Skip to comments.EADS grounds $40bn US air tanker bid
Posted on 03/08/2010 5:17:48 PM PST by bruinbirdman
European defence giant EADS has dropped out of a nine-year, two-horse $40bn (£27bn) race to provide the US Air Force with a fleet of air tankers after accusing the American government of skewing the competition in rival Boeing's favour.
EADS staff stand near a life-size scale display of the interior of the Airbus A400M military transport plane
EADS and US partner Northrop-Grumman last night took the dramatic decision not to make a bid for the 179 plane contract after studying the latest terms drawn up by the US Department of Defence (DoD).
The pairing, which actually won the contract in 2008 only to be stripped of it after a political backlash in support of US rival Boeing, branded the competition for one of the largest military programmes in US history as unfair and unworkable.
"The acquisition methodology outlined ... would heavily weigh in the favour of the smaller, less capable Boeing tanker," said Ralph Crosby, chairman of EADS North America, whose bid would have been based on the Airbus A330. Boeing will propose the use of its smaller 767 jet.
Mr Crosby and Wes Bush, Northrop's chief executive, stressed that after working through the 1,000-plus pages within the latest request for proposals issued by the DoD, it was in neither company's interest to pursue a joint bid.
The withdrawal comes three months after the pair warned they might pull out of the running, a plea which led Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, to promise a "fair and highly transparent process" to replace the US's aerial refuelling tanker fleet, some planes in which are close to 50 years old.
EADS pointed out that although the bid documents "signal a preference for a smaller aircraft" the DoD has chosen its aircraft over those of Boeing
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The EADS plane was going to be built in America. Once again, union harassment wins out over the better product and our servicemen will be the ones who pay.
but the A330, isn’t that the one that just fell apart in the air somewhere between Brazil and France?? And maybe built here,, but airbus is still foreign owned, profits go home to French and German owners.
Not to mention, in a bid how do you factor out the massive Euro government direct subsidies to that company? They walk in the door with some bidding advantages that Boeing doesn’t.
The Northrup-Grumman team had the better design that would have been more cost efficient for the Air Force. Not to mention it would have provided a multitude of jobs for our area.
You have to understand. A few years back Boeing had us as a finalist for a new plant. They didn’t choose us. Then Northrup offered us the tanker and we threw in our lot with them. Boeing then proceeded to take out an ad campaign attacking us as unable to build planes and all sorts of other insults even though they themselves had figured us a good enough spot that we had been a finalist for one of their facilities.
I’m sorry but I do speak for a metro area of more than half a million people when I say that I sincerely hope that Boeing and their goons rot in hell and that McCain’s probe of their contracting practice will show them for the corrupt shills that they are.
Well,, it’s still a foreign machine. And strictly speaking as John Q. Public here, Boeing has a HUGE track record, going back to the 1930s, that i think should be heavily weighted before giving the Europeans such a plum. I’m thinking B-17, B-29, KB=50 (Americas first tanker) B-47, B-52, KC-135, etc.
Besides, i want to see airbus weaker,, i always worry a little when i get on one. Tail fell off the one in Newark, then this one out of Brazil.
Just telling you my opinion from the peanut gallery. It’s some of the problem that Airbus must deal with, image.
And don’t worry, im no Boeing slave, i won’t feel good in their machines if their airliners are assembled in China as their CEO has mentioned.
The bid is for a medium-size tanker, capable of operating at forward bases. The NG/EADDS bid was a large tanker incapable of operating at ll but one stateside reserve base, let alone forward deployed locations.
The Air Force erred first time around because they established the bid as a medium-sized tanker and assured Boeing that they had no reason to submit a 777-size bid, not would Boeing be awarded extra points if they offered a larger tanker. However, that was not what they briefed EADS.
Double standard, a mistake, one that the GAO agreed with (GAO has NO authority to over-turn a source selection. The Air Force doesn't have to go along with the GAO findings, but they did after a serious look and agreed mistakes were made. Sec Def, not friend to Boeing, agreed with the GAO, as well.
EADS/NG looked at the RFP, determined that the RFP was what was required by the Air Force, looked at their true costs and ability to operate, and decided their LARGER tanker could not win in a bid in accordance with the RFP for a medium-size tanker.
“Corrupt shills?” Interesting that you would attack the Boeing tanker team, a team made up of a majority of former service-men, men that have flown tankers for a career and ran AMC. . .the very servicemen you “thank” for their service are now a target for your scorn. Okay, but I choose not to insult and attack the credibility and integrity of these honorable men. You may want to, but not me.
