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Old 31st Oct 2014, 16:30   #41 (permalink)
 
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"I was referring to the tarmacs, maintenance hangars, etc etc currently used by HUNDREDS of KC-135s. The 767 can use all those KC-135 facilities. The A330 cannot"

You change the facilities to fit the weapon - pre WW1 someone suggested to Jacky Fisher that the "Dreadnaught" should not be built as it would require new dockyard facilities - his reply was that he didn't intend to fight the enemy using dockyards................
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 16:56   #42 (permalink)
 
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A solid riposte KenV, but assuming the USAF were also very aware of all the points you made (base facilities, cargo capabilities, etc) it does beg the question as to why, when given the option, they chose the A330/KC-45?

As you appeared to concede yourself in response to an earlier post of mine, it was 'US taxpayers $ for US products' (a political decision, in other words) that largely swung it for Boeing at the second time of trying.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 17:14   #43 (permalink)
 
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You change the facilities to fit the weapon - pre WW1 someone suggested to Jacky Fisher that the "Dreadnaught" should not be built as it would require new dockyard facilities - his reply was that he didn't intend to fight the enemy using dockyards................
Indeed. But in a competition, when one bidder proposes a platform that meets the requirements and requires billions in MILCON (military construction), and the other bidder proposes a platform that also meets the requirements but requires a small percentage of MILCON. which one wins?

BTW, there are LOTS of examples of militaries making weapon decisions based on facilities constraints. For example, why did the RAF not buy Hornets? They are obviously far superior to Harriers. Because that would have required the Royal Navy to build MUCH larger aircraft carriers to operate them from. The RAF was/is constrained to operating Harriers at sea because the RN was/is unable to obtain the "facilities" to operate much more capable fighters. Why did the US Navy take so much longer than USAF to fully enter the jet age? Because their wooden decked carriers could not handle jets. Why were USN ships of ALL kinds constrained to a maximum beam of 108 feet for decades? Because the Panama Canal is only 110 feet wide. Facilities constraints have influenced if not outright driven military procurement since the beginning of organized militaries.

On a side note, have you heard the story of how Roman military design constrained the design of the Space Shuttle? Really!

Last edited by KenV; 31st Oct 2014 at 17:46.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 17:23   #44 (permalink)
 
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A solid riposte KenV, but assuming the USAF were also very aware of all the points you made (base facilities, cargo capabilities, etc) it does beg the question as to why, when given the option, they chose the A330/KC-45?
The first competition did not include all these points. The KC-30 (which is what Northrop-Grumman called their A-330 based tanker) won. Boeing protested to the Government Accountability Office and forced a recompete.

The third competition (the second never got out of the gates) included all these factors. When all these factors were included, N-G saw the handwriting on the wall and pulled out of the competition. Airbus decided to go it alone and the KC-46 beat out the KC-45. Was Airbus's decision foolish? Sure, foolish like a fox. Airbus's proposal forced Boeing to completely redesign their boom and make other changes AND influenced Boeing to underbid the contract. Airbus's proposal had almost no chance of winning, but Airbus's proposal cost Boeing dearly. In the long run, Airbus may come out ahead in all of this.

Last edited by KenV; 31st Oct 2014 at 18:01.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 17:38   #45 (permalink)
 
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Or NG realised the fix was in and decided not to waste any more money.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 18:08   #46 (permalink)
 
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KenV's points make more sense if "The Star Spangled Banner" is played in the background, at steadily increasing volume.

One-time MILCON is not a big deal. The total MILCON appropriation for the entire AF in 2015 is $811 million. Enlarging ramps at KC-135 bases, where it is actually necessary, is a one-off cost and is barely a blip in the LCC of a tanker fleet.

Goldplating is not "illegal" as described. A requirement is set, and if you offer more than the requirement and charge more than your competitor, the source selection authority can make a "best value" selection. In Round 1, the AF did not bullet-proof its language, however, so the "best value" choice of the A330 could be overturned.

What actually happened, after that, was that the competition was restructured to specifically exclude credit for exceeding requirements, which turned the deal into a shoot-out over cost. Boeing had a smaller aircraft and an unrealistic cost, and won.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 19:27   #47 (permalink)
 
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KenV's points make more sense if "The Star Spangled Banner" is played in the background, at steadily increasing volume.
Wow, you really think my posts are driven by parochial patriotism? What a convenient argument. Weak, but convenient.

FYI, I worked for N-G during the KC-30 days. We wanted desperately to base our proposal on an A330F, but Airbus refused to develop the freighter at that time and by the time they did, it was too late. I was involved in the development of the refueling boom and the RARO station. The boom and RARO station we co-developed with Airbus was far superior to Boeing's. I had a personal, vested interest in the A330 winning against the 767. And we won at least partially because of our superior boom and RARO station. We also used the A340 wings on the A330 tanker. These wings already had hardpoints and fuel lines for the outboard engines which made our WARP (wing aerial refueling pod) installation far superior to the 767's. So our design beat Boeing's on several fronts technically. But the combination of years of delays which allowed Boeing to catch up technically, and the rejiggering of the procurement rules gave the advantage to Boeing.

As for MILCON, that was one of the weakest points of our proposal, price wise. Our proposal would require several years of MILCON investments not just in ramps and taxiways, but also in expensive hangars. BRAC (base realignment and closure) made a HUGE difference for us in our favor by significantly reducing the number of sites that would require MILCON.

There was also a small but powerful contingent of USAF officers who were very skittish about a fly-by-wire tanker. They were also opposed to side sticks, and especially opposed to the "averaging" control laws of the two side sticks (nose down command on one stick would cancel equal nose up command on the other stick) and the fact that neither pilot got feedback what the other pilot was doing. It took lots and lots of simulator time to convince them otherwise. I'm not sure we ever fully convinced them. Fortunately for us, these guys had little influence in the procurement decision. But we were all dreading dealing with these guys when we won.

