Reports Final Proposals Due Next Week for KC-X

Both Boeing (BA) and EADS NA (EADS:P) have met with the U.S. Air Force reportedly to discuss final changes to the KC-X RFP. The companies have until 11 February to submit their final revisions to their proposed solutions to the new aerial tanking requirement.

Boeing has said that they will update their proposal although EADS NA has said they may not. Swirling around all of this final burst of activity is the concerns by some in Congress, the media and at the bidders about the accidental release of information by the U.S. Air Force to each team as well as the two World Trade Organizations (WTO) rulings on both companies receiving illegal subsidies.

Some Boeing supporters in Congress are now saying that the data release gives EADS an advantage and that there should be deeper investigations. The Air Force “reassigned” two personnel as punishment and Congress did have hearings last week about the matter. Washington state, Illinois and Kansas legislators all from states that stand to gain work if Boeing wins sent a letter to the DOD IG asking them to look to see if the data released skewed the contest in EADS’ favor.

All of these conditions make it seem inevitable that there will be a protest to the contract award no matter who wins it. There will also be political pressure from supporters of both companies to review the contract and make sure that there favored winner was not treated unfairly.

All this adds up to further delays in replacing the KC-135 systems made during the Cold War. Once again this problem has been created by the disappearance from the U.S. industrial base of multiple suppliers of large aircraft. Currently only Boeing and EADS make aircraft acceptable to the Air Force to meet this requirement. If there is to be even a modicum of competition the two have to be involved which leads us to the current ugly situation of charges and counter charges of favoritism, jingoism and bias.

This will probably be the biggest contract awarded for the next decade by the Defense Department and is critical to both companies maintaining a foothold in the large military aircraft business worldwide which is leading us to the current situation which does not seem like it will end well.

8 Comments »

  1. Tweets that mention Reports Final Proposals Due Next Week for KC-X -- Topsy.com Said,

    February 4, 2011 @ 4:34 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dagpotter, Dagpotter. Dagpotter said: Reports Final Proposals Due Next Week for KC-X http://bit.ly/gtXwAZ #in [...]

  2. Martin Harris Said,

    February 4, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    thanks to the USAF letting slip the relative performance in combat of the A330MRTT as opposed to the B767 tanker EADS have decided not to make a better offer, now we are going to have to pay full price!

  3. Rex Anderson Said,

    February 4, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    WHY NOT LEASE THE PLANES?

  4. Dagpotter Said,

    February 4, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

    In 2003 this whole mess started when the Air Force attempted to lease KC-767 aircraft from Boeing. Congress threw that out when it came out there had been little work done to prove that this was the most cost effective approach as well as the Darleen Druyan scandal. For more information see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Air_Force_tanker_contract_controversy

  5. Sal Said,

    February 7, 2011 @ 4:56 am

    It will end well, when the USAF just picks the KC-767 and moves on. EADS will not prevail, either in this so-called competition, nor any protest.

  6. Ray B Said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    Obama stated technology and jobs were critical in his state of the union address. Given his position, how could they award the Tanker to anybody but Boeing.

  7. Dagpotter Said,

    February 9, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    The U.S. Air Force is allowed to sole source the contract if they follow the requisite regulations and laws. They chose to compete this contract with a goal of getting the best value for the Government. Unfortunately only Boeing (BA) and EADS (EADS:P) are really able to compete for this contract right now and that is where we stand.

    There is nothing stopping the award to Boeing but it must stand challenge through the protest process.

  8. Both Companies Submit Final Proposals But Will Continuing Resolution Allow Award? Said,

    February 11, 2011 @ 5:20 am

    [...] EADS North America (EADS:P) submitted their final proposals for the KC-X aerial tanker program. The Air Force had asked that they be submitted by today and both companies turned them in [...]

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