Military Aviation > Air Forces

The Tanker Joke - round... 4, I think?

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shawn a:
So, What are the differences between Italy's, Japan's and our proposed tanker?

I haven't gotten a clear picture of the "NewGen" compared to the previous "Advanced Tanker" offer, which was quite different from the KC-767. But as far as I know, there's the:
- 1200 gallons per minute boom compared to 900.
- PW engines instead of GE.
- enhanced flightdeck: cockpit displays upgraded with units from the 787.
- if it hasn't changed, the 200ER wing will be replaced with 300F wing
- fitted with blended winglets.
- additional self defense / protection

I'm not sure but I think the international version does not have cockpit armor, and same level of self protection suite, but then again I'm not sure of the latest "NewGen" proposal.

I think the boom operator station is different as well, not sure though.


--- Quote from: FlightGlobal, 24 Feb 2011 ---The company has never disclosed the exact configuration of the KC-767 New Gen Tanker airframe, nor its refuelling systems.

“We won’t be rolling out any of those” details in the near future, Muilenberg says.
--- End quote ---

Muilenberg = chief executive of Boeing’s defence and space business

 :P ok, scrap what I said, you just have to wait and see...

As most people (from analysts, politicians to aviation fans) expected, EADS will not protest. The rules for the competition were clear. Boeing undercut them on price, and the rules were clear if price difference (with life cycle costs included) is larger than 1%, the "non-mandatory requirements" (can I call it "extra features" or was it more a "wishlist"?) didn't matter, which means the higher capabilities didn't matter. And it was somewhat of a win-win situation for them anyway. We see some evidence in the press release. EADS using the phrases "much is promised", "should they fail to deliver", "ready to step in", haha. Secondly the statement about fleet effectiveness rating should help to promote the MRTT, despite having lost KC-X. They learned relevant lessons which they can apply to the tankers rolling out today, I wonder... I do hope however they learned some lessons with regards to marketing and public opinion, lessons in terms of what not to do! Most important however is the reputation with the DOD, in fact this is so important, I would argue that even if there was something in the bid selection process to bitch about, they wouldn't have protested either (but they couldn't say that out loud with so many stakeholders).

--- Quote ---
EADS North America will not protest U.S. Air Force’s aerial refueling tanker selection

Arlington, Virginia,  04 March 2011
EADS North America announced today that it will not protest the U.S. Air Force’s selection of the Boeing offering in the competition to replace the service's aging fleet of KC-135 aerial refueling tankers.

The company expressed appreciation to the Air Force for running a competition consistent with the rules set out in its Request for Proposal.

“While we are obviously disappointed that our men and women in uniform are not getting the most capable tanker available, we will not take any action that could further delay the already overdue replacement of the Air Force’s aging tanker fleet,” said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. “The bid that we submitted was substantially lower than was submitted in the last competition. Our bid reflected a sound business case and offered a reasonable return to our shareholders.”

“We’re also proud that our involvement in the competition resulted in very significant savings to taxpayers,” Crosby said.

EADS North America’s analysis determined that the KC-X bid submitted by The Boeing Company was nearly $16 billion less for 179 aircraft compared to its original tanker lease offer to the Air Force in 2002, when normalized for escalation and differences in aircraft quantities and requirements.

“Much is promised by our competitor, whom we congratulate. However, should they fail to deliver, we stand ready to step in with a proven and operating tanker,” said Crosby.

The U.S. Air Force also confirmed that the EADS North America tanker was judged to be superior in capability to the Boeing offering as measured by the service’s fleet effectiveness rating.

”We’ve competed fiercely and demonstrated once again why we have earned a reputation with the Department of Defense for quality, dependability and professionalism,” said EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe. “Now our focus is on future opportunities and our continued growth. This experience has strengthened our position in the U.S. marketplace.”

“We will continue our dialog with the Department of Defense to strengthen our future competitiveness, while also applying relevant lessons learned to the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transports slated for delivery to four U.S. allies,” O’Keefe said.

EADS North America is prime contractor on the Coast Guard’s HC-144A Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft, and the UH-72A Lakota helicopter for the Army and Navy. More than 150 Lakotas have been delivered from the company’s helicopter production center in Columbus, Miss., all on time and on budget.

--- End quote ---

shawn a:
"He who laughs last..."
No winglets--"missions were not of sufficient duration nor conducted at altitudes that optimize the benefits derived from winglets"
$159.4 million per plane for 175 production aircraft.--
GOOD LUCK, Boeing!
Fixed-price= the government agrees to pay 60% of any cost overrun up to 125% of the negotiated target cost (which does not include the company's profit, which is included in target price). If the overrun reaches the 125% ceiling, then profit begins to erode. "If they overrun their target, they will lose a portion of their profit until it actually goes to zero. And at that point, the contract effectively is at ceiling". "Once they hit ceiling, they start to lose money"
(so says Shay Assad, director of procurement and acquisition policy at the Pentagon.)
Is it any wonder the rest of us mere mortals are confused by all this "male bovine feces"?
"The first developmental aircraft is slated to fly in 2014". "Low rate initial production to begin in 2015".
 GOOD LUCK, Boeing!
BUT.."Still in question is how Boeing plans to integrate the Boeing 787 digital cockpit onto the 767, which functions with an analog flight control system" "Assad and Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford (the service's military deputy for acquisition), did not explain how this potentially complex task would be handled."
As if that weren't bad enough, Boeing's earlier 767 tanker proposal was dubbed "Frankentanker" because it included the 767-200 airframe, over wing exits from the -300, floors, doors, and structurally enhanced wings from the 767-300F, and a cockpit, tail section (with modifications) and flaps from the 767-400ER.
AND.. in spite of Assad's acknowledgment that his assessment takes into account Boeing's poor performance delivering 767 refuelers for Japan and Italy, he is still confident that Boeing will be able to meet their schedule.
GOOD LUCK, Boeing.
(quotes from AW&ST, April 11th 2011 issue)


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