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KC-X RFP Mk II (merged)

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KC-X RFP Mk II (merged)

Old 26th Feb 2010, 11:39
  #21 (permalink)  
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Well MY tax dollars are going there too and I will be pulling for job creation in an area hit hard by natural disaster and economic downturn.. The South!!

I'd say we're even right now, therefore the non-mandatory but still relevant creative insults should come into play
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Old 26th Feb 2010, 11:54
  #22 (permalink)  
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Fly3, "creative" being the operative word.

Sadly, I think at least contributor to this thread proves

Aging and Alzheimer?s Both Target Brain?s Key Memory Center, Pitt Study Finds ? UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

I take no glee in this fate as it awaits us all. But to see demonstrated proof is a bit sad.
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Old 26th Feb 2010, 12:47
  #23 (permalink)  
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Guess your earlier description was accurate because this

Airbus KC-30A = French = Goddam un-American = Bad
Boeing KC-767 = Made in America = Our good ol' boys = Good
is pretty much what I had in mind if by "Bad" you mean the overall program management and control not in US hands. I think that is a bad thing in the event of some scenarios.

If by "Good" you meant keeping more of US tax dollars at home instead of flowing into other countries' coffers and keeping a more robust US aerospace industrial base, providing the tanker meets the needs, then I also agree.

And yes, I can see the French have been busy dealing with more important issues -

Nicolas Sarkozy : News : People.com
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Old 26th Feb 2010, 14:24
  #24 (permalink)  
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KC-767 is a Virtual aircraft, based on 30 year old junk for which the US Taxpayer will be robbed blind, Boeing will fail to deliver against spec and no doubt be late..as usual.. but hey, at least you will be ripped off, cheated and sold short by your kin folks.
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Old 27th Feb 2010, 06:55
  #25 (permalink)  
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forgive me if I'm wrong here...

Hasn't Boeing already delivered several B767 tankers to the Japanese very, very recently?

For what that comment re "old junk" means to me,
In a combat situation, I would prefer a more conventional, robust, reliable airplane rather than an electronic whiz, which has already proven it's 'reliability record', even in civil use.

Someone mentioned earlier regarding the inappropriateness of the airbus flight control system in a combat sky.

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Old 27th Feb 2010, 07:23
  #26 (permalink)  
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The Japanese KC-767 has only a boom, no drogue pods. The chronic problem with the Italian tankers is due to the drogues for which, after several years, Boeing cannot seem to find a solution.

The performance of the A330 Flight Control system seems more than adequate to every other Air force buying it, and it does seem to be the system of choice for those currently looking for and buying tankers.
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Old 27th Feb 2010, 08:11
  #27 (permalink)  
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The EMC susceptibility of Airbus FBW systems was assessed years ago. It is not a problem.

If you really think that you will need to throw tankers around in 'the combat sky'...... then reconsider your Conops first, perhaps.

The only times I've had to manoeuvre a tanker abruptly were due to ill-disciplined 'coalition' fighters which had failed to stick to their assigned levels in the ROZ.

The KC-767J is a very basic aircraft with just a boom and is only a converted -200ER. It was delivered 2 years late, for which Boeing had to pay a penalty fee. In May 2010, it will be 5 years since the first Italian KC-767I, also a converted -200ER, was supposed to have entered service. The KC-767J and KC-767I have a max fuel capacity of about 72 tonnes - about the same as the in-service A310MRTT.

The definitive KC-767A has yet to be built, let alone flown. If you can find a runway long enough in a country flat enough, it will allegedly have a max fuel capacity of about 91 tonnes - way, way less than that of the A330MRTT. The Italians, despite having already extended the runway at Pratica de Mare, are already concerned about the max fuel their yet-to-be-delivered KC-767Is will actually be able to take-off with in the Mediterranaean summer...

Whereas Airbus tankers are already flying and are in service with a number of air forces, Boeing still hasn't managed to sort out the wing pods or centreline hose system - pretty basic elements of a tanker aircraft.

