Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tanker Wars Fizzle

Northrop Grumman (NGS) has decided to bow out of the Air Forces next generation aerial tanker competition much to the dismay of EADS/Airbus. NGS claims the competition is hard wired for a smaller size aircraft than what they wanted to propose.

"After a comprehensive analysis of the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it will not submit a bid to the Department of Defense for the KC-X Program. We reached this conclusion based on the structure of the source selection methodology defined in the RFP, which clearly favors Boeing's smaller refueling tanker and does not provide adequate value recognition of the added capability of a larger tanker,"

So off they go, and I am sure Boeing is dancing in the streets around Paine Field in Everett Washington. And the Defense Department, they claim to be "disappointed" that NGS/EADS/Airbus will not be participating. But you know as well as I do that they are breathing easier right now because the pressure to "do the right thing" whatever that might be is off them. I mean, anyone can evaluate and award a contract with only a single bidder.

I just hope Boeing does not go off and pull a Lockheed-Martin bait and switch operation and jack up the price and/or "work" the program into a money hole al la F-22/F-35. We will have to wait to see what happens now.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

1 comment:

Buck said...

I won't believe NGS has withdrawn until the proposal submission deadline passes. And maybe not even then.