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Tanker Contract Manuevering

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Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:16 pm

Story

They're going to leave it as a problem for the next administration. This after the first award was nullified and sent an Air Force official and a Boeing employee to jail and the second was scrapped after irregularities were discovered in the rating criteria and their application.

Add to this the political homerism where Congressman are demanding that it be awarded to Boeing, since they are a domestic company, and the desire to keep Northrup/EADS from building its first U.S facility in Mobile, AL.

Screw the armed forces, it's always about the GD money! :!: :x
Last edited by Isgrimnur on Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:58 pm

More developments in the story only I care about...

Gates to the Air Force: You do it.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday that he would put the Air Force in charge of awarding a $35 billion contract for refueling tankers even though it botched two earlier efforts.
...
While Mr. Gates said he would let the Air Force run the competition instead of having his office do it, he cautioned that the Pentagon “cannot afford the kind of letdowns and parochial squabbles and corporate food fights that have bedeviled this effort over the last number of years.”

He also said, in a speech at an Air Force Association convention, that his office would continue to have “a robust oversight role.”
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Arcanis » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:05 pm

I actually never saw the original post for this Isg. Glad to see you staying on top of it though. I'll go through the articles and see if i have anything substantive to add.

edit:
After reading the newer article i would say i have to lean toward Boeing getting the contract. Partly because of the allegations against Airbus, but there are other reasons as well. Airbus being a foreign company doesn't sit well with me but i could get over that, it is more a dislike of military equipment being made by those who don't necessarily have an investment in the US success. It is a little old thinking but like i said i can get over that. What also bothers me is the number of Airbus airliners that have crashed in recent years. While it is most likely a statistical anomaly or flaw in perception, i still don't want them making planes that will be carrying tons of fuel.
Last edited by Arcanis on Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:06 pm

I followed this very closely when I held BA shares. It's a giant mess. That's about all I can say.

I think a local school board could run the bidding process better than the Pentagon did.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Little Raven » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:19 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Screw the armed forces, it's always about the GD money! :!: :x
One would hope so. Efficient government IS the goal, right?
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by The Preacher » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:25 pm

Little Raven wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:Screw the armed forces, it's always about the GD money! :!: :x
One would hope so. Efficient government IS the goal, right?
How would you define "efficient"?
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:26 pm

EADS would be partnered with Northrup Grumman, which is an American company and is #76 on the Forbes 500. It's not like EADS is some Euro carpetbagger in this case. They would be building the plant in Alabama. Trust me, they are invested in US success.
Little Raven wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:Screw the armed forces, it's always about the GD money! :!: :x
One would hope so. Efficient government IS the goal, right?
Efficiency isn't the goal of this argument, it's about political pork.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Little Raven » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:31 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Efficiency isn't the goal of this argument, it's about political pork.
Ah, I see what you're saying. Yes, that's a problem....probably unavoidable given a representative system, but still a problem.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:32 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Efficiency isn't the goal of this argument, it's about political pork.
Yeah, it's never been about efficiency. Politics as usual.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Little Raven » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:33 pm

The Preacher wrote:How would you define "efficient"?
Getting the best use out of every dollar. Something the military struggles with. (this is not a slam on the military...they struggle with it because of the nature of the problem they are tasked with solving, not because they're incompetent.)
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by The Preacher » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:18 pm

Little Raven wrote:
The Preacher wrote:How would you define "efficient"?
Getting the best use out of every dollar. Something the military struggles with. (this is not a slam on the military...they struggle with it because of the nature of the problem they are tasked with solving, not because they're incompetent.)
That doesn't necessarily mean lowest price does it?
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Little Raven » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:50 pm

The Preacher wrote:That doesn't necessarily mean lowest price does it?
Not at all...though obviously price is a huge factor.

But I initially misread Isgrimnur. He wasn't complaining about Congress wanting to limit the dollars spent, which is part of their job, but rather their attempt to control which districts the dollars were spent in, to the detriment of everyone. That, I agree, is a huge problem.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Boudreaux » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:45 pm

I think this has progressed to a point where further competitions and runoffs to award the tanker contract are doomed to failure. Particularly if the USAF continues to draft the proposal and manage the award process, there will always be questions and challenges. At this point they should do a split buy, take some of the 767 tankers and some of the EADS tankers and be done with it. The additional cost and development of supporting two tankers would be dwarfed by the additional time and expense to run yet another competition (never mind the better mission fit). The USAF, the Pentagon, and Congress are never going to agree on this.

