Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

EADS comes back to table to bid the US Air Force Aerial Tanker contract …….Maybe….

The conditions for the European EADS without earlier partner Northrop would be assurances that they get fair crack at the contract to build over a 150 new refueling aircraft for the US Air Force……

The company will be swimming upstream against a strong suspicion that the word is out to buy American…..

While the right solution would be to make a dual buy…Defense Secertary Gates has been able to rule that out so far…

The Dog questions why Gates has been give that latitude to make that decision since a dual buy (The Air Force currently has two types of tanker , KC-135 /B-707 and KC-10/DC-10 )……and a dual buy would just continue the policy of having a smaller and larger tanker ……in addition, to making Senators, Governors, local worker’s, and Foreign leaders along with their countrymen happy……

Obama needs to step in and overrule Gates……..

This could be win/win situation for everyone involved…..

Here’s the piece……

Aerospace and defense company EADS said Friday it is considering a new bid for a $35 billion Pentagon contract for midair refueling tankers but it will only compete if it has a fair chance against rival Boeing Co.

A consortium of EADS and Northrop Grumman pulled out of the bidding for the long-awaited, 179-tanker contract earlier this month. They said the terms of the deal appeared designed to favor a smaller jet offered by Boeing.

But Thursday, the Defense Department “indicated it would welcome a proposal from EADS North America as prime contractor for the KC-X tanker competition,” according to a statement Friday from EADS. It called the move “a significant development.”

EADS, the parent company of Airbus, said it would consider bidding again if it is given an extended deadline to prepare a new proposal – and, crucially, “if there is a fair chance to win.”

EADS and its American partner, Northrop, were initially awarded the contract for the tanker fleet in 2008, but Boeing protested and the deal was annulled later that year.

The withdrawal of the Northrop-led consortium left Boeing as the only bidder.

European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV said the Pentagon was indicating “a willingness to extend the timeframe,” and said it is “assessing this new situation to determine if the company can feasibly submit” a new bid.

But it said the Pentagon’s new stance “does not address EADS’ underlying concerns” that the request for bids is designed to favor Boeing.

EADS spokesman Alexander Reinhardt said the company, which is based in Paris and Munich, will decide in coming weeks on whether to bid – either alone or with a partner.

Boeing is offering a military version of its 767 passenger jet. Reinhardt said he thinks it is unlikely that EADS would change the larger Airbus A-330 airframe on which the original tanker offer was based, because the only other suitable plane it has ready – the A310 – is old and thus unsuited for a fleet with a lifetime of 45-50 years.

The current deadline is early May.

More…….

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Alabama’s Congressmen join the push for the New Aerial Tanker contract…..

From the Hill……

Last week it was a group of Governors pushing for a Boeing Tanker….This week it’s a push for Northrop-Gruman version……

And the accusation that the bid is rigged for Boeing smaller aircraft….

The Dog wonders what the fuss is about…award a joint build …The Air Force currently has two tankers…..The KC-10 (From the DC-10 and it’s big) and the KC-135 (from the old B-707) …why not just do the same with the bigger A-330 Airbus from Northrop and the smaller B-767 from Boeing?…..

End of headache…….Simple…..

Here’s the story and link……….………

Alabama lawmakers on Wednesday voiced strong pessimism over Northrop Grumman’s chances of winning a contentious Air Force refueling aircraft contract, questioning the fairness of the bidding process.

“This is a disappointment,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a senior defense authorizer, said after emerging from a briefing with senior Pentagon and Air Force officials. “I am really worried at this point” that Northrop Grumman would not compete for the contract, he said. “I am going to urge them to compete, and I hope that they feel like they can.”

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley made the rounds on Wednesday briefing lawmakers on the final bidding terms for the $35 billion contract to build 179 refueling aircraft.

Northrop Grumman and Boeing have been going head to head for several years to win the lucrative contract. The two companies and their congressional supporters have been locked in an intense public-relations and lobbying battle.

In December, after reviewing a draft request for proposals, Northrop Grumman threatened to pull out of the competition unless significant changes were made to the final request for bids. Northrop Grumman officials argued that the bidding process was stacked against the company.

Northrop, teamed with EADS North America, would assemble the new aircraft in Mobile, Ala., while Boeing has major operations in Washington state and Kansas. EADS is the parent company of Airbus, Boeing’s rival on the commercial aircraft market.

But Sessions said he saw no fundamental changes to the bidding criteria. He said that the way the request for proposals is structured, it would still favor a smaller airplane — the 767 Boeing is expected to offer is much smaller than the Airbus 330 that the Northrop team was planning.

Sessions charged that the Pentagon was not entering into a fair selection process.

