Tag Archives | KC-X

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 […]

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Gates turns KC-X into KC-Ex

Why does all the big KC-X news break while I’m sequestered at an unrelated press conference? I was just sitting down for a Pentagon media roundtable on the C-130 in June when the GAO upheld Boeing’s protest. And I was in the midst of a 3-hr briefing today by BAE Systems when the Secretary of […]

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Airbus might make the A330 tanker heavier

Airbus is increasing the maximum takeoff weight for the A330-200 airliner by 10,000 pounds, or 5 tons. The new, 238-ton aircraft will be available after 2010.Derek Davies, investor marketing director for Airbus, publicly unveiled the slightly heftier A330 at the US Valuation Conference, which I’m attending this morning. (The conference is hosted at the Jury’s […]

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Tanker questions: GEnx upgrade for KC-30? KC-747 vs KC-A380?

Two good questions have come in about my post yesterday. I’ll do my best to answer them, but I’d be interested to hear other views as well.Keesje asks: Two years ago GE was proposing the GENX for future A330 freighter and tanker applications, as reported by flightglobal.The A330F has more engine ground clearance then the […]

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Boeing’s six options

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. Merluzeau says: 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 […]

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Defense Science Board: Tanker competition is perverted

From a new Defense Science Board report on the defense industrial base released today: One example of the perversion of current globalization policy is the United States Air Force (USAF) tanker competition. The Boeing 767 facility must be ITAR compliant, regarding business access and US employees, so that the aircraft can be sold to the […]

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How urgent is the KC-135 replacement?

My colleague (and competitor) Amy Butler today quotes Northrop Grumman executive Paul Meyer, vice president of Northrop Grumman Air Mobility Systems, about the urgency of the KC-135 replacement. He says: “The Air Force has made it abundantly clear they need to modernize the aging KC-135 fleet as quickly as possible.” I’ve always accepted the air […]

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After ouster, Wynne calls for split tanker buy

Some (ie, G2 Solutions) have viewed this compromise proposal as inevitable for a long time, and now even ousted Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne agrees with them.Kudos to my pal Michael Sirak at the Air Force Association’s Daily Report for the good scoop. Read his full article here, but here’s an excerpt: Awarding […]

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If Ken Miller is the leak-er, is Loren Thompson the leak-ee?

Ken Miller, a US Air Force special assistant executive for acquisition, has been ousted from his post and is being investigated for allegedly leaking tanker deal details, the Associated Press reports. (Tip: ELP.)Perhaps this helps explain the source for two recent examples of Loren Thompson’s famous “issue briefs” published since March. You can read them […]

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Sen Hillary Clinton: Airbus tanker may “undermine” US competitiveness

Also overheard at yesterday’s nomination hearing for the new chief of staff and secretary of the air force: General Norton Schwartz and Michael Donley, respectively. HILLARY CLINTON: I was struck whenthe spokesperson indicated that the air force could not and did not take intoconsideration the impact of the [KC-X contract] award on the industrial base. […]

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