EADS Wins

kc-45a tanker refueling f-22a raptor

Air Force dumps Boeing for Northrop, Airbus

Northrop Grumman and the maker of Airbus planes beat out Boeing Co. to win a $35 billion government contract to build military refueling planes, the Air Force said Friday.

I was telling someone yesterday that if the Europeans ended up winning, I was going to take it on faith that it was the right decision. My reasoning was that the KC-30 program must be better overall, because Boeing was the “easy” choice if the KC-767 was close. EADS, the “difficult” choice, would only get picked if there was a noticeable gap between the two programs.

Now if I could just believe it.

I’m thinking that maybe Boeing wishes that there hadn’t been so much corruption in the earlier KC-767 deals that ended up getting canceled, and I wonder how much (if any) of the reasoning behind this decision was to teach a lesson.

UPDATE: Northrop Grumman release: U.S. Air Force Selects Northrop Grumman to Provide the New KC-45A Aerial Refueling Tanker

So it’s the KC-45A. Well, bring it on. If this plane doesn’t knock everyone’s socks off, there’s going to be hell to pay. Murdoc’s optimistic, though will probably be unforgiving if it turns out to be a bad move.

UPDATE 2: From the comments:

Yeah, they’ll “manufacture” these tankers in Alabama just the same way I “manufactured” my kids bicycles in my living room on Christmas Eve.

Comments

  1. Un-freaking-believable. EADS gets a US taxpayer gravy train and Boeing is left out in the cold. EADS had been on the ropes with their fiasco A380 and the Europeans were getting tired of bailing them out. So enter the American taxppayer. How much difference could there have been? If the foreign company has a weapon that is a generation ahead, then buy it or steal it like we did with the Springfield ’03. But we are talking about ‘flying trucks’ that have little if any technological difference. Will somebody please tell me why America must be de-industrialized? I just read the new Pat Buchanan book, Day of Reckoning, and it has opened my mind to the folly of the so-called ‘free traders’ or should I say ‘free-traitors.’

  2. Un-freaking-believable. EADS gets a US taxpayer gravy train and Boeing is left out in the cold. EADS had been on the ropes with their fiasco A380 and the Europeans were getting tired of bailing them out. So enter the American taxppayer. How much difference could there have been? If the foreign company has a weapon that is a generation ahead, then buy it or steal it like we did with the Springfield ’03. But we are talking about ‘flying trucks’ that have little if any technological difference. Will somebody please tell me why America must be de-industrialized? I just read the new Pat Buchanan book, Day of Reckoning, and it has opened my mind to the folly of the so-called ‘free traders’ or should I say ‘free-traitors.’

  3. Part of me was hoping Boeing would win simply because it’s Boeing, an american company. But the other part of me was hoping the A330 would be picked because it was the better aircraft. The A330 is newer and just a much better aircraft then the older 767 and that’s why it won. In fact I read that the A330 beat the 767 in 4 of the 5 criteria used to measure bids.

  4. > Will somebody please tell me why America must be de-industrialized? de-industrialized? if building a shiny new factory to build hundreds of planes equals de-industrialization, i want to be de-industrialized all night long! there is only a ~20% difference in foreign content between the two bids, so there wasn’t much difference to begin with BUT WE JUST STOLE THE PRODUCTION OF HUNDREDS OF FREIGHTERS FROM FRANCE! this is great news! these freighters will easily cover the 20% gap in the two bids and then some so THE US WILL COME OUT AHEAD ECONOMICALLY BY CHOOSING EADS/NG

  5. Irtusk, we have two threads going on the same topic, so I am copying from the other thread my reponse to you. Sorry for those reading it in 2 places. Maybe we should stay on this new thread. The Airbus final assembly in AL is just that. It is equivalent to the US selling F-18s to Australia and sending the pieces in crates for the Aussies to assemble. Yes, technically the Aussies assembled the jets, but I don’t think that really counts as being an aircraft manufacturer. The bottom line is a foreign company was on the ropes and the US taxpayer is going to infuse life into them. This foreign company will in turn use this added energy to engage in the civil market against our last remaining comerical manufacturer. Whatever cost difference or short term benefit you think it gives is immaterial. In commercial aviation there are 2 guys who design big jets and then feed the multitude of world-wide suppliers with contracts. It is in our interest to keep the US company viable so that it continues to design, build and contract with suppliers. Today we helped the other guy with taxpayer money. How much difference could there have been in the planes? The 767 has an excellent service record and was or is the most used plane for trans-Atlantic flights. Boeing has 50 years of expertise in supporting aerial refueling. They still support the KC-135 even though that platform has been out of production for 20 years. Do you really think the USAF would be at a disadvantage with the boeing product? No freaking way. IF we gave a shit about putting the best product in the hands of our troops, we would never have introduced the M-16 or the B-1. Anyways, today is another sad day for those who love their nation.

  6. Today what the Air Force did was choose the best aircraft but don’t worry Boeing will protest this. We’ll have to wait a little longer for a badly needed new Tanker and the Air Force will have to continue to waste money and man hours maintaining abot 80 or so KC-135’s that are no longer flyable and I’m sure that number will grow. If Boeing wanted to win, it should have offered an better aircraft instead of an older one in an attempt to keep a production line open.