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:40 pm

Aviation Weekly wrote:Gen. Donald Hoffman, commander of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) was among a glittering panel of four-stars participating in a senior Air Force forum at this week's Air Force Assn. technology expo just outside Washington.

The generals were all asked a simple enough question by the moderator. If you had another dollar, how would you spend it?

...

Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, the commander of the soon-to-be-established Global Strike command chimed in with an appropriately parochial proposal. A more reliable and safe nuclear capability.

Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, Air Force Special Operations Command chief, says he wants more CV-22s faster. Perfectly sensible.

Gen. Robert Kehler, Air Force Space Command Chief, says he wants more space protection. Right on the money for his challenges.

Hoffman takes the mic. He was among the top military aides in the last KC-X buy attempt. He's earned some scar tissue from the service's missteps and subsequent lessons. One of those lessons was to take communications literally and be clear.

The question was: how to spend one more dollar. So, he took it literally.

"I'd buy the ink that would fill the pen that would write the law to make it illegal to protest the next tanker selection," he said with a wry smile.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:00 pm

:D I like General Hoffman.

But of course, that's predicated on them actually getting the process right. There were illegalities the first time around and inconsistencies the second time around.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:16 pm

This is the one of the billboards outside my office building right now:
Image

Ahhh, "procurement."
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by pr0ner » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:26 pm

That advert looks like something I'd see in the Pentagon Metro station.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:30 pm

Boeing leaning toward 767-based tanker bid.
Boeing offered a 767-based tanker in the previous bid process, which a Northrop Grumman-EADS team won, in part, because its Airbus A330-based tanker was larger. The Pentagon threw out that win after congressional auditors found serious flaws in the process.

A 777-based tanker would be larger than the A330-based plane, but could be too big and take too long to develop to meet certain criteria in the draft request for proposals that the Air Force released last month.

Boeing touts its "family of tankers," referring to the 767- and 777-based options, but has so far declined to say whether it would offer one of the two planes, or both.

Leeham also reported that Boeing's tanker team is working with colleagues in Boeing Commercial Aircraft and the company's 737-based P-8A Poseidon sub-hunter team on ways to offer better technologies and cost efficiencies and reduce risk.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Boudreaux » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:23 pm

Makes sense. Since the bulk of the work on a 767-based tanker has already been done, it allows Boeing the time to really refine and polish that proposal. Switching to a 777-based tanker would mean going back to the drawing board and re-working a lot of effort.

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by The Preacher » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:53 am

Boudreaux wrote:Makes sense. Since the bulk of the work on a 767-based tanker has already been done, it allows Boeing the time to really refine and polish that proposal. Switching to a 777-based tanker would mean going back to the drawing board and re-working a lot of effort.
What strikes this layman as odd, though, is that it sounds like one of the big issues with Boeing's submission was that the 767 wasn't big enough. How will that change? Do they have a "stretch" version they can submit?
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Boudreaux » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:51 am

Size wasn't part of the original request for proposal, and the EADS/Northrop team shouldn't have been given credit for it. That was one of the main points in Boeing's protest.

There was some uproar when the idea was floated to have the USAF rewrite the requirements and have the teams re-submit on a really short timetable. Boeing 's position was that the USAF would just re-write the selection criteria to match the EADS/Northrop tanker submission.

