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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.


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

The New Aerial Tanker bid is around the corner?


The Dog still does not understand why there isn’t a dual bid?

The Air Force currently has two types of tankers…the big KC-10 (DC-10) and the smaller KC-135 (B-707)…why are they torturing themselves and the Congress?

Release of the final request for proposals (RFP) for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-X tanker could lead to a contracting conundrum. If the Northrop Grumman/EADS North America team follows through on its threat not to bid, the Pentagon’s ­strategy designed to elicit low, fixed-price offers from competitors could backfire.

With only Boeing in the running, the Pentagon’s plan could lead to insufficient insight and auditability into the contractor’s pricing.

Normally, when the government anticipates only one bidder, it structures the contract to include insight into a program’s costs and performance to keep a company honest. But that “insight” is not free. The contractor must designate personnel to the task, and the cost is passed on to the government. With multiple bidders, the cost-control mechanism comes through the competitive market forces.

Pentagon officials structured the RFP to lure Northrop Grumman into the game, but the company is still weighing its options. A key change to the new RFP, released Feb. 24, is designed to reduce the financial risk for bidders, but it is not dramatic, according to contractors.

A sole-source deal would leave the Pentagon in the precarious position of falling short after striving for eight years to craft a contest to build KC-135 replacements. The stakes are high for industry, with production expected to cost about $35 billion for 179 refuelers. They are also high for the Air Force acquisition corps, which has had two major awards—the 2008 selection of Northrop Grumman for the first KC-X competition and an earlier choice of Boeing to build combat search-and-rescue helicopters—overturned by government auditors.

Despite the sordid history of multiple KC-X false starts, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn says the forthcoming KC-X source selection is the “flagship” program for the Pentagon’s acquisition reform, which aims to promote transparency and motivate contractors to deliver on cost and schedule.

Despite the grand expectations, the Air Force may lose the chance to redeem its acquisition credo if a KC-X duel does not come to pass. Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush has threatened not to bid if the financial risk for the company is deemed too high. Team officials have said dramatic changes to the September draft RFP—which was widely viewed as favoring the Boeing 767 design—would be needed to justify crafting a proposal that could cost as much as $100 million.


March 2, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Military, Other Things, Politics, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , | Leave a comment