  7. > so I am copying from the other thread my reponse to you. same here 😉 > It is equivalent to the US selling F-18s to Australia and sending the pieces in crates for the Aussies to assemble. no all the integration work for the tanker is done by NG, this isn’t an ‘uncrate and assemble’ job that said, there is still a lot of money in assembly and the A330-200Fs being built in Alabama will be from the ground up > The bottom line is a foreign company was on the ropes and the US taxpayer is going to infuse life into them. if by ‘on the ropes’ you mean ‘had yet another year of record sales’, then yes, i guess they were ‘on the ropes’ both Boeing and EADS have had record years, neither was in the slightest danger of going under if they didn’t win this contract > It is in our interest to keep the US company viable so that it continues to design, build and contract with suppliers. 1. Boeing is viable, they aren’t going anywhere. 2. It is more important to keep Northrop-Grumman viable. They don’t have the huge civilian side (like Boeing) or win the last 2 giant military aviation contracts (F-22 and F-35 by LockMart) 3. It is also important to order the best for our men and women in uniform, they deserve nothing less 4. Automatically granting contracts to the American company is counter-productive in the long term. If there is no fear of failure, there is no incentive to innovate and put forth the best product product. > Do you really think the USAF would be at a disadvantage with the boeing product? No freaking way. obviously the USAF disagrees with you > Anyways, today is another sad day for those who love their nation. the US military gets the better plane and our economy comes out ahead, it is only a sad day for the enemies of America 😉

  8. If we really wanted what was best for the US soldier, we would be making a tanker/bomber from scratch or building a tanker out of reengined, refurbished B-52s taken out of mothballs from the desert parking lots. As it was there were 2 options for a tanker, one with too much fuselage cross sectional area and the other (the so called winner) with way too much fuselage cross sectional area. That’s all air that has to be moved out of the way for the airplane to pass. That’s all wasted fuel used to push that air out of the way. So let’s not delude ourselves into believing this competition had anything to do with what was best for the US soldier, ok? Even given that both airplanes were wrong for the job, the Scarebus is a piece of crap and 11 Bravo is right that this is nothing but a US bailout of a foreign company that’s in deep yogurt. The A380 is a huge mistake. You think the other US aerospace companies didn’t do any research on this size airplane? I know my company did and decided it was nothing but a huge terrorist target than was non-responsive to the direction the airline companies were going. If you haven’t noticed, they are flying more small and medium sized and fewer large airplanes. They finally got the message from the US consumer and stopped trying to ram the hub and spoke carrier system down our throats. We all learned long ago that connecting flights suck as does getting trapped in an airport midway to nowhere. Then you have the A400M that’s a hellish nightmare. That program has dragged on since ’96 and still doesn’t have a viable engine. Yeah, Scarebus is doing just peachy. With the Euro hitting $1.50 and climbing, we will be paying out the ass for this latest GW Bush idiot mistake. By the way, feel free to vote for his buddy McCain. You’ll get what you deserve. Yeah, they’ll ‘manufacture’ these tankers in Alabama just the same way I ‘manufactured’ my kids bicycles in my living room on Christmas Eve. How damn stupid do you have to be not to see through that farce? I used to think a hell of a lot better of the Alabama legislative team. Now I find out Sessions is just as big a sell out traitor as ‘conservative liberals’ like McCain. Uneffingbelievable!

  9. This is a lot of silly crap. Airbus and Boeing took different approaches for their proposal and guess what? The Air Force thought the Airbus proposal was better. There was a lot of concern that Boeing had made a mistake by offering the 767 instead of a larger platform based on the 777 and perhaps they’d be the victor today if they’d taken that course, they didn’t so here we are. Let’s just hope this aircraft can be delivered on time and within budget. And mind you, this is what happens when the number of Aircraft manufacturers shrinks down to only a few.. How can you have a decent competition anymore? You have to let outsiders in. *shakes head*

  10. Right, the Air Force chose the bigger airplane because what they really need is fewer booms in the air. Hell, the last tanker design I worked on was a joined wing with pods joining the tips where the wings came together. Each pod had a remotely controlled boom. This was in direct response to the Air Force’s stated need that they didn’t need more tonnage of fuel in the air, they needed more booms. So now all the sudden they need more tonnage? What the hell has changed? Is it an all C-5 Air Force now? Did Lockheed just get done building the F/C-5? This was purely political crap.