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Victoria Raverna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:44 am

Arcanis wrote:I actually never saw the original post for this Isg. Glad to see you staying on top of it though. I'll go through the articles and see if i have anything substantive to add.

edit:
After reading the newer article i would say i have to lean toward Boeing getting the contract. Partly because of the allegations against Airbus, but there are other reasons as well. Airbus being a foreign company doesn't sit well with me but i could get over that, it is more a dislike of military equipment being made by those who don't necessarily have an investment in the US success. It is a little old thinking but like i said i can get over that. What also bothers me is the number of Airbus airliners that have crashed in recent years. While it is most likely a statistical anomaly or flaw in perception, i still don't want them making planes that will be carrying tons of fuel.
Incident statistics:

Year 2009
Boeing
Aeroméxico Flight 576 (hijack)
Air India Flight 829 (caught fire on ground)
CanJet Flight 918 (hijack)
Southwest Airlines Flight 2294 (emergency landing)
Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 (crash)

Airbus
Air France Flight 447 (crash)
Emirates Flight 407 (failed to take off)
US Airways Flight 1549 (emergency landing in Hudson River)
Yemenia Flight 626 (crash)

Year 2008
Boeing
Aeroflot Flight 821 (crash)
British Airways Flight 38 (crash landed)
Continental Airlines Flight 1404 (crash)
2008 Conviasa Boeing 737 (crash)
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 (crash)
Qantas Flight 30 (emergency landing)

Airbus
Qantas Flight 72 (emergency landing)
Sudan Airways Flight 109 (crash)
TACA Flight 390 (overran runway)
XL Airways Germany A320 Flight 888T (crash)

Year 2007
Boeing
Adam Air Flight 172 (plane bent on landing)
Adam Air Flight 574 (crash)
2007 Air Mauritanie hijacking (hijack)
Air West Flight 612 (hijack)
China Airlines Flight 120 (caught fire after landing)
Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 (crash while landing)
Kenya Airways Flight 507 (crash)
2007 TAAG Angola Airlines crash (undershot runway/crash)
United Airlines Flight 955 (caught fire)

Airbus
Philippine Airlines Flight 475 (overran runway)
2007 Sudan Airways hijacking (hijack)
TAM Airlines Flight 3054 (overran runway/crash)

I guess it was flaw of perception. From 2007 until now, Boeing has equal or more incident involving crash and fatality compare to Airbus.

Maybe someone else can try to look at year 2000-2006, I'm too lazy to continue compiling the list. :)

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:29 am

I see raw numbers, no indication of fleets in service. Not much of an issue if Boeing has 50% more planes in service. And you're really going to add hijackings to the list? Really? Because that's surely the fault of the manufacturer. And pilot error, and etc... :roll:
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:29 am

Victoria Raverna wrote: I guess it was flaw of perception. From 2007 until now, Boeing has equal or more incident involving crash and fatality compare to Airbus.

Maybe someone else can try to look at year 2000-2006, I'm too lazy to continue compiling the list. :)
How many Boeing planes were in service during those periods vs. Airbus planes? Or more importantly, how many Boeing service hours vs. Airbus service hours?



Otherwise you're saying it's safer to cross the Atlantic solo in a 24 foot sailboat than it is to turn off your air conditioning.

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Arcanis » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:46 am

Victoria Raverna wrote:
Arcanis wrote:I actually never saw the original post for this Isg. Glad to see you staying on top of it though. I'll go through the articles and see if i have anything substantive to add.

edit:
After reading the newer article i would say i have to lean toward Boeing getting the contract. Partly because of the allegations against Airbus, but there are other reasons as well. Airbus being a foreign company doesn't sit well with me but i could get over that, it is more a dislike of military equipment being made by those who don't necessarily have an investment in the US success. It is a little old thinking but like i said i can get over that. What also bothers me is the number of Airbus airliners that have crashed in recent years. While it is most likely a statistical anomaly or flaw in perception, i still don't want them making planes that will be carrying tons of fuel.
Incident statistics:

Year 2009
Boeing
Aeroméxico Flight 576 (hijack)
Air India Flight 829 (caught fire on ground)
CanJet Flight 918 (hijack)
Southwest Airlines Flight 2294 (emergency landing)
Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 (crash)

Airbus
Air France Flight 447 (crash)
Emirates Flight 407 (failed to take off)
US Airways Flight 1549 (emergency landing in Hudson River)
Yemenia Flight 626 (crash)

Year 2008
Boeing
Aeroflot Flight 821 (crash)
British Airways Flight 38 (crash landed)
Continental Airlines Flight 1404 (crash)
2008 Conviasa Boeing 737 (crash)
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 (crash)
Qantas Flight 30 (emergency landing)