“A few years back Boeing had us as a finalist for a new plant. They didnt choose us. “
Explains a lot.
Thanks for the informed information!
All in all, I prefer my tankers and airliners to keep their tails bolted on.
Northrop / EADS was proposing building in the U.S. the same tanker version the British and Australian air forces have, and they haven’t had problems with the 330 frame.
“but the A330, isnt that the one that just fell apart in the air somewhere between Brazil and France??”
Yeah, after it was bombed.
From a purely chauvinistic point of view, it would be hard to complain about buying aircraft that were subsidized on the back of the European taxpayer (the poor slob).
“but the A330, isnt that the one that just fell apart in the air somewhere between Brazil and France??”
So what if it was? Things like that happen. There have been Boeings that have broken up in flight in light turbulance. There have been others that have had large pieces fall off of them, then there are the uncommanded rudder deflections, etc, etc.
“And maybe built here,, but airbus is still foreign owned, profits go home to French and German owners.”
Northrup-Grumman is 100% American owned and would get some of those profits too.
“Not to mention, in a bid how do you factor out the massive Euro government direct subsidies to that company?”
You mean like the massive direct subsidies that Boeing enjoys through defense and space research? Then there are the massive tax breaks they get (they pay the lowest federal tax rate of any large corporation in the country) and get huge tax breaks from the state for every aircraft that rolls off the lines.
But by all means lets equip the Airforce with an obsolete aircraft design that doesn’t have the legs (range), nor the offload capacity that the Airforce wanted just to protect some union crybabies in Washington State.
FYI the tanker offered by Boeing to the Airforce hasn’t even flown yet which is the KC-767AT (Advanced Tanker), while the KC-30 has been flying for well over a year now. And NO, the KC-767AT is NOT the same aircraft that Japan and Italy was duped into buying.
If the NG plane couldn’t forward deploy, how did it win the first round?
This seems like “JUST LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL...”
“”More passengers, more cargo, more fuel offload, more patients that we can carry, more availability, more flexibility and more dependability,” Gen. Arthur Lichte, the commander of the Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, said of the Northrop Grumman-EADS KC-45A tanker.”
Sounds like Gen Lichte was either very stupid, or that the EADS tanker could forward deploy...
“On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told a Senate panel that the Northrop-EADS team defeated Boeing soundly.
“There were nine key performance parameters ... and across that spectrum — all evaluated — the Northrop Grumman plane was clearly a better performer,” Wynne told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates added his support for the Airbus tanker selection. “I believe, based on briefings that I’ve received, that it was a fair competition and a merit-based decision,” Gates told reporters.”
The wingman has a dark power.
“According to data provided by the Boeing Company, there are about 1643 airfields worldwide that can accommodate tanker operations. Of those, Boeing claims, the 767 tanker can operate out of about 811 and the Northrop Grumman/EADS A-330 can only operate out of about 408.
Data provided by Northrop Grumman — apparently from the model used by the Air Force — shows that their larger tanker can operate from 838 airfields while the Boeing can only operate from about 465 with the same fuel load.”
The Human Events article goes on to say: “Assuming the Boeing data are exaggerated in its favor, the conclusion must still be drawn that the NG/EADS tanker cannot operate out of hundreds of airfields that can accommodate the smaller, lighter Boeing aircraft.”
If that is the sort of logic that drove the new requirements, then it was all about politics.
You know how many F-22s we could have bought for $5 billion?
Boeing’s data was with both aircraft at MTOW. NG-EADS’s data was with the KC767 at MTOW, and the KC-30 at the Boeing fuel load.
I worked OT&E for 4 years...I have a hard time believing the folks working tanker acquisition didn’t look at where the tankers could fly out of at various weights...long before either proposal was accepted!
Boeing or Northrop saying their aircraft can operate out of x number of airfields vs. the competition is just posturing for the media. Remember this NG spider chart from the last go around? Look at the number of airfields @ 200,000 lbs of fuel: Boeing 465, NG 838
Thank you. I only experienced tankers from the receiving end, but I met a lot of smart & good people working acquisition. Lots of crooks as well, but a lot of good & honorable folks were trying hard to do what was right.
yeah lower risk to build an airplane in a factory that hasn’t been built, with a workforce that hasn’t been hired or trained. For two companies that have never worked together.
Oh yeah that Boeing airplane has never been built in this combination. But each of the components has been designed and built before. It is like getting the F-150 with a step side in red....
But people from AL totally bought the Airbus behind a mask fake.
Meanwhile Boeing already employs more people in Alabama than NG or EADs even if they would have gotten the contract.
