Skip to comments.Brownback, Roberts, Tiahrt Introduce KC-X Tanker Recompete Legislation
Posted on 06/30/2008 7:30:30 AM PDT by cmdr straker
Brownback, Roberts, Tiahrt Introduce KC-X Tanker Recompete Legislation Bill to require DoD to recompete KC-X Tanker contract under fair, open process Thursday, June 26, 2008
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) today introduced the KC-X Tanker Recompete Act. Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) introduced companion legislation in the House. The legislation would prohibit use of any funds by the Department of Defense on the KC-Tanker unless the DoD chooses to outright award the KC-X tanker to Boeing or decides to fairly recompete the KC-X contract using the KC-135 criteria.
"The fastest way for the Air Force to get a new tanker is to award the contract to Boeing," said Senator Brownback. "If the Air Force instead chooses to rebid the contract, this legislation would ensure a new competition assesses all of the relevant factors, including subsidies and foreign corruption. Only a thorough and complete assessment of tanker proposals will prevent further delays in the tanker replacement program."
Representative Tiahrt said, "The Air Force used a flawed and incompetent process to evaluate the original KC-X tanker proposal. There is no way to get around this fact. My bill offers two choices. The Air Force can either award the contract to Boeing, the company that meets all the requirements set forth by the Air Force. Or, the Air Force can rebid the tanker contract on a fair and level playing fieldthe way it should have been done the first time. I urge the Air Force to respond quickly and not delay awarding the contract to Boeing, which represents the best tanker for the Air Force and the American taxpayer."
"The full GAO report is in and it is now clear that the Air Force made critical mistakes and chose the wrong plane for our men and women in uniform, for our nation and for our Kansas workers," Senator Roberts said. "It is time to get this contract awarded fair and square. Our bill will keep the Department of Defense from spending one dollar on the tanker unless it goes to the group that best meets the Air Force's criteria. The GAO report indicates that this should be an easy decision for the Air Force."
Under the new competition rules set forth by the legislation, the DoD must consider national security and industrial base concerns. The legislation also would expand the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to foreign companies, require an independent cost estimate, and ensure the DoD considers the impact of additional regulatory burdens placed on American companies whose foreign competitors do not face such burdens.
Roberts is the lead sponsor for the Senate bill, and Tiahrt is the lead House sponsor.
France Set to Announce Purchase of EADS Tankers Without A Competition
Last week Aviation Week military editor Amy Butler, in a for subscribers only Aerospace Daily & Defense Report (Vol. 226,Issue 24), broke a bit of news of which no one seems to have grasped the significance. Specifically Ms. Butler reported that:
Plans for French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make a big announcement next month at the Farnborough Air Show related to his country’s own refueling tanker program have apparently fizzled out after recent events in the United States, according to industry sources.
Sarkozy was set to announce that Paris was planning to buy A330-based tankers assembled at the yet-to-be built EADS North America manufacturing facility in Mobile, Ala. The country has a need for new refuelers, though a procurement strategy hasn’t been released.
If this report is accurate, it means that France planned to buy EADS tankers without a competition. And, they hoped that because the tankers would be assembled in the US, everyone here would overlook the fact that this once again proves the hypocrisy of French defense firms.
These firms demand that they be allowed equal treatment for US defense contracts. Yet, behind the scenes, they seek to deny American companies the same rights in their country. Ed Morrisy on the Hot Air blog had a good post on this issue in March.
This is not the first time the France did not allow Boeing to compete in a defense contract. When the France asked for proposals for an air transport contract in 2004 they stipulated that the aircraft proposed must be of European conception. This effectively barred Boeing from participating.
It should be noted that the German’s procured A310 tankers from EADS, also without a competition. Granted, the A310s retrofitted for this role were already in service with the German Air Force. But, given that the A310s were originally procured without a credible competition, and that the tanker retrofit contract opened the door for EADS to get into the tanker business, the German’s procurement actions should be viewed with some suspicion.
It never ceases to amaze us here at Tanker War Blog how the KC-30 team was able to brand themselves as the defenders of the free-market; while at the same time, labeling all Boeing supporters rank protectionists. Though, we sense that this is about to change.
This may be true - but the same magazine some months ago reported that the results of the competition were partly due to the fact that Boeing didn’t provide a competitive aircraft that met the requirements.
The 767 offering is short on distance capability and carrying capacity if my memory of the article is correct. The article painted Boeing as arrogant in their approach to the competition.
That is stupid. You don't "fix" a problem with faulty criteria by throwing out the competitive bidding and just picking a winner by politics. You re-bid and see if the outcome changes.
Trying to get contracts for their state.
I’m no expert on the field of AF tanker contracts, etc. but wouldn’t it be possible to analyze the existing data with the necessary objectivity and reach a reasonable conclusion? Or am I just being naive?
I think the problem is that Boeing was told there was things they either couldn’t do, or were too late TO do, so they didn’t, and that direction was wrong, and if Boeing had DONE those things or submitted those things it might have changed the results.
But if I’m remembering correctly, it still would require Boeing to go back and do those things or submit that information, and to do so without allowing EADS to also update their proposal wouldn’t be right.
I always worry when the legislature tries to dictate the results of a competitive bid. I can’t see politicians as being more objective than the career military people assigned to contract evaluation.
The first A310 of German Air Force were a ‘gift’ by former German Democratic Republic's national carrier Interflug. Therefore no procurement actions at all happened.
Oh so its okay for the FRENCH to DENY BOEING to bid on there Tanker Contract.
FAIR IS FAIR Hope they can the EADS and go with the BEST PALNE BOEING KC-767
I think the French Air Force got some key performance parameter in common with US Air Force, e.g. insight in technique.
No insight, no deal.
Another key performance parameter is range for countries like the UK (distance Ascension Island to Falkland Islands 4,000 nm), Australia (Cocos (Keeling) Islands to Norfolk Island 4,000 nm) and France (France to French Guiana about 3,500 nm). Just compare with expansions of countries which bought KC-767 like Japan (Tokyo to Iwo Jima 650 nm, greatest expansion 1.600 nm Hateruma Shima to cape Shiretoko ) or Italy (greatest expansion 700 nm Rifugio Tridentina to Lampedusa)
But the French played fair. The minimum requirement for fuel capability was set to 244,000 lb. As I heard Boeing didn't offered KC-777.
More like No you cannot bid because your not a FRENCH company.
French subsidised company.
Ah no .. they put forth in the contract must be made in EUROPE.
Now they'll buy 330-MRTTs assembled in France and militarized in Spain. As will all future purchasers of the 330-MRTT)
And the 330-200F(which is the future big civil market item) Unintended consequences Strike Again
Cocos/Norfolk Is are not high priority/risk scenarios in ADF planning.
I believe one of the requirements for AIR5402 was redeploy fromWilliamstown AB eastern Aust, to Butterworth AB Malaysia (also c.4000nm), while towing a flight of AF-18 Hornets, carrying the ground crew on the upper deck, and spares and support equipment in the cargo hold.
(And Boeing didn't offer the KC-777 for that either)
GOOD. let them buy substandard tankers. That will cost them more in the long run.
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