  11. > building a tanker out of reengined, refurbished B-52s taken out of mothballs from the desert parking lots well there aren’t that many there, most were chopped up to comply with the various START treaties we need the remaining frames as B-52s not K-52s yes i agree that the ideal shape of a tanker would be a flying pencil, but in the real world, it doesn’t provide enough advantage to justify the huge cost of a custom-built aircraft > That’s all wasted fuel used to push that air out of the way. So let’s not delude ourselves into believing this competition had anything to do with what was best for the US soldier, ok? sure it did the USAF has a limited budget, they do the best they can with the budget they have sure, if you have an unlimited budget you custom build everything, but that’s not the case that said, having a more capable transport offers a lot of flexibility and may in the end be better for the warfighter than a ‘pure’ tanker > the Scarebus is a piece of crap the USAF would beg to differ > a US bailout of a foreign company that’s in deep yogurt if by ‘deep yogurt’ you mean yet another year of record-breaking sales it’s also a bail-out of NG, which is important if the US wants to maintain 3 aviation related contractors since NG doesn’t have the huge civilian side (Boeing) or the last 2 major aviation wins (F-22 & F-35 for LockMart) > Yeah, they’ll ‘manufacture’ these tankers in Alabama just the same way I ‘manufactured’ my kids bicycles in my living room on Christmas Eve. How damn stupid do you have to be not to see through that farce? the same way that Boeing ‘manufacturers’ the 787 in Washington from components built in Japan and Italy let me ask you this- if Boeing had submitted a bid based on the 787 which had lower US content than the KC-30 and won, would you be complaining about us exporting all our jobs to Japan? however you want parse ‘manufacture’, the fact is ~60% of the money is staying in the US and then BY STEALING THE MANUFACTURE OF HUNDREDS OF FREIGHTERS FROM FRANCE we more than make up the gap in the proposals. the EADS/NG win RESULTS IN MORE JOBS FOR AMERICA PERIOD. > I used to think a hell of a lot better of the Alabama legislative team. Now I find out Sessions is just as big a sell out traitor as ‘conservative liberals’ like McCain. um, how is it a sellout to win a huge contract for you r consituents? that’s like the opposite of sellout now if the washington state delegation was cheerleading this selection, then yes, that would be a sellout

  12. > Right, the Air Force chose the bigger airplane because what they really need is fewer booms in the air. nope, the EADS/NG proposal results in more booms in the air with ability to be based at more runways and the ability to remain on station longer the Boeing proposal results in more booms on the ground > So now all the sudden they need more tonnage? What the hell has changed? 1. PGM have proven extraordinarily effective and reduced the need for as many planes 2. the USAF as a whole is shrinking to fewer and fewer planes 3. lots of coalition and navy planes use hoses instead 4. if you can get a more capable plane for the same price, why not? if the USAF was really serious about the need for ‘booms-in-the-sky’ they would have ordered the F-22 and F-35 with probes instead of receptacles there’s no reason to refuel a fighter with a boom that move along would have freed up a ton of booms

  13. I was surprised with the decision, not shocked. Boeing and the rest of gang needed a good slap in the face. Boeing especially, since they screwed the pooch with the tanker bribes and not to mention the multi-billion FCS screwing. I would not be surprised that some air force brass are looking to score some points with a possible McCain administration. The big firms have been treating the American tax payer as a cash pinata for sometime now. If I were a betting man, I would recommend buying some Northrop stock, it looks like they have the inside track on a few big ticket contacts coming in the near future. Personally, neither of the birds did all that much for me. They are a marginal improvement over the KC-135, so its a lot of money with not all that much to show for it. I would of preferred to channel the funds into a blended wing platform that could be reconfigured for multiple missions. As a stop gap measure we could buy excess commercial planes and retrofit them to the tanker role. Everyone knows in the next few years you are going to have at least two major airlines go belly up, so why not get some planes on the cheap?

  14. I was surprised with the decision, not shocked. Boeing and the rest of gang needed a good slap in the face. Boeing especially, since they screwed the pooch with the tanker bribes and not to mention the multi-billion FCS screwing. I would not be surprised that some air force brass are looking to score some points with a possible McCain administration. The big firms have been treating the American tax payer as a cash pinata for sometime now. If I were a betting man, I would recommend buying some Northrop stock, it looks like they have the inside track on a few big ticket contacts coming in the near future. Personally, neither of the birds did all that much for me. They are a marginal improvement over the KC-135, so its a lot of money with not all that much to show for it. I would of preferred to channel the funds into a blended wing platform that could be reconfigured for multiple missions. As a stop gap measure we could buy excess commercial planes and retrofit them to the tanker role. Everyone knows in the next few years you are going to have at least two major airlines go belly up, so why not get some planes on the cheap?

  15. Oh yeah, Airbus won’t treat the US taxpayer like a cash pinata. They love us. The US taxpayer is being treated like a cash pinata because that’s what they like. If they didn’t like it, they wouldn’t pay defense contractors more to F them over than they pay us to deliver good, reasonably priced weapons in a timely manner. For the US taxpayer to then decide a foreign company would be more likely to give them a good product under those circumstances is for them to simply prove their stupidity is beyond all belief. This is just the culmination of years of effort. We pay the same amount for defense now as we did during the Cold War and yet have fewer defense workers and soldiers than at any time in modern history. Gee, what could ever be happening to that money, I mean, beyond the huge cut the CEO’s of these massive corporate welfare institutions take? Now Northrop Grumman has found a way to siphon thier 10% off a huge order to Europe for aircraft. Since none of that profit percentage will have to go to engineers, guess where most of it will end up? If you guessed in the pocket of the CEO, you’d be correct. Yet another great step toward the destruction of our middle class. But what the hell, if our middle class is so stupid as to vote for this crap, they get what they deserve.