There's quite a lot of risk attached to Bubba Boeing's Frankentanker, it would seem.
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Old 27th Feb 2010, 09:58
  #28 (permalink)  
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I have flown tankers extensively and have experience in Boeing and Airbus airliners. I believe that the issue of Airbus flight control software in 'combat' is a red-herring.

On a day-to-day basis, tankers are not flown any more aggressively than airliners and the crews are not experienced in handling the aircraft in anything other than a normal manner. With the flight control protections of an Airbus, the worst pilot on the fleet can, aggressively and confidently, apply maximim stick deflection, roll to 67 degrees of bank and achieve a steady 2.5g load factor. A pilot in a conventional tanker aircraft that attempts to manouvre to these parameters will take much longer to achieve them and then won't be able to hold them, or will place themselves in more danger by exceeding aircraft limits or their own ability

I completely agree with BEagle point about CONOPS and I don't believe that emergency manoeuvreing ability is something that is very relevant when comparing the types. However, if you do envisage this attribute as important then do not regard the Airbus flight control system as an impediment that prevents the pilot from wringing maximum performance from the aircraft. Rather it is an advantage that allows pilots to confidently fly the aircraft to limits that are more than adequate for this role.
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Old 28th Feb 2010, 12:49
  #29 (permalink)  
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With winglets, higher gross weight and stiffness to handle the pods, the Boeing KC-X wing will be internally pretty different from any 767 wing (assuming they don't go 777). A little bit of risk....
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Old 1st Mar 2010, 06:51
  #30 (permalink)  
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Boeing versus Grumman

Let me be up front with respect to my comment. I am an American taxpayer. I am a Boeing shareholder. And I have tanked off of numerous tankers from various nations in the past.

My major problem is that Boeing thinks they are the only game in town when it comes to big wing military aircraft. They have gotten fundamentally lazy and are not producing value for money. They are still pretty good in the civil market because the airline companies don’t give a flying hoot if you’re an American company or not, it is the product that matters. Boeing can’t go running to Congress if United Airlines picks an Airbus.

That isn’t true with respect to military projects. The USAF was supposed to have converted a substantial amount of their tanker fleet to handle probe and drogue, based on an agreement made back in the Reagan years, to support the Navy/Marine Corps, plus NATO aircraft. We see how far that has progressed. Personally, I don’t see how the Boeing proposal will give the taxpayers the best value for money, nor give the actual aircrews the best support, especially since it is now set up to be a sole source contract. This situation is just a set-up to plunder the taxpayer with no reason for Boeing to devote its best talent to the problem, since they have no real competition and lots political cover from Congress.

I also see this “preservation of the US industrial base” as a bit of a red herring. Boeing and Northrup Grumman are basing their proposals on civilian airliners. Is Boeing going to quit making airliners if they don’t win? No. Is this a version, which is brand new and opening up technology? No. Will Boeing open a new production site if they win? No. If Grumman had won, would it have expanded aircraft manufacture in the US? Yes.

Bottom line based on this RFP: Boeing has better politicians and advertising, not a better product.
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Old 1st Mar 2010, 08:01
  #31 (permalink)  
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One message is clear from this thread, and I find it troubling. I, like most on here, take people who speak with obvious understanding of a given subject at their word and whilst I might not agree, it is usually pretty clear who is speaking from a genuine position of knowledge and who is talking flannel.

The troubling part here is that those who are clearly "in the know" by virtue of experience, and/or direct involvement with either or both companies seem to be in agreement on two points;

1. The KC-767 does not yet exist as a platform. Various guises exist with limited functionality available which falls way below the requirements of KC-X, but the the KC-767A is not a qualified aircraft and is years behind schedule.

2. Boeing will win KC-X.

I recently attended a conference on the subject where one speaker made a flippant remark that the GAO criticized the DoD after the last failed attempt at running this competition for failing to include the clause in the RFP that "Boeing must win". Good joke.. or was it??

