Air Force tanker contract (1 Viewer)

Thorin

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Scandalous, they need to be looking for more than Hannah Montana tickets on this one.
 

Saint Mike

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It's surprising considering the past scandals between the Air Force and Boeing. The AF, at least on the surface, declared this to be a fair and open bid process. That appears not to be the case.
 

staphory

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Who cares? Build the stupid thing already. By the way, 179 isn't nearly enough.
 
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erb415

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Well Northrop Grumman wins the contract. Good for Mobile. Now we wait till Boeing files a protest. http://www.al.com/
 

staphory

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I guess I'll be applying for a job in 'bammer soon.
 

Saintman2884

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Staphory call me up when you do, Mobile is a hell of a town. It can be a bit boring at times but it rocks in most places. As for me, I kind of live out in West Mobile, the places where the rural folks and rednecks hang out and live, but its all good, I like it here anyway.
I want to meet TPS one day in the future if he ever comes to Mobile, Steve is kind of my mentor on Sr.com or the guy that I have learned the most from on this site.

Good luck for Mobile in the tanker contract
 

TDH

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Wow, I'm surprised Boeing lost. Thats a lot of money!
 

Taurus

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Man, I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall up at Paine Field when that news came down. They had the mayor, all kinds of Boeing bigwigs and tons of press all set up and ready to go. The looks on their faces must've been priceless.
 

staphory

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Here's a good story about why this decision was made.

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080301/NEWS01/529306481&news01ad=1

As disbelief and anger began to subside, a common question arose: Why did Boeing lose?
"In the end, the Air Force had to decide if they wanted a strictly aerial refueling aircraft (the KC-767) or a multi-role tanker transport like the KC-30," said Scott Hamilton, a local analyst with the Leeham Co.
The bold part is extremely important to the AF. In 94 the AF moved me to MCConnell AFB KS to be part of the first KC-135 "Super Wing". We sent away most of our BONES while transferring the remainder to the KSANG and stood up the 22 ARW with 48 tankers. We became part of AMC after ACC gave up all of the tankers.
AMC was practically salivating at the thought of getting control of a lot more cargo (the C in KC-135) aircraftthat could be used on missions around the world. The first problem they ran into was how to use these things as regular cargo aircraft when they had a primary EWO tasking. They got past that by keeping a certain number on station at all times for that mission.
The next problem they encountered was how to get cargo into the thing. You can't use roll on/ roll off because the cargo door is on the side. Now you need a lift that can get up that high. They use fork lifts and K Loaders (http://kornylak.com/images/vehicle/40k_loader/40K-002s.jpg) to solve that and started development of a roller system to help move the cargo into position inside the aircraft. It's a pretty tight fit inside when standard pallets are being used.
All of this revealed the biggest weakness of the KC-135...the floor is made of marine grade plywood! Yep, you read that correctly. Plywood.
Undaunted, AMC tried to start a program called "Tanker Express". The idea was to have a few tankers in the Pacific making daily supply runs between various government sites to take the load off the dedicated cargo assets.
It met with limited success due to the fact that the plywood floor just couldn't support certain size and weight loads. It was too easy to pack out a pallet and exceed the maximum hieght or weight allowed for that aircraft. Since it was the only cargo aircraft with this limitation they backed off that idea. They still use it from time to time to move cargo but its main focus remains aerial refueling.
How does all that factor into the decision to select the KC-30? There was no way the AF was going to buy an aircraft that would be a tanker only. They need that cargo capability too much. Boeing was offering the freighter version of the 767 but it has a reduced range was going to be optimized for carrying fuel not cargo.
Looks like Northrup Grumman had their stuff together and offered a multirole aircraft while Boeing was essentially offering an updated KC-135.
 

Rickboy

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IMO Boeing has no one to blame but themselves. They had this contract wrapped up years ago before that scandal hit. If they had been above board back then this contract wouldn't have had to be redone from scratch.

As for ticking off foreign suppliers, well several safeguards have been put in for that.

Plus, do you really think the EU will stop supplying parts just because they don't agree with a war? They are well aware that if they do that they kill any possibility for future business from the US defense market and perhaps any other market. Money talks.
 

staphory

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More than 50% of the A330 is already produced here.
The goal is 60% for the KC-30.
Here is a state by state break down.
http://www.northropgrumman.com/kc30/benefits/impact.html

It would seem that Northrop Grumman has learned a lesson from Lockheed-Martin, build it in as many Congressional districts as possible. ala the F-22.
 

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