Seattle-based-yet-French-born aerospace analyst Michel Merluzeau spells out what he thinks are Boeing’s options in the second round of the KC-X tanker competition. You can read his blog here.
1. Stick with KC-767 and correct the weaknesses of the initial proposal, particularly in the area of cost/maintenance.
- This option is one of the better avenues for Boeing to patch upthe relationship with USAF and gives a better chance of winning KC-X.
2. Protest the draft RFP, insist that USAF sticks to the original document
- This will likely further damage relations with USAF and provides no guarantee as to the outcome.
3. Switch to the 777 option
- While some believe it is already toolate for 777 to enter the fray, Boeing has done a significant amountof work on the concept. It could still be introduced and be seen as away to be responsive to customer requirements, what we call a”disruptive offering”. KC-777 would be a formidable competitor in manyareas, however it is perhaps too large and can operate from fewerairfields than KC-30.
4. Withdraw from the competition
- If Boeing truly believes that KC-30 has got the lock on KC-X, it perhaps is best not to spend anymore IDS money at this point.
5. Sue the government
- Bad, bad idea, USAF has a long memory. Keep the lawyers away from this.
6. Hope for a split or make one happen; read: ” Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war”
- This is what we call “Verdun 1916″, trench warfare. Politicianstake the competition over (as if this was further possible) and enforceeither a Boeing win or a split.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner is Option 6, with an assist from Option 2. I think we can safely rule out Option 4, and Option 5 would be a big surprise.
Anybody think Option 1 or 3 have a chance?