Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shot Across the “Bow”

This is a tried and true method of getting someone's attention and even their compliance. Still used today, recusant mariners are warned with a ball of exploding iron across their Bow, their front, their Bridge, that place where the brain lives, to heave to and take head. Usually it is one belligerent against a non-belligerent in order to make a point.

But it does not always happen at Sea.

Could this be? Northrop Grumman has raised the stakes in the coming Tanker competition against Boeing for the USAF next generation Tanker by release of a statement to the USAF complaining that the competition is unfair. UNFAIR.

Right out of the box. Unfair.

Their complaint is that during the big protest of the last episode of the Tanker Wars, the USAF released to Boeing the pricing data used by Northrop Grumman for costing out the KC-45 aircraft, which they intend to re-bid. Both the US Department of Defense and the USAF responded that the data "are now inaccurate, outdated and not germane to this source-selection strategy". In a comment from the Boeing team they state that they gained no insight into pricing as they usually just pull a number out of their ass anyway.

In the last go around as I remember complaining bitterly about this, the USAF released the amount of money they had on hand for this effort and simply wanted 179 aircraft for that number. Both companies simply divided 179 into the total money the Air Force had and that was their bid. You see, the first rule of Military Procurement is use up all the money available first, then ask for more. Just ask Lockheed. Tried and proven time and again.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Hat Tip to: Alert 5


Buck said...

I thought about blogging this yesterday as it was an item in the AFA's Daily Brief. But I let it go...

So. It looks like BAU where N-G is concerned, eh?

JimmyT said...

Buck, yep I think so. Them and Lockheed should be shamed for their association with EADS/AIRBUS. You'd think their union's would be bitchin' the high heaven about teaming with them.

BT: Jimmy T sends.