  16. I did not mean to imply EADS/Airbus was going to cease operations. But they have been under pressure for the last 2 years because of delays and cost overruns. Their stock price took a huge hit in 2006 and has not recovered,. The CEO was forced out and accused of insider trading. They are facing $10 billion or so in penalties for delays in delivering the A380. In addition, BAE systems of the UK dumped its 20% stake in Airbus. The rollout of the A380 has been slightly upstaged by the B787 and Airbus is scrambling to challenge it with the A350. The Euro governments are not providing the startup money this time, either they can’t afford to or the US is calling them out on subsidies. So Airbus will need to pay for this through operating cash flows. Now that they landed this USAF contract, I am sure they will sleep well knowing there will be no problem funding the A350. So just like our petrol dollars come back to haunt us by funding our enemies, our taxpayer dollars for this tanker could come back to haunt boeing when its 787 faces the A350. In addition, Airbus is desperate to get into the military market and their A400 wasn’t cutting it. Plane makers must diversify into civilian and military sales as a hedge to business cycles. So thanks to the US taxpayer, Airbus is finally diversified. Louis Gallois, EADS chief executive, told the Financial Times that it was ‘just great’ to beat Boeing, saying: ‘I think it is the best contract I have won in my life.’ That is pretty high praise from a guy who is not getting much out of the deal since all the assembly will be done by the Americans. I am also frustrated we allowed EADS to blackmail us. In January they announced they would assemble the A330 freighter in AL, but only if they won the USAF contract. Coming from a German/French company like EADS, this is an insult. Why didn’t the US say we will reward you with this contract once Germany and France send 15,000 troops each to Iraq? Afterall, we ‘rewarded’ the UK and Italy for their Iraq support with the presidential chopper deal. Why reward France and Germany when they have been against us from the start? Had they been behind us 5 years ago before the invasion, Saddam might have caved in sooner and the war could have been averted. Instead Saddam thought he was protected at the UN and called our bluff. Finally the 767 was $40 million cheaper per plane than the A330. For every 3 Airbus tankers we buy, we could have bought 4 Boeing tankers. This would have allowed us to have more planes available for more missions. Even though the airbus carriers 20% more fuel, we get more aircraft and flexibility with Boeing. And both greatly exceed the current fleet of kc-135s.

  17. > For the US taxpayer to then decide a foreign company would be more > likely to give them a good product under those circumstances is for > them to simply prove their stupidity is beyond all belief. does this actually mean something or are you just blindly venting your hatred as a random string of words? > We pay the same amount for defense now as we did during the Cold War > and yet have fewer defense workers and soldiers than at any time in > modern history. Gee, what could ever be happening to that money, I > mean, beyond the huge cut the CEO’s of these massive corporate welfare > institutions take? so from what i gather, you’re saying you believe that the established defense industry (like Boeing) has gotten fat and needs new competition (like EADS) to keep it honest > Since none of that profit percentage will have to go to engineers, > guess where most of it will end up? If you guessed in the pocket of > the CEO, you’d be correct. the shareholders more precisely, which is exactly how a corporation is supposed to work i’m not sure what your problem with this is? it is the capitalist way . . > Yet another great step toward the destruction of our middle class. But > what the hell, if our middle class is so stupid as to vote for this crap, > they get what they deserve. that’s an interesting claim considering the EADS/NG proposal results in MORE AMERICAN JOBS i’ve said before and i’ll keep repeating it till i pound it through everyone’s thick skull > So Airbus will need to pay for this through operating cash flows now that they are delivering the A380, cash flow is no longer a problem > Now that they landed this USAF contract, I am sure they will sleep well > knowing there will be no problem funding the A350 you think that if they had lost this contract, they wouldn’t have been able to fund the A350, they would have just said ‘oh well’ and given up on it that is my new stupidest thing i’ve seen today the A350 was well funded with or without this contract > In addition, Airbus is desperate to get into the military market that’s nice, more competition is always a good thing > I am also frustrated we allowed EADS to blackmail us. In January they > announced they would assemble the A330 freighter in AL, but only if > they won the USAF contract. it is blackmail, but you have the roles reversed we said ‘build us a plant or you won’t win the contract’ and they said ‘ok’ it wasn’t enough for them to win on the merits of the proposal, no they had to provide a kickback to have even the slimmest chance of winning > Why didn’t the US say we will reward you with this contract once > Germany and France send 15,000 troops each to Iraq? because we decided asking for our own airplane factory was better for the economic future of this country > Why reward France and Germany when they have been against us from the start? reward France? where do you get that? We just STOLE the production of hundreds of freighters from them! The French unions will be hopping mad once they realize what we did to them > Finally the 767 was $40 million cheaper per plane than the A330 are you still throwing out this tired old line? it is utterly false price was one of the five criteria and EADS/NG won or tied all 5 criteria INCLUDING PRICE > For every 3 Airbus tankers we buy, we could have bought 4 Boeing tankers. even beyond the actual price, this is false because the contract was for a fixed number of tankers (179 in this case) > Even though the airbus carriers 20% more fuel, we get more aircraft and flexibility with Boeing lololol