Airbus
Qantas Flight 72 (emergency landing)
Sudan Airways Flight 109 (crash)
TACA Flight 390 (overran runway)
XL Airways Germany A320 Flight 888T (crash)

Year 2007
Boeing
Adam Air Flight 172 (plane bent on landing)
Adam Air Flight 574 (crash)
2007 Air Mauritanie hijacking (hijack)
Air West Flight 612 (hijack)
China Airlines Flight 120 (caught fire after landing)
Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 (crash while landing)
Kenya Airways Flight 507 (crash)
2007 TAAG Angola Airlines crash (undershot runway/crash)
United Airlines Flight 955 (caught fire)

Airbus
Philippine Airlines Flight 475 (overran runway)
2007 Sudan Airways hijacking (hijack)
TAM Airlines Flight 3054 (overran runway/crash)

I guess it was flaw of perception. From 2007 until now, Boeing has equal or more incident involving crash and fatality compare to Airbus.

Maybe someone else can try to look at year 2000-2006, I'm too lazy to continue compiling the list. :)
Really. Wow that is so much of a stretch i'm beginning to think you could be the offspring of Mr. Fantastic. If you actually look at any of the incidents the majority are caused by human error/stupidity. I think this is one of your "I say stupid things to get a reaction" posts.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Victoria Raverna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:56 am

Isgrimnur wrote:I see raw numbers, no indication of fleets in service. Not much of an issue if Boeing has 50% more planes in service. And you're really going to add hijackings to the list? Really? Because that's surely the fault of the manufacturer. And pilot error, and etc... :roll:
I listed all incidents involving Boeing and Airbus. So that includes hijacking, etc. But I didn't count them as crash. If you count only crashed, they are about equal or Boeing is slightly higher depend on if you count runway crash or not.

I didn't try to prove anything, I just had sometime and after reading Arcanis' post, I want to find out for myself if Airbus has higher numbers of crashes lately compare to Boeing or not. Turned out the answer is not, but that doesn't include how many Boeing are flying everyday compare to Airbus. So it didn't prove that Boeing is safer or Airbus is safer.

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Victoria Raverna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:57 am

Arcanis wrote:
Victoria Raverna wrote:
Arcanis wrote:I actually never saw the original post for this Isg. Glad to see you staying on top of it though. I'll go through the articles and see if i have anything substantive to add.

edit:
After reading the newer article i would say i have to lean toward Boeing getting the contract. Partly because of the allegations against Airbus, but there are other reasons as well. Airbus being a foreign company doesn't sit well with me but i could get over that, it is more a dislike of military equipment being made by those who don't necessarily have an investment in the US success. It is a little old thinking but like i said i can get over that. What also bothers me is the number of Airbus airliners that have crashed in recent years. While it is most likely a statistical anomaly or flaw in perception, i still don't want them making planes that will be carrying tons of fuel.
Incident statistics:

Year 2009
Boeing
Aeroméxico Flight 576 (hijack)
Air India Flight 829 (caught fire on ground)
CanJet Flight 918 (hijack)
Southwest Airlines Flight 2294 (emergency landing)
Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 (crash)

Airbus
Air France Flight 447 (crash)
Emirates Flight 407 (failed to take off)
US Airways Flight 1549 (emergency landing in Hudson River)
Yemenia Flight 626 (crash)

Year 2008
Boeing
Aeroflot Flight 821 (crash)
British Airways Flight 38 (crash landed)
Continental Airlines Flight 1404 (crash)
2008 Conviasa Boeing 737 (crash)
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 (crash)
Qantas Flight 30 (emergency landing)

Airbus
Qantas Flight 72 (emergency landing)
Sudan Airways Flight 109 (crash)
TACA Flight 390 (overran runway)
XL Airways Germany A320 Flight 888T (crash)

Year 2007
Boeing
Adam Air Flight 172 (plane bent on landing)
Adam Air Flight 574 (crash)
2007 Air Mauritanie hijacking (hijack)
Air West Flight 612 (hijack)
China Airlines Flight 120 (caught fire after landing)
Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 (crash while landing)
Kenya Airways Flight 507 (crash)
2007 TAAG Angola Airlines crash (undershot runway/crash)
United Airlines Flight 955 (caught fire)

Airbus
Philippine Airlines Flight 475 (overran runway)
2007 Sudan Airways hijacking (hijack)
TAM Airlines Flight 3054 (overran runway/crash)

I guess it was flaw of perception. From 2007 until now, Boeing has equal or more incident involving crash and fatality compare to Airbus.