“The integrity of the Department of Defense is at stake,” Sessions said.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said the Pentagon briefing did not “really calm” his concerns that the Pentagon addressed the problems raised by Northrop Grumman.

“I do not think it looks promising” for Northrop to win the contract, Rogers said. “I am not optimistic.”

He said his biggest concern is that the Pentagon has closed out any prospect of buying planes from both companies.

Lynn told lawmakers the Pentagon made 230 changes from the draft request for proposals, but “retained the overall structure of the requirements.” The most significant change in the final bidding request is the pricing strategy for the tankers, in effect to adjust for inflation.

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Alabama's Congressmen join the push for the New Aerial Tanker contract…..

From the Hill……

Last week it was a group of Governors pushing for a Boeing Tanker….This week it’s a push for Northrop-Gruman version……

And the accusation that the bid is rigged for Boeing smaller aircraft….

The Dog wonders what the fuss is about…award a joint build …The Air Force currently has two tankers…..The KC-10 (From the DC-10 and it’s big) and the KC-135 (from the old B-707) …why not just do the same with the bigger A-330 Airbus from Northrop and the smaller B-767 from Boeing?…..

End of headache…….Simple…..

Here’s the story and link……….………

Alabama lawmakers on Wednesday voiced strong pessimism over Northrop Grumman’s chances of winning a contentious Air Force refueling aircraft contract, questioning the fairness of the bidding process.

“This is a disappointment,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a senior defense authorizer, said after emerging from a briefing with senior Pentagon and Air Force officials. “I am really worried at this point” that Northrop Grumman would not compete for the contract, he said. “I am going to urge them to compete, and I hope that they feel like they can.”

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley made the rounds on Wednesday briefing lawmakers on the final bidding terms for the $35 billion contract to build 179 refueling aircraft.

Northrop Grumman and Boeing have been going head to head for several years to win the lucrative contract. The two companies and their congressional supporters have been locked in an intense public-relations and lobbying battle.

In December, after reviewing a draft request for proposals, Northrop Grumman threatened to pull out of the competition unless significant changes were made to the final request for bids. Northrop Grumman officials argued that the bidding process was stacked against the company.

Northrop, teamed with EADS North America, would assemble the new aircraft in Mobile, Ala., while Boeing has major operations in Washington state and Kansas. EADS is the parent company of Airbus, Boeing’s rival on the commercial aircraft market.

But Sessions said he saw no fundamental changes to the bidding criteria. He said that the way the request for proposals is structured, it would still favor a smaller airplane — the 767 Boeing is expected to offer is much smaller than the Airbus 330 that the Northrop team was planning.

Sessions charged that the Pentagon was not entering into a fair selection process.

“The integrity of the Department of Defense is at stake,” Sessions said.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said the Pentagon briefing did not “really calm” his concerns that the Pentagon addressed the problems raised by Northrop Grumman.

“I do not think it looks promising” for Northrop to win the contract, Rogers said. “I am not optimistic.”

He said his biggest concern is that the Pentagon has closed out any prospect of buying planes from both companies.

Lynn told lawmakers the Pentagon made 230 changes from the draft request for proposals, but “retained the overall structure of the requirements.” The most significant change in the final bidding request is the pricing strategy for the tankers, in effect to adjust for inflation.

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Is the Aerial Tanker decision going to be a decision or a political payoff to Boeing?

[Top is the Northrop-Grunman Airbus A-330….The Bottom is the Boeing 767 aerial tanker ]

The last time around Boeing lost it…..because they pitched an inferior product…..

This time a group of Governors want Boeing to get the contract….what competation?

One should note….if Northrop-Grunman (Airbus ) gets the nod…the aircraft will be made in United States also ( Alabama)…..

The Dog still doesn’t know why they don’t do a split buy….and make everyone happy…..The Air Force right now has two types of  tankers …what’s the big deal in a split buy?

Here’s the piece……

A bipartisan group of governors is getting behind Boeing in a politically charged competition to win a $35 billion Air Force refueling tanker contract.

Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) and Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson (D) are in Washington for the National Governors Association conference and will be lobbying while here. Their states have the most at stake, as Boeing has large operations in each.

Six other governors — Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D), Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R), Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D), Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D), Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) — are also advocating on behalf of Boeing.

The Air Force is expected to start its official selection process for the lucrative contract. The Air Force’s attempts to replace its Eisenhower-era tankers have been mired in controversy and political battles.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have been going head to head for several years for the contract. Northrop Grumman partnered with EADS North America, the parent company of Airbus and Boeing’s rival in the commercial aircraft market.

The Northrop-EADS team won the contract last February, but Boeing successfully protested that award with the Government Accountability Office. The Pentagon subsequently decided to reopen the competition.

More………

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment