Friday, December 4, 2009

Tanker Wars – Part V: King of Pork Speaks

Yes I know, more news this week, I can hardly stand it myself!!

Seems that NGS (that is Northrop Grumman Systems, the front company for EADS/Airbus) has continued whinnying er, ah complaining about the state of the Draft RFP for the next generation USAF Tanker or KC-X. They insist that if "substantial" changes are not made they will not bid.

And lookie here: people are hearing the whining, er ah complaining. John Murtha, U.S. Congressman (PA 12th) (I would use the pronoun 'Disgraced' here but in Nancy Pelosi's Congress there are no bad democrats no matter what kind of stink clings to her caucus) who is Chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (Google John Murtha + scandal = 98,000 hits) has heard the siren song from NGS. (We need to check those campaign contributions and a look in his Freezer may not be a bad idea!)

Comrade Murtha wants to do a "split" buy of aircraft, some from each company (Google John Murtha + Investigation = 101,000 hits). His plan is for the two to compete for a majority buy of 2/3rds of the aircraft while the looser builds 1/3ard. Now, this would be a good idea if these two contractors were building the same aircraft using the same tooling and such. But we are taking about two different whole airframes with virtually nothing the same between them. You would have to maintain two different Logistic tails to support these two aircraft and you would still have the infrastructure costs driven by the much larger A330 aircraft. And that is almost the whole reason the Tanker version of the A330 will cost more than what Boeing is going to offer (the KC-767) and it is absolutely correct to factor those costs into the final equation for the KC-X. It should reflect the total costs for the new buy.

Murtha is off his rocker and needs a reality check. It is a shame he won re-election by 16% last year over a new guy in politics. But his "bring home the bacon" campaign really carried the day in his congressional district (Google John Murtha + Pork = 64,000 hits).

If I were Boeing I would submit two bids, one with the KC-767 and another with say a 777 as the aircraft. Cover both the big and the small, locking out NGS in both cases. This way Murtha gets his two aircraft oh and maybe some campaign contributions from Boeing and/or its supplier chain, he just may shut up with enough money thrown his way. (Google John Murtha + King of Pork = 2,750,000 hits)

BT: Jimmy T sends.

1 comment:

Buck said...

Murtha is off his rocker and needs a reality check.

In many more ways than one.