KC-X competition hit by GAO protest

US Aerospace Inc could halt the KC-X tanker competition after filing a protest with the US Government Accountability Office. The California-based company says in a new regulatory filing that the US Air Force has tossed the company out of the competition for submitting a late bid. The fact that the bid is based on a twin-jet powered version of the Antonov An-70 apparently did not factor into the USAF’s decision. Here’s an excerpt from the US Aerospace filing with the US Securities Exchange Commission today:

Our proposal was hand delivered on July 9, 2010. The messenger arrived at the government installation, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, well before 1:30 pm, more than half an hour before the 2:00 pm deadline. Air Force personnel initially denied the messenger entry to the base, then gave incorrect directions to 1755 Eleventh Street Building 570, and finally instructed the messenger to wait where he was for Air Force personnel to come and get him. He at all times complied with the instructions of Air Force personnel, from the time he arrived at the installation until the proposal was taken by Air Force personnel at the program building. Although the proposal was arbitrarily marked received at 2:05 pm, it was under Air Force control before the bid deadline.

Update: The GAO web site confirms that US Aerospace filed a protest on 2 August. I copied and pasted the text below from the GAO’s bid protest docket web site.

U.S. Aerospace, Inc. (FA8625-10-R-6600)

Department of the Air Force

Quick View Quick view toggle    Outcome: Not Decided    Status: Case Currently Open

Filed Date: August 2, 2010
Due: November 10, 2010
Case Type: Bid Protest
GAO Attorney:  

File Number:   403464.1

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4 Responses to KC-X competition hit by GAO protest

  1. Dave 5 August, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    At first this was kind of amusing. Now it’s just a serious nuisance that’s potentially exacerbating a national security issue. Why did these clown bother trying bid when it’s patently obvious that this proposal is little more than a bad joke? Seriously, the Pentagon shouldn’t have to entertain frivolous idiocy like this.

  2. Bern 6 August, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Just to play Devil’s advocate here – what if this were not only a serious, genuine bid, but a serious contender that gave the other two bids a run for their money?

    Would you *want* it thrown out because some air-force gate guard couldn’t give good directions?

    Granted, they should have allowed a little more time for foulups (or maybe they did, and got stuck in traffic?), but if it can be demonstrated that they were at the base more than 30 minutes prior to the deadline, that’s a strong argument to me for allowing their bid to be assessed on its merits, rather than throwing it out on a technicality.

    Or do you think that bids should only be permitted from the two giant aerospace companies that already have most of the large aircraft business neatly sewn up between them?

  3. Tim D-T 6 August, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    I hope the Air Force didn’t screw this up again for no good reason . . .


  4. TJ 6 August, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    on one hand you have a deadline which was extended for you so why cant you meet it. like was stated, this isnt junior high homework. and the other companies submitted their bids with time to spare.

    what kind of ROOKIE operation is US Aerospace running here…?

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