KC-X revisited

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Robert Hilton
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KC-X revisited

Postby Robert Hilton » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:09 am


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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby supersean » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:46 pm

This is going to get real nasty... real quick. I cant recall such a clusterfuck of a acquisition cycle for such a critical component of our nations defense.
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby PurduePilot » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:52 pm

You'd think if they were ramping up to spend however many billions of dollars on tankers, they could at least invest in a decent scanner...

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Verbal » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:31 am

Is Northrup throwing a little tantrum because it can't get its way?

Northrop may drop out of tanker competition
By JOSHUA FREED
AP Business Writer

Northrop Grumman Corp. said on Tuesday it won't bid on a major contract to make a new Air Force tanker plane unless the Defense Department changes the rules.

Northrop has been tussling for years with Boeing Co. over a contract worth at least $35 billion to build 179 new Air Force tankers.

The Pentagon had circulated a draft of its request for proposals. Northrop said asked for revisions on Nov. 4. But the Pentagon said the revisions would not be included, according to a letter sent Tuesday from Wes Bush, Northrop's president and chief operating officer, to Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

Without those changes, Northrop Grumman "cannot submit a bid" for the tanker program, Bush wrote.

The Pentagon's preliminary request includes what Los Angeles-based Northrop called a "clear preference" for a smaller plane with limited flexibility. Critics have said the request appeared tailored for Boeing, which is based in Chicago.

The initial Pentagon request "places contractual and financial burdens on the company that we simply cannot accept," Bush wrote.

In a written statement, the Defense Department said it regretted "that Northrop-Grumman and Airbus have taken themselves out of the tanker competition and hope they will return" when the request for proposal is issued, which it expects in January. Northrop's partner, Airbus, is owned by Paris-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.

The Defense Department said both companies suggested changes to its request for proposal that would favor their own planes.

"Both companies can make a good tanker. The Department wants competition but cannot compel the two airplane makers to compete," the statement said.

The Pentagon needs to replace its aging fleet of tankers that refuel military planes in-flight. It has tried twice, and failed twice, to award a contract. The deal awarded to Northrop last year was overturned on appeal. And in 2004 an ethics scandal nixed an award to Boeing.

Lawmakers have taken an interest because the winning company will need thousands of workers to make the tankers. If Northrop and EADS win, a new plant will be built in Mobile, Ala., and Florida and West Virginia might benefit, too. A Boeing win would help Washington, Kansas and other states.
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Robert Hilton » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:29 am

Verbal wrote:Is Northrup throwing a little tantrum because it can't get its way?

No less than Boeing moaning about the 1200 gpm flow rate for the boom, oh, and the speed limitations when fitted with WARP's.
It's gonna get alot meaner on both sides before this is done and dusted.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Marc 1 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:28 am

So we have EADS threatening to pack up its bat and ball and go home (political posturing) and the remaining contender cannot pump fuel at the required rate...

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... F%20Demand

Edit: Apologies for the repost. Robert's covered it above.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby supersean » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:14 am

Marc 1 wrote:So we have EADS threatening to pack up its bat and ball and go home (political posturing) and the remaining contender cannot pump fuel at the required rate...

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... F%20Demand

Edit: Apologies for the repost. Robert's covered it above.


But remember this ploy was used during round 2. I hope the USAF says to EADS thanks for your troubles and awards the contract already. This is becoming a national security issue.
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Marc 1 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:05 am

supersean wrote:
Marc 1 wrote:So we have EADS threatening to pack up its bat and ball and go home (political posturing) and the remaining contender cannot pump fuel at the required rate...

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... F%20Demand

Edit: Apologies for the repost. Robert's covered it above.


But remember this ploy was used during round 2. I hope the USAF says to EADS thanks for your troubles and awards the contract already. This is becoming a national security issue.