  18. > For the US taxpayer to then decide a foreign company would be more > likely to give them a good product under those circumstances is for > them to simply prove their stupidity is beyond all belief. does this actually mean something or are you just blindly venting your hatred as a random string of words? > We pay the same amount for defense now as we did during the Cold War > and yet have fewer defense workers and soldiers than at any time in > modern history. Gee, what could ever be happening to that money, I > mean, beyond the huge cut the CEO’s of these massive corporate welfare > institutions take? so from what i gather, you’re saying you believe that the established defense industry (like Boeing) has gotten fat and needs new competition (like EADS) to keep it honest > Since none of that profit percentage will have to go to engineers, > guess where most of it will end up? If you guessed in the pocket of > the CEO, you’d be correct. the shareholders more precisely, which is exactly how a corporation is supposed to work i’m not sure what your problem with this is? it is the capitalist way . . > Yet another great step toward the destruction of our middle class. But > what the hell, if our middle class is so stupid as to vote for this crap, > they get what they deserve. that’s an interesting claim considering the EADS/NG proposal results in MORE AMERICAN JOBS i’ve said before and i’ll keep repeating it till i pound it through everyone’s thick skull > So Airbus will need to pay for this through operating cash flows now that they are delivering the A380, cash flow is no longer a problem > Now that they landed this USAF contract, I am sure they will sleep well > knowing there will be no problem funding the A350 you think that if they had lost this contract, they wouldn’t have been able to fund the A350, they would have just said ‘oh well’ and given up on it that is my new stupidest thing i’ve seen today the A350 was well funded with or without this contract > In addition, Airbus is desperate to get into the military market that’s nice, more competition is always a good thing > I am also frustrated we allowed EADS to blackmail us. In January they > announced they would assemble the A330 freighter in AL, but only if > they won the USAF contract. it is blackmail, but you have the roles reversed we said ‘build us a plant or you won’t win the contract’ and they said ‘ok’ it wasn’t enough for them to win on the merits of the proposal, no they had to provide a kickback to have even the slimmest chance of winning > Why didn’t the US say we will reward you with this contract once > Germany and France send 15,000 troops each to Iraq? because we decided asking for our own airplane factory was better for the economic future of this country > Why reward France and Germany when they have been against us from the start? reward France? where do you get that? We just STOLE the production of hundreds of freighters from them! The French unions will be hopping mad once they realize what we did to them > Finally the 767 was $40 million cheaper per plane than the A330 are you still throwing out this tired old line? it is utterly false price was one of the five criteria and EADS/NG won or tied all 5 criteria INCLUDING PRICE > For every 3 Airbus tankers we buy, we could have bought 4 Boeing tankers. even beyond the actual price, this is false because the contract was for a fixed number of tankers (179 in this case) > Even though the airbus carriers 20% more fuel, we get more aircraft and flexibility with Boeing lololol

  19. You’re exactly right, Bob. That’s the only reason our dicked up procurement system works at all, is because of the committed and patriotic workers in the trenches that make it work despite the stupidity of the system we work under. Good luck getting that from Europe, China, or India. What the US taxpayer will get is exactly what they deserve for a change. I, for one, am tired of hearing people who are allegedly capitalists complain about getting screwed over by government contractors when they pay those contractors extra to do precisely that. Then they’re so stupid as to believe the answer is to go to foreign suppliers? Unbelievable.

  20. This is the way a European company provides ‘more value’ to the US on a military contract. It might sound familiar:

    Richard Aboulafia, an industry analyst with the Teal Group, said the win validates EADS’ steady push to gain entry into the U.S. defense market. That campaign included hiring numerous retired Air Force and other military leaders as consultants. ‘All those Christmas parties they paid for. That big Washington office,’ Aboulafia said. ‘Really, really worth it.’ Last year, EADS first cracked the U.S. defense market with a smaller contract for an Army light-utility helicopter. But the tanker is much more significant. The contract calls for development, production and maintenance of 179 tankers to replace old Boeing-built KC-135 airplanes. Two follow-on contracts to replace the rest of the 530-plane fleet are expected to be put out for bid in coming years. ‘This is more than just a crack in the dam,’ Aboulafia said. ‘This is water pouring through the dam.’ The Air Force selection breaks Boeing’s monopoly on the supply of large air tankers to the U.S. military. Such tankers -which connect via flexible hoses and rigid booms to fighter jets and bombers in flight, enabling them to refill their gas tanks on long-range missions -are central to projecting U.S. air power across the globe. ‘These tankers will provide an air bridge to defend our national interest … anywhere on the planet,’ said Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne. – Seattle Times

  21. > That campaign included hiring numerous retired Air Force and other military leaders as consultants yes, both Boeing and NG are experienced Washington operations with tons of lobbyists i’m not sure how you missed all the retired AF general ‘writing’ warmed over Boeing press releases as op-eds? > ‘These tankers will provide an air bridge to defend our national interest … anywhere on the planet,’ said Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne precisely why it’s critical that the best plane win

  22. Hey Irstuk, an official will always say nice things, even if they are big lies. Just see the M4 case…both HK and FN designs were proved to be far superior, but the army is always saying ‘The M4 is the best thing and totally reliable’ even if FACTS are saying it is not. Its a orwellian double-think nightmare.

