Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tanker Wars – Back On!

Ok it seems there could be a storm brewing on the KC-X horizon. When we last discussed the Tanker program it was to announce the end of the Wars between NGS and Boeing since NGS was not going to submit a bid.

Oh what a couple of weeks makes: now word is out that EADS/Airbus the former partner with NGS on the Tanker program will now attempt to bid with another American company fronting for them here in the USA. No one knows who that other company is but it won't matter. However there is one report that they may in fact go it alone. They have asked the DOD/USAF for additional time to prepare their "new" proposal. And the DOD/USAF is more than happy to give them that time. You know, in the name of "fairness" and competition. More of the story here .

Also, there was news that a Russian firm wants to throw a bid into the mix as well. United Aircraft of Moscow wants to off the USAF a modified Illyushion IL-96. The modifications include replacing the 4-tubro jet engines with new modern turbo fan engines and with a fuselage a little wider and longer than the existing KC-135 aircraft. They now claim that they are not bidding on the contract so we will have to wait and see what really shakes out of this one.

Could it get any better than this for us pundants? And I thought it was all over!

Boeing is holding it tongue right now, what was supposed to be a cake walk suddenly now has some IED's implanted throughout their AOR and there is still a movement out there to build two different Tankers.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

From AFA's Daily Report:

Extend or No?: A Pentagon spokesman said EADS has asked for a 90-day extension to consider whether it would file a solo bid in the KC-X tanker replacement program. The request for proposals, released Feb. 24, set May 10 as the due date, so acceding to the EADS request could delay the process until Aug. 9. Meanwhile, the World Trade Organization expects this week to release its decision on the United States claim that European governments have provided Airbus subsidies to the detriment of US large aircraft maker Boeing. The interim decision, released last fall, prompted pro-Boeing lawmakers to charge the Administration to consider the ruling when making its KC-X decision. The Pentagon has said it cannot. And, still to come this June is an interim ruling by the WTO on the counterclaim filed by the European Communities against the US that the US had illegally aided Boeing. (US vs. EC complaint, DS316) (EC vs. US complaint, DS353)

The bolded bit is unclear to me. DoD cannot extend the proposal date? Or DoD cannot take the WTO decision into consideration? Probably the latter, yet still clear as mud.

JimmyT said...

Buck, that applies to the WTO decision, I have read that before in questions brought to the DOD/USAF. My guess is they don't know how to factor that in to one contractor over another. I would guess you would simply add some majic number and let it go at that.

On the same subject the WTO finaly made public their finding that Boeing was actually "injured" by the illegal subusdiays that Airbus received from the partner countries. How that will affect pricing is still being contemplated. Story is here if you care: http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE58329M20090904

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Buck said...

I read the FT release on the decision, which probably included a lot of Reuters copy. BOTH sides are claiming vindication... I suppose I'll have to wait for the decision to be released and read it myself.