JCA puzzler #4

Raytheon says it is protesting losing the Joint Cargo Aircraft contract for three reasons:

a) the joint program office rated performance equally between the two competitors
b) Raytheon’s C-295 procurement price tag beat L-3′s C-27J acquisition cost by 15%
c) and lifecycle costs were not factored into the joint program office’s evaluation

B and C are interesting points but may not be very meaningful in a “best value” competition.

But, if Raytheon’s claims are accurate, A would be a stunner. How could the joint programme office devise an evaluation system that created an equal rating for these two aircraft. I’ve never heard Raytheon make the claim that the C-295 is the equal of the C-27J as a military aircraft. That’s because, by all reasonable measures, it’s not. That doesn’t mean it isn’t more cost effective and more appropriate for the army’s mission (if not the air force’s), but the question remains.


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2 Responses to JCA puzzler #4

  1. The DEW Line 6 July, 2007 at 12:36 am #

    I will concede that the C-295 can move more people and more pallets. It’s a very good civil transport, which is what it was designed to be. (Yes, the Spanish Air Force was the first customer, but it was designed with the intention of becoming a civil transport, not a military one). This is why the C-27J should rank as the superior MILITARY aircraft, particularly with better speed and survivability.

  2. The DEW Line 12 July, 2007 at 12:47 pm #

    I agree with you at least as much as I disagree with you. I would understand if the army decided to go with the C-295 as a straight-up replacement for the C-23. But the army clearly wanted an aircraft with better performance than a straightforward C-23 replacement, and the fact is that the C-27J is an overall more capable airplane than the C-295. Survivability is as much a function of speed and design as it is defensive aids, although that certainly helps in IR-threat situations.

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