  23. > Hey Irstuk, an official will always say nice things, even if they are big lies yes, often you see the politically connected company get the contract over some outsider company when they don’t deserve it and then the officials still defend it if Boeing had won, then your argument may have been justified but Boeing is if anything the ultimate insider (although NG is no slouch either). If your argument is that NG somehow persuaded officials to ignore a superior Boeing bid, well i think we may have a new candidate for the stupidest comment of the day Boeing is just too well politically connected to allow such a thing to happen. If they lost, it had to be because the USAF truly thought the EADS/NG was significantly superior. If this was even remotely close, it would have gone to Boeing.

  24. The US Air Force, along with the rest of the military, can take their specifications and shove them up their ass. They don’t prove or mean a damn thing. Hell, any idiot can write a specification, and frequently they do.

  25. Vitor is right, the military does not always make the right choice. Besides the M4/16, the most frequently cited case of the USAF boning a decision is the YF-22 vs. YF-23. If you had any idea was a joke that was…, but you won’t. They’ll keep it all classified so you won’t. Besides, there was no decision to make here. Support you industry at home or the industry of Europe. Gee, which would be in our best intrest? Duh. This should give conservatives one more good reason to vote for McCain, though, shouldn’t it?

  26. Guys I have been reading the michellmalkin blog and their take on this contract. I was very surprised to find a number of commentors there expressing joy at the EADS win because it represents a victory for red states like AL over blue states like WA. I will admit, I am biased for the American design, but I assumed my opponents were just interested in the best deal for the USAF. The majority of posts did not express this view, but I was surprised at the few that did. Here are a couple of examples from that site: The new tanker will be assembled in Mobile, Alabama, with more of the future production work to move from Toulouse to Mobile. So the work moves from a blue state (Washington) to a red state (Alabama). Oh, well. And with all the crap going on in the Seattle area, and all the nasty anti-military people there, and the lunatics in the Wash State, do you think Seattle DESERVED it more? Price to be paid, Seattle. The bill just came due for being hostile to the military. I did not realize the red/blue divide was so deep. I am not implying the contract was based upon this. I am only surprised that fellow Americans would feel this way toward one another. Does anyone on this thread feel this way?

  27. dfens, I think you work for Boeing. If so do you know how many jobs are threatened by losing this contract? I have seen the NG number of 25,000 new American jobs created as a result of this contract. But, I have not seen any indication if there will be any job cuts at Boeing or its major suppliers. If so, then the 25,000 would need to be netted against that number to give an accurate impact for the workforce. Here is an interesting article I found at The Sunday Mail in the UK. I don’t know how accurate it is, but it suggests the UK will do well with this contract. There are showing 32,000 Airbus jobs will be protected along with another 32,000 in the UK supply chain. That appears to be more of a benefit than what is coming to the US> AN –

  28. > Hell, any idiot can write a specification, and frequently they do. the interesting thing is that even Boeing WROTE the spec, they still thought EADS/NG would win it, so they had to bribe Druyun if even Boeing can’t write a spec that they can win, then i think it’s time to throw in the towel > If so do you know how many jobs are threatened by losing this contract? jobs numbers mean nothing, anyone can makeup whatever number suits them that said, there isn’t a large gap in US content between the two bids PLUS we steal an airplane factory from France personally i feel we come out ahead in jobs with this proposal PS Boeing has said they won’t lay anyone off

  29. Yeah, like Boeing had final say over everything that went into that spec. Hell, if you’re going to pretend like you know it all, why don’t you drop a quarter on a clue ever now and then, Irtusk? From the Seattle Times article I linked to earlier:

    But Washington state has lost out on the chance to add as many as 2,000 jobs locally at Boeing -and perhaps more than 6,000 new jobs overall. Instead, those jobs will go to Europe and Alabama. Large sections of the Northrop/EADS tanker will be built in Europe; they will be shipped across the Atlantic for assembly at a new widebody-jet plant to be built in Mobile, Ala., which will gain some 1,500 direct jobs. At the Pentagon news conference, Air Force acquisitions chief Sue Payton said categorically that the creation of jobs in the United States was not a factor in the decision. Payton said the only considerations were ‘the requirements of the war fighter’ balanced with ‘the best interests of the taxpayer.’

    If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’ll sell you… No, better still, I’ve got a bicycle manufacturing facility I’ll sell you. If you believe either of those you’re a dumbass of the magnitude suitable to become an Alabama legislator.

