there must be another explanation.
EADS' ad is several pages prior to Boeing's and has a header in very large print that says "GET REAL"
But why are there even ads in a magazine? Do these companies really think that an ad will sway a decision-maker's final decision?
I'm still laughing sadly.
Shawn A.

Offline F-111 C/C

  • Hero of Flight
  • ******
  • Posts: 634
  • Country: us
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2010, 06:29:47 PM »
Hey Shawn can you list all the contenders for me. I haven't been following it much. Thanks.
Wars are won by carrying the 'heavy iron' downtown!

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2843
  • Country: nl
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2010, 07:15:00 PM »
The bell hasn't rung to end round 4, so the contenders are still slugging away!
The May 17th issue of AW&ST has 2 advertisements for the tanker opponents-- Boeing's is on the centerspread on heavier paper stock than the rest of the magazine, with two curious statements, one is "combat ready" wow, silly me thought that only Japan and Italy have 767 tankers ready to go. I believe those tankers have some significant differences than what Boeing is still calling the KC-X in the ad (as if they have not yet decided which airframe to use) The other hilarious statement is "superior combat maneuverability for greater survivability"--There is a word to describe a tanker that has to have "superior maneuverability" during combat to survive--That word is TOAST!
I've been to Seattle, and actually drunk the water at Boeing field, and I'm not delusional, so there must be another explanation.
EADS' ad is several pages prior to Boeing's and has a header in very large print that says "GET REAL"
But why are there even ads in a magazine? Do these companies really think that an ad will sway a decision-maker's final decision?
I'm still laughing sadly.
Shawn A.

I guess advertising in mags does help to get that lobby going... In the Air Forces Monthly, there's both an ad and a feature from Omega Tanker Service... which kinda promote their low cost compared to the FSTA Future Air Tanker deal that's now in place for the RAF, as the editor points out in his editorial. Quite effective marketing, I'd say.

"GET REAL" that's great! However if EADS really "got real", they wouldn't be competing in this lost match, that's how I feel about it. Ah well, I suppose it's all about keeping the DOD's goodwill up for future sales.

But to have both EADS and Boeing ads in the same mag, LOL, that's great. Too bad the EADS ad wasn't just after the Boeing ad. Maybe Boeing reworked some old ad, because it's pretty set on the 767 "NextGen" now, seen ads for it, but I suppose it's because the contest is still called KC-X. 

You are right, there's still much in the design that isn't ready yet. And I don't know, but those Italian tankers had a huge delay, I'm not even sure they are in active service yet? Nevertheless, I think Boeing will pull it off if they win. Actually I think for neither design it has much to do with readiness... both need a lot of work. But I guess Boeing means that they've got a plant set up for the 767, while EADS will be setting up a new facility in Alabama.

By the way, RAAF A330 tanker first delivery is expected to be soon.

Hey Shawn can you list all the contenders for me. I haven't been following it much. Thanks.

There's still only the two.

But Northrop Grumman refused to bid, so EADS-Airbus will probably going at it alone. NG was pretty pissed that by winning the previous contest, their price became public, while Boeing's price was not revealed. EADS got 60 days extension to reorganise their bid, deadline is now somewhere in early July. It's still A330 vs 767, but the designs will be somewhat different. Boeing already revealed details on their NextGen, basically it has some more 777/787 parts in. Last time I checked (1-2 weeks ago),  there was no news about changes from Airbus yet.

The news about the Russian Il-96 bid turned out to be false, as I thought so. It was "copied" by about every aviation news website, really bad.
 
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2843
  • Country: nl
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 07:29:18 PM »
Ow yeah, forgot to mention, there's this talk again about imposing a penalty cost factor on the EADS bid for "illegal" subsidies. But I can't find whether a) the bill has been proposed yet, and b) when congress will vote on it or the outcome if it's already passed. Anyone?

Also, I think that maneuvrability claim has something to do with the FCS... I can't remember exactly, I think the new system doesn't have (the same) computer imposed limits as you'd get on a normal FBW airliner.

Boeing is desperate it seems, they are now bringing up concerns about the possibility of EU boycotting supplies to the US, that Washington has much better leverage over Boeing than over EADS-NA, and this: EADS dealing in Iran, http://www.reuters.com/article/idCNN2513729720100525?rpc=44
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 08:00:22 PM by FF Admin »
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline shawn a

  • Hero of Flight
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
  • Country: us
Re: The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2010, 01:45:27 AM »
The article in the May 17th issue of AW&ST says "A bipartisan group of lawmakers from states with Boeing work is proposing a Fair Defense Competition Act that would require the Pentagon to apply penalties to EADS North America's latest bid for $35 billion worth of work building aerial refuelers for the US Air Force."
WOW!-- we finally got some of that "bipartisan" co-operation that everyone campaigned on last election!
The proposal was put together by Kansas representatives Senator Sam Brownback (...back, not nose?), and representative Tod Tiahrt, (both republicans--where's the bi-partisan-ness?)
Their claim is that "Airbus, owned by EADS, accepted about $5 billion in illegal subsidies for it's A330 product line"
Tiahrt, who evidently did the math, says a penalty of about $5 million per aircraft would be about right, based on the subsidy's value across a production run of 1,000 aircraft.
1,000 tankers to refuel 187 Raptors, and who knows how few Lightning II's? Back to math class for you, Tiahrt.
The article goes on to say they planned to attach their proposal to the defense authorization and/or the defense appropriations bills, and also states "It may be too late. A source selection is expected in November, and in recent years congress has been slow in passing annual spending bills" (Our congress has been slow!!?)
The FBW FCS is probably intended for more precise positioning maneuvers during refueling, but for "combat surviveability"?
I guess you're right about the magazine ads being aimed at lobbyists and others with influence, instead of decision makers.
Niels, do I just go to Milavia to get the specs on the contenders, and the specs on the KC-10?
Seems to me the new planes might barely exceed the capabilities of the KC-10, with maybe just their own fuel economy being better.
About the military spec-worthyness of the 787, there evidently was a redesign of something called "shear ties" in the aft fuselage because ties used to connect the fuselage frames to the skin started detaching from the skin after "several cold-hot cycles". Well, I guess that's what ground and flight test programs are for. Uh. can someone remind me what computer aided design (CAD) is for?
Forgive my sarcasm, it's my nature.

 



AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com click to vote for MILAVIA