Archive for russia

EADS North America Turns in Proposal Today

EADS North America, the American subsidiary of EADS (EADS:P), turned in their proposal for the KC-X aerial tanker today to the U.S. Air Force. This represents their second attempt to win the program and the Air Force’s third try.

EADS North America will base their program on a modified Airbus A330 transport aircraft. As with the previous attempt in 2008 they will assemble the aircraft at a facility in Mobile, AL. Then they will receive the necessary modifications to meet the U.S. requirements. Airbus will also assemble all of their A330 transports at this new facility if EADS does win the contract when it is awarded in November.

Boeing (BA) will also turn in their proposal by tomorrow. A third contended, U.S. Aerospace, has committed to submit a proposal by Friday if the Air Force does not grant their extension request.

Comments (2)

Antonov Team Request Delay in Proposal Deadline

As reported last week U.S. Aerospace and Antonov intend to submit a proposal to the Air Force for the KC-X aerial tanker. Because the actual proposals are due this week supposedly the new team will ask for a sixty day delay to accommodate them. The deadline has already been moved once from June to July to allow EADS (EADS:P) and its team to bid.

The current schedule is for a contract award in November and this new extension would probably push that into 2011 due to the time it will take to evaluate a third bid. U.S. Aerospace did say that they will submit this week if no extension is granted.

A third proposal will make the contest more interesting especially as the Antonov will be very price competitive.

Comments (1)

Russians to Bid for KC-X? US Aerospace Says Yes

Update — Antonov is now a Ukrainian company, but in the days of the Former Soviet Union it made transports and utility aircraft for the “Russian” military, civil air companies and Warsaw Pact nations. My bad for being old school.

It came out today that there will be a third bidder for the Air Force’s new KC-X aerial tanker program. US Aerospace will propose a system based on Antonov platforms from Russia. There had been earlier rumors that the company would team with Ilyushin to offer a variant of the IL-86 airliner for this, but that had seemed to go nowhere.

Antonov makes large transport aircraft such as the AN-124 used to move outsize cargo across the world. According to US Aerospace they may offer a version of the AN-124 or an aircraft called the “AN-112”. The 112 is supposed to be based on earlier turboprop transport heavily used by the Soviet Union and its allies.

The submission of a third bid will change the competition quite a bit. A Russian based aircraft may certainly be cheap putting pressure on both Boeing (BA) and EADS (EADS:P) to review the cost of their proposals.

US Aerospace, similar to EADS, will assemble the aircraft in the U.S. and add the military specific equipment themselves. This will also include the flight refueling equipment.

They only have about two weeks to get a proposal together so if they do end up bidding it will be very interesting.

What less then a year ago seemed to be a program with only one company bidding, Boeing, now looks to have a chance to have three.

This program seems only to get more complicated.

Comments (3)

Reports of Other Bidders for KC-X Emerge?

Over the weekend it was reported that the Russian state owned aircraft company, United Aircraft, might be interested in bidding on the KC-X proposal. With Northrop now planning on not participating with EADS only Boeing was left as a confirmed bidder. Russia was about the only other country that had the capability to submit a proposal as they have already made tankers for themselves, India and other users. The thought though of Il-76 based tankers fueling F-22 is sort of hard to imagine. Documents provided to the Seattle Times show that United Aircraft would team with a World Aviation Maintenance to form a new company to bid. The proposal would be based on the Il-96 airliner rather then the older transport tanker already in service.

At the same time there are reports that EADS may submit a bid with themselves as the prime. Earlier this month the company said that it was not confident of being able to do this. EADS-North America could certainly be used as a prime contractor. The time needed for the company to prepare a proposal of this magnitude is why there is talk of extending the deadline three months.

It would be good for the U.S. Defense Department and Air Force to have some form of competition in the latest attempt to award this contract. Whether the Russian or EADS based bids would be viable is another matter. It is going to be difficult though to award what amounts to a sole-source contract with the mood in Congress of many Northrop and EADS supporters.

Comments (3)