  30. > Yeah, like Boeing had final say over everything that went into that spec did you read that article i linked? they absolutely had final say over the specs . . . the first time around which is part of why that competition was thrown out that was the competition where after they had written the specs to their liking, they bribed Druyun to give them the win because they knew that even with the crooked specs, the KC-30 would STILL WIN allow me to refresh your memory http://www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,Galloway_033104,00.html ‘The Air Force gave the Boeing Co. five months to rewrite the official specifications for 100 aerial refueling tankers so that the company’s 767 aircraft would win a $23.5 billion deal’ it doesn’t get any more blatant than that that that wasn’t sufficient to secure the win . . . well it’s just stunning, i don’t know how else to say it > But Washington state has lost out on the chance to add as many as 2,000 jobs locally at Boeing -and perhaps more than 6,000 new jobs overall. that doesn’t contradict anyting i said i said there wouldn’t be any layoffs, and there aren’t > If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’ll sell you i’m not sure which ‘that’ you’re referring to, but everything in that article is factual

  31. Oh hell, learn how to read. Even the European press is laughing at us:

    The good old US of A can’t seem to win a trick at the moment. Its economy is cracking and the dollar is being trumped. Now its own air force has awarded a G

  32. According to info I found on the web, the 767 was $40 million cheaper per plane than the A330, based upon standard versions of each craft. However, commenter Irtusk said: ‘are you still throwing out this tired old line? it is utterly false’ What is the cost of each plane? I don’t see Airbus matching Boeing given the large delta in list prices especially if part of their bid is to build a brand new factory in AL. Boeing should be able to fabricate the planes in existing facilites. So Airbus tying or beating Boeing on price doesn’t make sense.

  33. there is also this article http://www.hemscott.com/news/latest-news/item.do?newsId=60917668881634 ‘The 35 bln usd US Air Force refuelling jets contract awarded Friday to an EADS consortium is ‘very good news commercially’ but may threaten jobs at the company’s Airbus plant in Toulouse, France, the CFDT union said. . . . the CFDT union issued a statement saying the decision ‘will not be without consequences on an industrial as well as employment level and notably for the Toulouse plant’.’

  34. > What is the cost of each plane? no one knows because we haven’t seen the final bids, but it had to be close because EADS/NG won or tied all five criteria INCLUDING PRICE and don’t forget that they submitted a bid that was lower in price the first time, there’s no reason they can’t do it again http://www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,Galloway_033104,00.html ‘awarded the contract to Boeing even though Airbus . . . offered a price that was $10 billion less than Boeing’s.’ > So Airbus tying or beating Boeing on price doesn’t make sense. it may not make sense, but they’ve done it repeatedly and consistently in both the commercial and military sector

  35. dfens, I agree with your post about the finanacial benefit for Airbus. In one of my previous posts, I was trying to suggest this as well. It is also interesting to read the reaction of the EADS Ceo. However, in response to one of my points, commenter Irtusk said: ‘you think that if they had lost this contract, they wouldn’t have been able to fund the A350, they would have just said ‘oh well’ and given up on it that is my new stupidest thing i’ve seen today’ I never said that. I said they were not getting seed money from the Euro governments as they had in the past and that they would have to pay for the A350 out of operating cash flow. This contract contributes to that operating cash flow. Given this is a $40 biiiion or more contract, how much will go to Airbus? I would figure at least half since they are going to do at least half the work. The start money for the A350 is in the neigborhood of $10 billion. So this potential $20 billion revenue stream should help a hell of a lot. Irtusk, are you a US national? If so are you in a state that benefits from the Airbus deal? As for me, I am a US citizen and live in a state that won’t benefit much either way.

  36. Irtusk said: ‘> So Airbus tying or beating Boeing on price doesn’t make sense. it may not make sense, but they’ve done it repeatedly and consistently in both the commercial and military sector’ Irtusk, maybe that is a result of all the subsidies Airbus has received over the years from the Euro governments. I wonder if any subsidies were made under the table on this deal? I know there is a concern about how the Euro governments refund the value added tax to exporters to give them an advantage. That would realy suck if they outbid boeing on price due to any interference from their governments.

  37. > I would figure at least half since they are going to do at least half the work you would be wrong since 60% is going to American suppliers and even the part that goes to them, well they have their own expenses like labor and materials look, Airbus had 1,341 net orders last year the KC-45 is spread out at the rate of 12-18 per year in other words, this is peanuts to Airbus this is a giant step in terms of being credible in the US defense market, but in terms of money, it’s not that big of a deal to them > Irtusk, are you a US national? yes > If so are you in a state that benefits from the Airbus deal? my state doesn’t benefit either way (directly)

  38. > Irtusk, maybe that is a result of all the subsidies Airbus has received over the years from the Euro governments. if the european nations want to subsidize our military, i’m all for it about time they paid some back i say however in reality, it’s more likely that the KC-30 is simply an easier plane to produce. It is more modern and was designed with labor saving in mind.