So after the last botched RFP and evaluation the Pentagon complained that part of the problem was that they didn’t have enough aquistion people.
So they asked for and got 9,000 more folks.
Think about that for a minute. let’s assume 100K (with bennies) a year that is $900,000,000 a year for bean counters. We got more bean counters than beans.
Here are some informations about the boom offload capablilties:
Boeing: 6,800 pounds per minute (status: ?)
Airbus: 8,000 pounds per minute (status: tested)
The 226 PAX for the KC-30 are not quite right. With palletized seating in case of an airlift a KC-767 can carry about 230 PAX and a KC-30 about 350.
Current example: South Korea, 8,000 troops to deploy.
KC-767: 35 missions
KC-30 : 23 missions
Boeing employs people in Huntsville which is about 300 miles away from where the new plant was going to be. The Northrup-Grumman facility was going to be at the other end of the state and they already have a facility about 30 miles west in Mississippi that does employ some of our local people.
And you obviously know nothing about where that plant was going to be built because it was going to be built in an industrial park whose primary business is aerospace and which has among others, Teledyne Continental.
Exactly, you notice how they have a label for each part. Becasue they exist on existing airplanes.
Check out how the Boeing Business Jet was built, 737-800 wing on a -700 fuselage, with several optional fuel tanks...
It is called optimizing the airplane for the mission. In the business that is considered a minor derivative. Not high risk by any means.
The risk of joining Airbus to NG is a higher risk. With a new plant and new workforce.
“Once again, union harassment wins out over the better product and our servicemen will be the ones who pay.”
Bullshit. Airbus sucks.
BAA’s and RFP’s put out for bid are not “subsities.”
And the Boeing bid will bring a multitude of jobs to other areas. Why should the Defense budget be viewed as nothing but a jobs-creation program?
Then there is the whole issue of re-stressing runways and ramps to support a much heavier and larger jet that, by EADS own admission, was not what the Air force said they needed, first bid and now.
The Air Force wants a medium-size tanker, always was that requirement.
Like I said, if the Air Force wanted a large tanker replacement for the KC-10, EADS would have a reasonable stake. But it was not what the Air Force asked for.
No, it didn't fall apart. The plane was intact when it hit the water. The pitot tube froze over, which could be easily prevented in the new tanker design. The pilot also flew into bad weather that all other pilots were flying around.
The fly-by-wire design did not allow the pilots to over-ride the flight computer to fly the jet once the pitot tubes froze. Also, pitot heat “on” is standard in the checklist when flying at altitude and in precip.
“BAAs and RFPs put out for bid are not subsities.”
Funny, EADS gets research funding for defense and aerospace projects and you Boeing cheerleaders claim that they’re subsidies.
“The bid is for a medium-size tanker, capable of operating at forward bases. The NG/EADDS bid was a large tanker incapable of operating at ll but one stateside reserve base, let alone forward deployed locations.”
IF your claim was true, then that means the C-5 and the C-17 are “limited” to the same airfields that you claim the KC-30 is limited to.
And “forward deployed locations” Oh you mean places like South Korea, Japan, and maybe Taiwan? Those same “forward deployed locations” that are going to get flattened by the chinese if/when we go to war with them? Then there are those locations in and around the Persian Gulf that are going to get flattened by iranian missiles and suicide bombers breaching the wire at those bases to blow the tankers up on the flight line.
The Boeing tanker offers NO real improvement in capability over the existing KC-135 and with all those “forward operating locations” being turned into smoking craters the shorter range and capacity of the KC-767 will be a liability.
“Sec Def, not friend to Boeing, agreed with the GAO, as well.”
Only after pressure from congress with that traitor murtha threatening to pull funding for various programs unless his union lackeys at boeing got the contract.
The 767 isn’t 80% American.
The wings are made in Japan by Kawasaki Heavy Industries
The fuselage is made in Italy.
There are other parts made in communist china, and still more parts made in russia.
And a vast number of the American suppliers for Boeing get components for the various items they supply to Boeing from overseas sources.
“If that is the sort of logic that drove the new requirements, then it was all about politics.”
Damn skippy it’s about politics.
It’s 0bama throwing a bone to his union supporters.
It’s 0bama screwing over “red states” that never voted for him.
And it’s 0bama screwing over the military who also didn’t vote for him.
“Look at the number of airfields @ 200,000 lbs of fuel: Boeing 465, NG 838”
That’s because the KC-30’s larger wing provides more lift.
“And the Boeing bid will bring a multitude of jobs to other areas.”