Maybe someone else can try to look at year 2000-2006, I'm too lazy to continue compiling the list. :)
Really. Wow that is so much of a stretch i'm beginning to think you could be the offspring of Mr. Fantastic. If you actually look at any of the incidents the majority are caused by human error/stupidity. I think this is one of your "I say stupid things to get a reaction" posts.
I had too much time sitting in my office with nothing to do. :)

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:00 am

Victoria Raverna wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:I see raw numbers, no indication of fleets in service. Not much of an issue if Boeing has 50% more planes in service. And you're really going to add hijackings to the list? Really? Because that's surely the fault of the manufacturer. And pilot error, and etc... :roll:
I listed all incidents involving Boeing and Airbus. So that includes hijacking, etc. But I didn't count them as crash. If you count only crashed, they are about equal or Boeing is slightly higher depend on if you count runway crash or not.

I didn't try to prove anything, I just had sometime and after reading Arcanis' post, I want to find out for myself if Airbus has higher numbers of crashes lately compare to Boeing or not. Turned out the answer is not, but that doesn't include how many Boeing are flying everyday compare to Airbus. So it didn't prove that Boeing is safer or Airbus is safer.
No, you responded to Arcanis, who said:
Arcanis wrote:What also bothers me is the number of Airbus airliners that have crashed in recent years. While it is most likely a statistical anomaly or flaw in perception, i still don't want them making planes that will be carrying tons of fuel.
by saying:
Victoria Raverna wrote:I guess it was flaw of perception. From 2007 until now, Boeing has equal or more incident involving crash and fatality compare to Airbus.
Yet the "statistics" you posted do not support that Boeing has equal or more incidents by any common measure (incidents per plane or incidents per hours of service).
Last edited by LawBeefaroni on Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Victoria Raverna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:00 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Victoria Raverna wrote: I guess it was flaw of perception. From 2007 until now, Boeing has equal or more incident involving crash and fatality compare to Airbus.

Maybe someone else can try to look at year 2000-2006, I'm too lazy to continue compiling the list. :)
How many Boeing planes were in service during those periods vs. Airbus planes? Or more importantly, how many Boeing service hours vs. Airbus service hours?



Otherwise you're saying it's safer to cross the Atlantic solo in a 24 foot sailboat than it is to turn off your air conditioning.

Heat related deaths per year in the US: 170
Transatlantic solo sailing deaths per year: <1
I didn't say anything like that. I said that Boeing has equal or more crashes compare to Airbus. I didn't claim that Airbus is safer or Boeing is safer.

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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:04 am

Victoria Raverna wrote: I didn't say anything like that. I said that Boeing has equal or more crashes compare to Airbus. I didn't claim that Airbus is safer or Boeing is safer.
See above. Your comment indicated that you were refuting Arcanis' perception that Airbus planes were inferior (less safe). "I guess it was flaw of perception."

And Boeing doesn't have "equal or more" crashes unless you completely ignore any kind of denominator, which gives you a measure much like lightning deaths vs. solo transatlantic sailing deaths. Non-comparable.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:11 pm

EADS is concerned that the Air Force gave their pricing data to Boeing.
Louis Gallois, chief executive of Europe's EADS, told reporters that his company remained concerned about the disclosure of sensitive pricing data to Boeing Co during the last U.S. Air Force tanker competition, but did not view the issue as a dealbreaker.