  39. Even if Scarebus did win on cost, how long do you figure that will last? The Euro started out at 90 cents on a dollar and now is up to $1.50 each. The price of the dollar is plummeting because of our trillion dollar a year trade deficit, so what does the Bush administration do to fix that? They offer a $150 billion dollar tax redistribution plan that they’ll pay for by borrowing money from the communist Chinese and they pump $40 billion into Europe. If that’s not treason, I don’t know what is. Seriously though, if the price of the dollar is falling because of our trade deficit and we’ve just thrown a $40 billion contract to an off shore supplier. I mean, how damn smart do you have to be to see that there’s a problem? Will the Scarebus still be a big bargain when it takes 2 or 3 dollars to buy a Euro? This is plain retarded.

  40. > Even if Scarebus did win on cost they didn’t win SOLELY on cost > how long do you figure that will last? at least the first 80 since it is a fixed price contract for that amount > they pump $40 billion into Europe surely even you recognize the falseness of this claim by now? > Seriously though, if the price of the dollar is falling because of our trade deficit and we’ve just thrown a $40 billion contract to an off shore supplier. the trade deficit last year was $711.6 billion the difference in the foreign content between the two proposals was $8 billion $8 billion over the 20 year life of this project is $0.4 billion per year $0.4 billion of a $711.6 billion trade deficit is a rounding error > Will the Scarebus still be a big bargain when it takes 2 or 3 dollars to buy a Euro? well considering 60% of the components are from the US and the final assembly is in the US, it’s reasonably well protected against fluctuations in the dollar plus big companies (like EADS) do smart things like buy hedges to project themselves, it’s not going to be an issue > This is plain retarded. you should have said ‘This is PLANE retarded.’ that would have been so much more clever

  41. and of course that’s just the straight contract, i didn’t even include the shiny new factory in alabama that is going to be manufacturing hundreds of wide-bodied freighters after everything is added up, it is very likely that this deal will end up REDUCING our trade deficit

  42. wow. I’m french, and I’m stunned. Reading some of the reactions here, it seems like some of you live in a communist country… Open economies have open markets, right? Conversely, USA sells all his economy, factories, jobs, debt, banks, stocks to china and asian countries which, for most of them, are neither democracies nor liberal economy countries. You should really explain me what stinks so much in Europe (remind that EADS is not French) that makes you prefer dance with pants down before hilarious chinese communist governants. The last time your governants came in China, they obtained nothing they asked for, except maybe a small order for Boeing. Finally, I don’t see what is wrong in a strategic alliance between europe and USA in weapon systems. One of the big markets of tomorrow will be in Asia, and especially China, which already says to europeans: ‘you want our economic market? we only want your weapon systems and technology’. So, if you have the least consideration for the balance of powers in Asia, you should definitely change your mind, quickly. EADS already said that they refused suchs deals because they had greater interests in the american market: don’t make them lie. This is from far the best way to prevent a bidding scheme where europe and US will bargain their best technologies to get a contract. ‘One nuclear warhead free for every 2 eurofighter you buy’: we both deserve better, I think.

  43. Athanase, this is nothing against the French, and certainly we appreciate our European allies. This is more the culmination of a bunch of stupidity with regard to our trade policies and their impact on our country and way of life. When you mention China, you really hit upon the sore spot. Also, realize that your government takes much better care of your trade interests than ours does of our own trade interests. I believe you would have a very different perspective on this issue if you were from the US.

  44. Irtusk said: ‘look, Airbus had 1,341 net orders last year the KC-45 is spread out at the rate of 12-18 per year in other words, this is peanuts to Airbus’ I don’t exactly agree with your point. The A330 is a double aisle aircraft. Double aisle aircraft have a much larger profit margin than single aisle aircraft. Of all the double aisle aircraft in history, only the 747 has sold over 1000 units. Contrast that to the big single aisle sellers like the A320, over 3000 units, and the 737, over 5000 units. The A300, which was Airbus’s first plane that put them on the map, was a double aisle that sold less than 600 units. For more comparison, the MD-11 only sold 200 units and the DC-10 under 500 units. Getting an order for approximately 200 double aisle planes gives you almost 20% of the 1000 plane threshold, which is a huge success for the double aisle market. Currently the A330 has sold about 520 units, so adding at least 179 more is not exactly peanuts. So instead of looking at this as a mere 12-18 craft per year, it is really 12-18 double aisle A330s per year, which is significant.

  45. Irtusk said: ‘look, Airbus had 1,341 net orders last year the KC-45 is spread out at the rate of 12-18 per year in other words, this is peanuts to Airbus’ I don’t exactly agree with your point. The A330 is a double aisle aircraft. Double aisle aircraft have a much larger profit margin than single aisle aircraft. Of all the double aisle aircraft in history, only the 747 has sold over 1000 units. Contrast that to the big single aisle sellers like the A320, over 3000 units, and the 737, over 5000 units. The A300, which was Airbus’s first plane that put them on the map, was a double aisle that sold less than 600 units. For more comparison, the MD-11 only sold 200 units and the DC-10 under 500 units. Getting an order for approximately 200 double aisle planes gives you almost 20% of the 1000 plane threshold, which is a huge success for the double aisle market. Currently the A330 has sold about 520 units, so adding at least 179 more is not exactly peanuts. So instead of looking at this as a mere 12-18 craft per year, it is really 12-18 double aisle A330s per year, which is significant.