Top 5 KC-Ex questions

Secretary of Defense Bob Gates canceled the KC-X solicitation. That means the next administration must start over from the beginning. The bidding teams can’t simply dust off their current proposals and re-submit. The US Air Force must instead go back to the drawing boarding and begin anew the solicitation process. If the previous round is any guide, this could take at least two to three years.

Here are a few of the questions I’ll be asking all the experts in the coming days, but everybody feel free to take a crack at them.

  1. Can Northrop Grumman and Boeing be reimbursed for the money they’ve spent so far to submit their proposals?
  2. Does this mean direct political interference in the acquisition process is here to stay?
  3. Will Boeing’s victorious allies in Congress sidetrack the solicitation process next year by simply inserting the funds to buy KC-767s, citing an urgent requirement to replace aged KC-135s?
  4. Will Northrop continue to pursue the contract with EADS North America, or will the Los Angeles-based prime decide that it’s not worth the trouble?
  5. Will a 2- to 3-year delay create an opening for Boeing to propose a KC-787?

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5 Responses to Top 5 KC-Ex questions

  1. Ricardo Rodrigues 11 September, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    Greetings.
    Here’s my opinion ( 4 what it’s worth… ):
    1. No. But they can get somwhere else ( i.e., othe programs… )
    2. Of course. As in any other part of the world. Actually, it has always been there.You were just not used to it being so… in your face !
    3.Possibly. Myself, I think it just depends on who wins the Presidentials… McCain = NG/EADS, Obama = Boeing.
    4. Since when is a multi-billion contract not worth the trouble? Hum?
    5. Anything can be proposed. The platform is not important ( 4 the politucians ). It’s just… buisness, and about how to get those tax-payers dolars into “mine or my friends ( or both )” pockets.

  2. EG 11 September, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    1. Can Northrop Grumman and Boeing be reimbursed for the money they’ve spent so far to submit their proposals?

    Probably not, but I bet the tax lawyers and accounts are looking for every write-off loophole.

    2. Does this mean direct political interference in the acquisition process is here to stay?

    I had no idea it had departed only to return.

    3. Will Boeing’s victorious allies in Congress sidetrack the solicitation process next year by simply inserting the funds to buy KC-767s, citing an urgent requirement to replace aged KC-135s?

    I suggest they take a page from the RAF and buy used MD-11′s and convert them a-la’ Tristar.

    4. Will Northrop continue to pursue the contract with EADS North America, or will the Los Angeles-based prime decide that it’s not worth the trouble?

    5. Will a 2- to 3-year delay create an opening for Boeing to propose a KC-787?

    Maybe, but it also gives EADS a chance to do something new and improved to compete with the 787.

  3. Tim Dawson-Townsend 11 September, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    I agree with the decision. Trying to cram it through in the next three months was just not realistic.
    Let’s go back to that “split buy” idea!

  4. Matthew G. Saroff 11 September, 2008 at 11:11 pm #

    The Answer to number 5 is no.

    With the delays on the 787, there will be no space on the line until something like 2020 for a tanker order.

    Heck, they may still have fastener shortages in 2020.

  5. NTV 12 September, 2008 at 2:23 am #

    Can Northrop Grumman and Boeing be reimbursed for the money they’ve spent so far to submit their proposals?

    Why would NG need reimbused? Havent they been telling everyone how they where doing work on spec? Or leveraging off the Australian KC-30.

    Does this mean direct political interference in the acquisition process is here to stay?

    Political interference reared its head in 2003, Actually its was there before that.

    Will Boeing’s victorious allies in Congress sidetrack the solicitation process next year by simply inserting the funds to buy KC-767s, citing an urgent requirement to replace aged KC-135s?

    I hope not. MAybe the NG allies will try something similar.

    Will Northrop continue to pursue the contract with EADS North America, or will the Los Angeles-based prime decide that it’s not worth the trouble?

    They need an airframe maker is there another choice?

    Will a 2- to 3-year delay create an opening for Boeing to propose a KC-787?

    Thats an interesting option. I always thought the 787 would be the best option, though I dont know the 787′s true stats. I have also felt that its odd to make a 40 year procurment decision based on a 2-3 year window.

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