Military Aviation > Air Forces

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

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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.



shawn a:
Is there a reason the 787 airframe is not being considered?

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?

shawn a:
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.

shawn a:
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!


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