Agreed. There'd be a pretty fair chance of the oldest 135 getting a congratulatory letter from her Maj on achieving the age of 100 years before replacement otherwise.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby supersean » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:22 am

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby supersean » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:17 am

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Robert Hilton » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:23 am

Indeed they have.
It is however a rehash of previous arguments that are not that convincing really.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Verbal » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:27 pm

As expected, Boeing will reply to the RFP with a 767-based tanker proposal. Notably, it will use a 787 flight deck. Check out the sly jabs at AirBus in the press release:

The multi-mission aircraft is named NewGen because it includes several state-of-the-art systems to meet the demanding mission requirements of the future. They include:

* A digital flight deck featuring electronic displays taken directly from the most advanced commercial airliner in existence -- the Boeing 787 Dreamliner -- that show all flight attitude, navigation, engine indication and crew-alerting information on screens 75 percent larger than on a commercial Airbus A330.
* A new-generation fly-by-wire boom with an expanded refueling envelope and increased fuel offload rate. It will meet the Air Force requirement and simplify refueling operations to reduce workload for the aircrew and improve safety and reliability. Boeing is the only team in the KC-X competition that has invented, manufactured and delivered combat-tested aerial refueling booms.
* The Boeing NewGen Tanker will be controlled by the aircrew, which has unrestricted access to the full flight envelope for threat avoidance at any time, rather than allowing computer software to limit combat maneuverability.


Full press release here:
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1102
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Procede » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:34 pm

Verbal wrote: * The Boeing NewGen Tanker will be controlled by the aircrew, which has unrestricted access to the full flight envelope for threat avoidance at any time, rather than allowing computer software to limit combat maneuverability.


Does that includes the 'folding the wings and making a smoking hole in the ground' manoeuvre, especially know for saving the enemy responsibility and some ammo?

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Verbal » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:21 pm

I think it is designed to avoid the "now-what-is-it-doing-mayday-mayday-I-love-you-mom" smoking hole in the ground maneuver.
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Not_Karl » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:44 pm

Verbal wrote:I think it is designed to avoid the "now-what-is-it-doing-mayday-mayday-I-love-you-mom" smoking hole in the ground maneuver.

Wrong.

That maneuver is generally done on water, so no smoking hole.
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby PurduePilot » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:59 pm

Verbal wrote:As expected, Boeing will reply to the RFP with a 767-based tanker proposal. Notably, it will use a 787 flight deck. Check out the sly jabs at AirBus in the press release:

The multi-mission aircraft is named NewGen because it includes several state-of-the-art systems to meet the demanding mission requirements of the future. They include:

* A digital flight deck featuring electronic displays taken directly from the most advanced commercial airliner in existence -- the Boeing 787 Dreamliner -- that show all flight attitude, navigation, engine indication and crew-alerting information on screens 75 percent larger than on a commercial Airbus A330.
* A new-generation fly-by-wire boom with an expanded refueling envelope and increased fuel offload rate. It will meet the Air Force requirement and simplify refueling operations to reduce workload for the aircrew and improve safety and reliability. Boeing is the only team in the KC-X competition that has invented, manufactured and delivered combat-tested aerial refueling booms.
* The Boeing NewGen Tanker will be controlled by the aircrew, which has unrestricted access to the full flight envelope for threat avoidance at any time, rather than allowing computer software to limit combat maneuverability.


Full press release here:
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1102

Sounds like the right tanker at the right time for the right job.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Marc 1 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:10 am

PurduePilot wrote:
Verbal wrote:As expected, Boeing will reply to the RFP with a 767-based tanker proposal. Notably, it will use a 787 flight deck. Check out the sly jabs at AirBus in the press release:

The multi-mission aircraft is named NewGen because it includes several state-of-the-art systems to meet the demanding mission requirements of the future. They include:

* A digital flight deck featuring electronic displays taken directly from the most advanced commercial airliner in existence -- the Boeing 787 Dreamliner -- that show all flight attitude, navigation, engine indication and crew-alerting information on screens 75 percent larger than on a commercial Airbus A330.
* A new-generation fly-by-wire boom with an expanded refueling envelope and increased fuel offload rate. It will meet the Air Force requirement and simplify refueling operations to reduce workload for the aircrew and improve safety and reliability. Boeing is the only team in the KC-X competition that has invented, manufactured and delivered combat-tested aerial refueling booms.
* The Boeing NewGen Tanker will be controlled by the aircrew, which has unrestricted access to the full flight envelope for threat avoidance at any time, rather than allowing computer software to limit combat maneuverability.


Full press release here:
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1102

Sounds like the right tanker at the right time for the right job.


And is co-incidentally exactly what was requested in the revised RFP! Amazing!

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby PurduePilot » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:10 am

Marc 1 wrote:And is co-incidentally exactly what was requested in the revised RFP! Amazing!

It's also what was requested in the original RFP. Amazing!

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Robert Hilton » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:11 am

PurduePilot wrote:
Marc 1 wrote:And is co-incidentally exactly what was requested in the revised RFP! Amazing!

It's also what was requested in the original RFP. Amazing!

You mean the RFP that was written specifically for Boeing and subsequently lead to the mess the USAF is now in?
I personally lean towards the KC45, because it is a more modern design and I believe that would give the USAF more flexibilty of use, later.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby PurduePilot » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:06 pm

Robert Hilton wrote:
PurduePilot wrote:
Marc 1 wrote:And is co-incidentally exactly what was requested in the revised RFP! Amazing!

It's also what was requested in the original RFP. Amazing!

You mean the RFP that was written specifically for Boeing and subsequently lead to the mess the USAF is now in?
I personally lean towards the KC45, because it is a more modern design and I believe that would give the USAF more flexibilty of use, later.

I don't know about the politics involved, so perhaps you could fill me in on the bases for the claim that the original RFP was written for Boeing.

The real question is how much airplane does the Air Force want and need for their tanker mission? The KC-767 fit the original RFP like a glove (for whatever that's worth), while the KC-45 was far larger than the mission called for. As to whether the Air Force needs that extra capacity, I guess that's the debate. However, if the original RFP more accurately describes their needs then the KC-45 is going to be very inefficient in its role.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Robert Hilton » Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:31 am

This should give you a rough idea of the train of events
http://wapedia.mobi/en/United_States_Ai ... ent_effort

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Verbal » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:51 pm

Robert Hilton wrote:I personally lean towards the KC45, because it is a more modern design and I believe that would give the USAF more flexibilty of use, later.

Please explain (a) in what ways the KC-45 is more modern than the KC-767, and (b) how said modernity leads to greater flexibility. Limit your answer to 10,000 words or less. Thanks in advance.
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Robert Hilton » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:12 pm

Verbal wrote:Please explain (a) in what ways the KC-45 is more modern than the KC-767, and (b) how said modernity leads to greater flexibility. Limit your answer to 10,000 words or less. Thanks in advance.
[/quote]
Sorry, I need 10,001 so I'd better not answer.

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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Verbal » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:29 pm

Robert Hilton wrote:Sorry, I need 10,001 so I'd better not answer.

Are you Gabriel?
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Re: KC-X revisited

Postby Verbal » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:23 pm

Northrop Grumman won't bid against Boeing for tanker contract
By Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Northrop Grumman has decided not to bid in the Air Force refueling tanker contract, leaving Boeing's Everett-built 767 as the sole airplane competing for the $40 billion program.

A person familiar with the details said Northrop will announce its decision after the market closes today. The person said that Northrop executives concluded the risk attached to a fixed price contract precluded a low bid, without which they felt they could not win against Boeing.

The Pentagon issued the terms of the new competition on Feb. 24. The terms were widely seen as favoring the 767 over the larger Airbus A330 offered by Northrop.


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2011288839_tanker09.html
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