Disclosure of the pricing data was troubling given that EADS and its prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corp plan to to offer the same basic A330 refueling tanker in the next round of the competition, Gallois told reporters. He said Northrop and EADS would appreciate having the same kind of data about Boeing's bid, to level the playing field.
...
Pentagon officials said they reviewed the pricing issue before releasing draft rules for the next competition, and did not believe it would impair the competition.
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Re: Pentagon defers Tanker Contract

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:19 pm

Seattle PI
A day after a meeting with defense officials gave supporters of a Northrop Grumman-EADS aerial refueling tanker hope that the Pentagon might revise the draft tanker proposal, Boeing backers report that changes will be minor.

Northrop, EADS and its political allies say the draft request favors Boeing's smaller 767-based tanker over the Northrop-EADS Airbus A330-based offering. On Wednesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., told Reuters that Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn and Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter pledged in a meeting with him and after other Alabama lawmakers to revise the request.
...
Lynn suggested the Pentagon could adjust the projected fuel cost assumptions and may extend the period covered under life cycle costs from 20 to 40 years, Reuters reported. The first change could help Boeing, whose officials have publicly complained that the draft request underestimates fuel costs, giving less of an edge to the 767-based tanker, which uses less fuel than its larger rival.

Tiahrt told Reuters that he and Dicks continue to push the Pentagon to penalize a Northrop-EADS bid based on a preliminary World Trade Organization ruling that European governments illegally subsidized Airbus aircraft, including the A330. Pentagon officials have said they wouldn't do so because the ruling isn't final and can be appealed, and because a European counterclaim is pending.
I want the military to have the best solution that they can get, but Boeing is really starting to irritate me with their manuevering. Try to get changes made to the requirements that benefit us ad then try and get the opposition penalized for something that has nothing to do with the facts of this particular contract.
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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:17 pm

New rules for the competition due out tomorrow.

Reuters
[Air Force Secretary Michael] Donley said the service had decided to "lock down the details" after the Government Accountability Office found too much subjectivity in the previous process. He rejected criticism from a Northrop supporter on the committee that the changed approach favors Boeing's smaller 767 tanker.

Northrop has told the Pentagon that it will not bid for the contract this time around unless the Air Force makes significant changes to draft terms released in September.

Northrop officials argue that the Air Force turned the previous "best value" competition into a "price shootout" by insisting on 373 pass-fail requirements for the new planes, while giving no credit for additional capabilities unless the price of the competing offers were only 1 percent apart.
...
Donley also rejected calls by some Northrop supporters for moves to buy planes from both companies, saying such a move would significantly increase procurement spending and eat up resources the Air Force needs for other programs.
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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:14 pm

Business Week
“The changes in the final RFP are rather minimal,” [U.S. Representative Norm] Dicks, a Democrat from Washington state, said after a briefing from Air Force officials. “I don’t know if Northrop Grumman will be satisfied with that.”
...
Dicks said he was told by the Air Force officials the number of requirements for the contract was reduced to 372 from 373. The companies will have 75 days to respond to the request, and the Pentagon will announce its decision 120 days after that, said Dicks, who will be the next chairman of the defense panel of the House Appropriations Committee. He takes over for Representative John Murtha, who died earlier this month.
...
Defense officials will hold a 4 p.m. news conference today at the Pentagon to release details of the bid requests.
The hue and cry from Northrop ought to be something. I really hope this doesn't turn into a Boeing contract due to Northrop refusing to submit a bid.
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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Boudreaux » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:16 am

I keep reading that the new RFP is "heavily tilted" in favor of Boeing, but none of the reporting bothers to explain why. Is it just because of cost? Northrop and AL politicians are complaining that the lower cost (i.e. smaller) jet is favored to win?

Given the relative pauper status of the USAF, I don't see how they can't make cost the #1 driver for this competition. Additional capability beyond the 372 hard requirements is great, but it's worthless if you can't pay for it.

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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:38 am

Isgrimnur wrote:EADS is concerned that the Air Force gave their pricing data to Boeing.
Boeing already knows what Northrop/EADS piricng looks like from previous contracts, information that was not provided in the other direction. Northrop/EADS also feels that the requirements have basically been re-written with Boeing's solution in mind, so that, hey, how about that, Boeing's plane hapens to meet most of the criteria with a minimum of modification whereas retooling the Northrop/EADS plane would make it cost prohibitive.
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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:10 pm

I think there's also some size (smaller is better) and fuel efficiency items in favor of Boeing.
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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:27 pm

I want the Air Force to get the best solution, but Boeing has really pulled some slimy crap to make me feel good about them getting the contract, even if Northrop/EADS does bid.