No it isn’t. It’s going to keep existing UNION jobs in a small handful of blue states.
The NG/EADS plane would have added NEW jobs in dozens of states.
And the KC-30's larger engines produce more thrust.
So Boeing will take on all this work with existing employees only? Not a single new job will be created? I have a hard time believing that.
I'm not even sure it's been designed yet.
The 767 isnt 80% American
No its 85% AMERICAN MADE
The wings are made in Japan by Kawasaki Heavy Industries
NO they are made by Vought a division of BOEING. Kawasaki does not even supply body parts for the B767.
The fuselage is made in Italy
Alenia makes control surfaces not fuselage parts
CHECK Airframer.com for a breakdown of who builds what
Airframe Systems / Airframe Assemblies
Aero Vodochody a.s. (Czech Republic)
Aircraft Control Surfaces: Fixed leading edge parts & kits (Spirit Aerosystems)
Aerosud Pty Ltd (South Afrika)
Aircraft Interior Bulkheads: Business class seat partitions
Alenia Aeronautica SpA (Italy)
Spoilers, flaps, ailerons, slats and wing tips; Empennages: Fin; Aircraft Control Surfaces: Rudder; Radomes: Radome
Avcorp Industries Inc. (Canada)
Fairings: Aft strut fairings
BHA Aero Composite Parts Co., Ltd (China)
Wings: Wing fixed trailing edge; Empennages: Empennage panels
Elbit Systems Cyclone Ltd (Israel)
Fairings: Tail skid fairing; Aircraft Doors: Blowout doors
GE Aviation Systems Mechanical (Corona, USA)
Air Refuelling Systems: Wing aerial refueling pods, hose drum unit (KC-767 tanker)
GKN Aerospace Services (UK)
Winglets: Blended winglets (767-300 ER)
Hexcel Structures (USA)
Wing Flaps: Wing trailing assemblies
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (Aircraft Division Bangalore, India)
Aircraft Doors: Bulk cargo door
Hitco Carbon Composites Inc (USA)
Fairings: Composite flap track fairing assemblies
Korean Air Aerospace Business Division (South Korea)
Fuselage Sections: Body sections
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (Japan)
Fuselage Sections: Aft fuselage panel; Aircraft Doors: Cargo doors
Peco, Inc. (USA)
Aircraft Doors: Impact Resistant Fuel Access Doors
Romaero S.A. (Italy)
Aircraft Control Surfaces: Fixed leading edge polished skins
Spirit AeroSystems Europe Ltd (Europe)
Wings: Fixed leading edges
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. (USA)
Fuselage Sections: 41 section
Vought Aircraft Industries (USA)
Wings: Wing centre section, horizontal stabilizer; Aircraft Doors: Passenger, cargo & service doors; Fuselage Sections: Aft body section; Empennages:
Boeing already got a nice CGI design:
Any bets for the KC-NewGen platform?
C-5s have a different foot-print and weight limitations. Regardless, fully loaded C-5’s are VERY limited in where they can deploy. Same with the EADS bid. C-17’s don't even come close and aren't even in the same league. With fewer bases, farther away, you are more vulnerable to being shut-down than if you use a medium-sized tanker that can be widely dispersed.
And, if you have a gorilla package that needs refueling, and you have, say, 10 EADS tankers in a track, you can only refuel so many jets at a time, whereas, if for the same package you have 15 medium-sized tankers, you can cycle through more jets, faster, and at push time the jets are fully fueled, as opposed to the first refueled jet being low on gas before the push because they had to wait longer for the package to refuel and assemble. Using your logic, let's apply to the Army that same standard of bigger is better: Fewer FARPs with larger bladders would be best. Many would disagree.
The RFP was for a medium-sized tanker, that is a fact. And the 767 tanker is more efficient, saving billions in fuel costs, has a higher MR rate than the KC-135, and require less maintenance than the KC-135.
The Air Force gave extra points to EADS when the rules did not allow that.
Round one the requirements were clearly stated in the RFP, the Air Force told Boeing they would not receive extra credit for a larger jet, whereas, they told EADS they would receive extra credit. Double standard. And wrong.
Round two, the RFP was more clearly stated for a medium-sized tanker and that is what was being bid. If it was for a replacement for the KC-10, then the 777 (larger than the EADS 330) would have been bid by Boeing, and using your logic, bigger is better and Boeing wins again.
Because EADS doesn't have a medium-sized tanker, and they couldn't make the Air Force warfighter change their requirements, they elected not to bid.
While I understand your feelings and emotions on this subject, thought would support the Air Force on their requirements and support EADS decision not to bid.