As for the legality of goldplating, that all depends on the nature and language of the proposal. Goldplating is a big deal to Congress and the procurement bean counters. That's why mission creep was invented.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 19:37   #48 (permalink)
 
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another point to put into context is the 767 will still require a large investment in facilities , although not as much as the 330. The only a/c in the KC135 class is the 757, but the 767 is a widebody so bigger. ref the mention of freighters for UPS/FED EX , both had large fleets of Airbus A310 for years before ever buying a 767. 767 needs unique containers so cant interline with all the other airbus/boeing widebodies. amazing to think of the USAF buying an obsolete airliner today , the 330 finished it in airline service on the world stage which is why boeing had to leapfrog with the 787 to get the market back. think the KC135 should have been replaced with a modernised 757 !
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 20:23   #49 (permalink)
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BTW, there are LOTS of examples of militaries making weapon decisions based on facilities constraints. For example, why did the RAF not buy Hornets? They are obviously far superior to Harriers. Because that would have required the Royal Navy to build MUCH larger aircraft carriers to operate them from. The RAF was/is constrained to operating Harriers at sea because the RN was/is unable to obtain the "facilities" to operate much more capable fighters
This is gibberish of the finest water on so many levels I won't even start. Maybe someone else will point out why the Kestrel/Harrier was developed; why the Hornet was never an option for the RAF (though I did control a couple of trials with F15 and E3A in 1975) and why they RN thus conceived the SHAR in the "through deck cruiser" era.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 23:35   #50 (permalink)
 
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KenV, well said, good points. We will always have debate on this selection. Your harrier/hornet timing is a bit off Warning! now you have disparaged the harrier, the pitchforks will really come out

I have been privy to several procurement programs in the US, and can affirm that MILCON was huge factor, even if the upgrade to facilities was a one time deal or over a few short years. Things like hangar size, ramp weight, simulators, and for ships: pier upgrades, shore power, draft, overall length, beam, etc etc. As an example one of the LCS designs is much wider than the other and this had huge impacts on basing as it messed with berthing.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 08:56   #51 (permalink)
 
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We also used the A340 wings on the A330 tanker. These wings already had hardpoints and fuel lines for the outboard engines which made our WARP (wing aerial refueling pod) installation far superior to the 767's.
Just as a point of interst, I believe that all A330s use the same basic wing as the A340 hence they all have potential hard points. They also share the same centreline mountings for landing gear as the A340.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 09:10   #52 (permalink)
 
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If Airbus/Boeing took the longgggview they'd be working on an A380/B777 tanker for 2030......................

One A380 would be able to refuel every aircraft that the RAF will have by then in one go
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 09:38   #53 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
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For those who think I'm 'anti-American' when it comes to aircraft - think again. Why we persisted with the Tornado F2 and GR4 when the F-15C and F-15E were so clearly far superior is quite beyond me.
...
From my perspective, my complaint wasn't about anti-American sentiment. It was about the "'t bungling Baron" and "'ol Bubba Boeing'. Given that BAE is a British based company (although the US subsidiary is a fairly large company in its own right), then I see no reason to call out anti-American sentiment.

It's the childish names that got me. The tone and content of post #17 was excellent; why not just say that in the first place? The last time I looked, BAE wasn't just based at Warton, Salmesbury and Brough. For that matter, Airbus's Broughton plant is in the north too. Boeing's aircraft are in large part made in Washington, which is not exactly traditional "Bubba" land. Although Airbus has a facility in Alabama, which if you were to identify "Bubbaland", would be a strong contender.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 10:38   #54 (permalink)
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Noted and ignored.

Re. infrastructure costs, if the MPA-based Voyager has to keep evacuating to the mainland whenever significantly adverse weather is forecast, it'll be interesting to note why the well-known fact that Voyager won't fit into the 'Timmy hangar' wasn't taken into account when the FSTA contract was awarded?

Perhaps a case for basing an OmegaAir B707 down there, pending an Atlas with AAR capability?
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 10:44   #55 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Noted and ignored.
Where's the "like" button?

See, you can do inoffensive banter.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 11:15   #56 (permalink)
 
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KenV your logic is irrefutable but you're dealing with national pride here, not common sense.


On that subject, perhaps the silliest tanker purchase of all is the RAF acquiring the A330 and deliberately deleting the boom which can be used on several in service and future planned types.


The KC 46 comes with what, three hoses AND a boom in a nice compact, flexible, rugged package with no 'hard limits'


A great machine, just like the civilian airframe it is based on.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 11:36   #57 (permalink)
 
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The KC 46 comes with what, three hoses AND a boom in a nice compact, flexible, rugged package with no 'hard limits'


A great machine, just like the civilian airframes it is based on.
There fixed it for you.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 11:42   #58 (permalink)
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Certainly now that there's the RC-135 and probably the P-8 to support, it would make sense to look at amending the PFI contract to procure at least 3 Voyagers with a boom system.
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Old 2nd Nov 2014, 10:30   #59 (permalink)
 
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'There fixed it for you. '


No, you mangled the statement completely, adding an 's' makes no sense, perhaps you believe the plural of aircraft has an 's' on the end ?


Next time you want to correct other peoples English do a little more research.


FIFY
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Old 2nd Nov 2014, 10:47   #60 (permalink)
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stilton, perhaps Woff1965 was alluding to the fact that the KC-46A Frankentanker uses bits from several different airframes?
  • 767-200ER fuselage
  • 767-300F cargo door, floor and landing gear
  • 767-300F wing
  • 767-400ER flaps
  • 767-400ER engines
  • 787 cockpit

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