Friday, September 19, 2008

KC-X Fiasco Update

I've been wrestling with a pig (again) in the comments at over the merits and fallout of the farcical Boeing protest and their (Boeing's)manipulation of the political process to get a do-over on the KC-X program. Its been fun to a point, but not nearly so much fun as finding out that apparently Boeing's contender only promised 'more' when it came to cost. A lot more.

Boeing's bid was over 23% more expensive for the first 68 aircraft. At the link one will find such gems as the DoD Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics quoted:
"Young said that Northrop promised earlier delivery and that its aircraft "provided more tanker capability and offload rate and was substantially cheaper to develop."
followed immediately by my favorite citation:
"Frankly," he said, Boeing's tanker "was smaller and should have been cheaper. . . . A member of the American public might conclude that Boeing sought to charge more than the Defense Department reasonably expected" to pay.
And Boeing's gambit apparently now has the added taxpayer funded feature
of Northrop Grumman/EADS being paid Termination Costs (quite rightful considering the circumstances I'd say) which should ensure they have enough in their war chest to blunt any technical improvement that Boeing may be able to make in superceding their current K767 concept -- should NG/EADS choose to continue dancing this crazy Tanker Two-Step.

Funniest (sad) quote in either link is from Boeing 'spokesman' Dan Beck:
Boeing spokesman Dan Beck declined to comment on Young's remarks but said the company "is looking to the future and is looking forward to a renewed tanker competition when the Pentagon proceeds. As we go through this interim period we're not interested in revisiting the past."
Yeah, I bet you're not Dan.

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