This is a first, right? Boeing has gone public with a blog spreading the word on the KC-X protest. I don’t recall any company using a blog in the context of a live competitive procurement. (Could be wrong – it’s not really my area.)It’s a bit clunky, certainly compared to the original Randy’s Journal from Boeing Commercial Airplanes which, to the best of my knowledge, is by some margin the most prominent corporate aerospace blog. From the first post by Mark McGraw, VP tanker programs, it appears that this blog has been running internally for a while and has just been made public.
Interesting idea, but it’s the thin end of a potentially hefty wedge. Imagine every contest being fought from day one in this way – we’re heading for hand-to-hand comms combat, blow and counter-blow over perhaps two years. How many contests are going on at any one time across land, sea and air? No idea, but it sounds exhausting for participant and watcher alike.
The Northrop Grumman/EADS side is handling things slightly differently with what is essentially a links-based blog run by the Mobile County Commission. That links to a rather more conventional Northrop Grumman microsite.
Meanwhile there’s plenty more material to keep the KC-X obsessives (aren’t we all) going. Scott Hamilton is surprisingly generous in praising this piece in the innocuously named Human Events.com. I agree it’s uncharacteristically moderate by recent standards in the debate, but the arguments are pretty fuzzy. And likening the KC-30 to the A-12 is quite a stretch – I covered the A-12 non-procurement and that truly was a scandal. A moment when taxpayers of all political hues could unite behind Dick Cheney as he stomped on the horror.
Oh, and rolling out the point that only the KC-767 can refuel the V-22 is, I suspect, a decidedly two-edged sword. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. There are plenty of people who will willingly sign up to Boeing’s cause on the tanker who have grave doubts about the V-22.
Finally my normally easy-going colleague Graham Warwick is being rude about the Tanker War Blog, “moderated” (if you say so) by Mike Reilly of the Center for Security Policy.