Here are some recent links about the KC-45A tanker:
Following a debriefing by Air Force officials March 7, Boeing questioned the fairness of the competition, citing “inconsistency in requirements, cost factors and treatment of our commercial data.”
The Chicago-based aerospace company “found serious flaws in the process that we believe warrant appeal,” Boeing’s chairman and chief executive, Jim McNerney, said in a statement.
The company argued that the Air Force changed its method for evaluating the two tankers even after issuing a request for proposals. These changes allowed a larger tanker to be competitive even though the Air Force originally had called for a medium-size plane. Air Force officials have indicated that the larger size of the tanker offered by the EADS/Northrop team helped tip the balance in its favor.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) said today that since the Air Force’s selection of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A, numerous erroneous comments continue to be repeated in the media and in Congress. Northrop Grumman wants to set the record straight on the following points
Congressional Boeing supporters vow to scuttle John McCain’s presidency over the company’s $35 billion loss in an Air Force tanker deal.
The Air Force was to lease 100 Boeing fuel tankers at a cost of $26 billion — $6 billion more than the cost of buying them outright, according to an estimate by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
If that sounds like a bad deal, it’s because it was. It never occurred, thanks to loud and persistent protests from Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.). And now that McCain is a candidate for president and Boeing’s rival has won the contract, Democrats are effectively complaining that he didn’t let Boeing rip off the taxpayers.
Boeing, the heavy favorite to win the contract, having built earlier tankers, promised a new boom but did not build a prototype. One analyst who followed the contest said that Boeing, based in Chicago, seemed arrogant and offered a plan that Air Force officials thought would deliver only 19 tankers by 2013 compared with 49 by the Airbus team…
The Boeing spokesman, Mr. Barksdale, said his company could easily pull together the new boom it promised the Air Force. –It’s not a huge leap of technology,” he said. –It would not be a huge deal.”
But to Northrop Grumman and EADS, building the boom on spec presented a chance to demonstrate their competitive hunger.
David Axe at Danger Room with comments from POGO and World Politics Review.
Airbus’ contract with the Pentagon for in-flight refueling aircraft may lead to an accelerated exodus of jobs to Asia and the U.S.
At Tuesday’s House Defense Appropriations Committee hearing, Dicks said Boeing was discouraged from offering a tanker based on the larger 777 jetliner and went with the mid-size 767.
The company was surprised Feb. 29 when a tanker based on the Airbus A330 was chosen, and one of the reasons was its ability to carry more cargo.
Dicks says Boeing was misled. Wynn replied that the request for proposal process was fair and open.
“The aesthetics are not good, especially since he is an advocate of reform and transparency,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group. “Boeing advocates are going to use this as ammunition.”
McCain, a longtime critic of influence peddling and special interest politics, has come under increased scrutiny as a presidential candidate, particularly because he has surrounded himself with advisers who are veteran Washington lobbyists.