If a smaller aircraft leads to more airframes and better ability to respond to the needs of the USAF, then I'm for it. But a smaller aircraft with a lower capability leads to two different scenarios:

1) Smaller aircraft leads to larger fleets.
This in turn lends itself to higher maintenance costs and difficulties (of which I get second-hand knowledge on how that works), and a larger number of airman required to staff and service said aircraft. So any savings you might get in terms of fuel might be eaten (literally and figuratively) by the required increase in staffing to support said fleet.

2) Smaller aircraft, same number of requisitioned aircraft (which from wiki seems to be the case, 179 aircraft regardless of the winner).
This leads to either a lower limit on the number of aircraft that one tanker can supply during a sortie, which either leads to a limitation of air operations by the attack/fighters or more sorties by the tankers to support the same number. This leads to more hours flown by the smaller tankers, which increases the rate of wear and tear on the fleet, increased need for routine maintenance and checks, and increase in breakdowns, meaning you're burning through spare parts faster, etc. So you're timeline for the life of these smaller tankers would be compressed in how long before they need refits, overhauls, etc. Any savings you get in fuel costs is likely to be lost in increased maintenance costs.

So it all comes down to the criteria and how they are weighted in the final analysis (and how much the contractors can massage these numbers to make it look good).
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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Boudreaux » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:04 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:EADS is concerned that the Air Force gave their pricing data to Boeing.

Boeing already knows what Northrop/EADS piricng looks like from previous contracts, information that was not provided in the other direction.
That was actually directly addressed in the RFP release briefing.
USD AT&L Ashton Carter wrote:To clarify for the record, regarding alleged release of information from the previous solicitation, the Department did not disclose Northrop Grumman / EADS bid information. Rather, we did disclose information that was in accordance with regulation and more importantly, which creates no competitive disadvantage. Incidentally, the data disclosure that is in question was both vague and inaccurate. As a result, both companies were cautioned not to rely on the data disclosure.

While the legal basis of our position is clear, context is also important. The data in question are already 2 years old. This is a different solicitation in terms of required content and type of contract. For these reasons, what was offered last time is expected to be demonstrably different, and at a different price...thus making the claim of disadvantage all the more unsupported.
And what was is you think Boeing did that was so slimy?

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Re: Tanker Contract Manuevering

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:17 pm

Let's see...
in December 2003, the Pentagon announced the project was to be frozen while an investigation of allegations of corruption by one if its former procurement staffers, Darleen Druyun (who had moved to Boeing in January 2003) was begun. Druyun pled guilty of criminal wrongdoing and was sentenced to nine months in jail for "negotiating a job with Boeing at the same time she was involved in contracts with the company". Additional fallout included the termination of CFO Michael M. Sears (who was later sentenced to four months in prison in 2005), the resignation of Boeing CEO Philip M. Condit, and the payment by Boeing of a $615 million fine in recompense for their actions related to the contract.
Seattle PI wrote:Tiahrt told Reuters that he and Dicks continue to push the Pentagon to penalize a Northrop-EADS bid based on a preliminary World Trade Organization ruling that European governments illegally subsidized Airbus aircraft, including the A330. Pentagon officials have said they wouldn't do so because the ruling isn't final and can be appealed, and because a European counterclaim is pending.
That would be U.S. Representatives Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., and Norm Dicks, D-Wash.

I'm sure Boeing had nothing to do with the statements by these two Reps and they were strictly motivated by fair international trade. Oh, wait...
Seattle PI wrote:Boeing plans to build its aircraft in Washington state, with military modifications in Kansas.
Those two things strike me as slimy. I know the second has become standard manuevering, but I really hate that it comes down to economic and political manuevering rather than attempting to make sure that our warfighters have the best solution. I know it's rather naive of me to want that, but as a military son, I want our military to have the best that they can have because it's the best, not because politics prevented them from getting it.
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