I see dark clouds ahead.
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Old 1st Mar 2010, 19:30
  #32 (permalink)  
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I'm confused by the apparent lack of trust of fly-by-wire systems suggested by some previous posters. Are you saying that Airbus specific FBW technology is lacking or FBW architecture in general? If the former, why; what specific points do you feel are unsafe? If the latter, why; what, for example, do you find lacking in the F-22, the F-16, or the C-17?
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Old 2nd Mar 2010, 09:34
  #33 (permalink)  
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Since this is a rumour thread, I have very good intel which suggests Northrop have indeed decided to "No-bid" the KC-X. This has been rumour and hearsay for a few weeks, but I believe as a result of internal meetings, they are coming down on a no bid and may have officially decided that yesterday, albeit there is no public statement yet.

Anyone care to confirm or deny my intel?
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 08:43
  #34 (permalink)  
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Air Force Times: Pentagon says it may extend tanker-bid deadline

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell has confirmed that Department of Defense officials are considering extending the deadline for bids in the Air Force’s aerial refueling plane competition, Agence France-Presse reported.

Sources on Capitol Hill and elsewhere suggested last week that such an extension might be in order after EADS, the European defense and aerospace giant, signaled its interest in bidding. Morrell later confirmed this to Air Force Times.
“The Department has received notification from EADS North America indicating possible interest in competing for the Air Force’s KC-X Tanker and we would welcome that,” Morrell said in an e-mail Thursday. “Consistent with our commitment to conduct a fair and open competition, the Department invites proposals from all qualified contractors and, if necessary, we would consider a reasonable extension to the RFP deadline.”
Morrell went on to say that such extensions aren’t unusual. He said the Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance aircraft, the VH-71 presidential helicopter, the Littoral Combat Ship and the Air Force’s Small Diameter Bomb and others had received similar extensions.

EADS’ participation in the $35 billion KC-X tanker program was placed in jeopardy earlier this month when U.S. partner Northrop Grumman announced that it would withdraw from the competition. Northrop officials contend that the Pentagon’s latest revised bidding guidelines favor rival Boeing.

EADS notified DoD of its possible interest, Morell said, and Pentagon officials “would consider a reasonable extension to the RfP [Request for Proposals] deadline.” The deadline is currently mid-May.

Earlier in the day, EADS Chief Executive Louis Gallois told reporters that his firm may still be interested in bidding for the program. Gallois said the current deadline set for requests for proposals for the tanker contract was too short for EADS to find another partner to develop a proposal with.

“Is it the end of the story? It’s not in our hands. It’s in the hands of the Pentagon,” he said.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 12:15
  #35 (permalink)  
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I have just had it confirmed from a very reliable and very senior source that Airbus Military ARE indeed bidding for KC-X.

I wonder how Mr Obama and his bubba buddies in Everett are enjoying breakfast this morning??
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 22:44
  #36 (permalink)  
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Perhaps another partner:

EADS-NA Says Not Comfortable Priming KC-X Contract | Defense Procurement News

Perhaps another aeroplane:

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Old 20th Mar 2010, 04:27
  #37 (permalink)  
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Now it's a 3 horse race

Russian Firm to Bid on Air Force Tanker Program - WSJ.com
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 13:00
  #38 (permalink)  
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The IL-96 is about as old technology as the 767, last I checked.

As a US taxpayer, I want the most bang for the buck:

*The USAF wants a KC-135 sized refueler.

*Tankers get 3-400 hours a year utilization - a tenth that of airliners.

*Price is driven by competition.


The 757 is about the same size as the KC-135. There are plenty of used 757 out of the 1,000 built that are parked and available for a few $Million each.

There are dozens of MRO, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul organizations around the world who are capable of tanker retrofit, meaning the price will fall to the level of the dumbest competitor.

Used A310s are available. That would be an alternate tanker that is already proven.

Converting airliner to tanker is not rocket science, and the planes would be available quickly and at a fraction of cost of new.

We don't need a tanker to last 10 years, let alone 20 or 50, unless we need to do aerial refueling of UAVs.

What is the biggest obstacle to converted tankers? Lower cost means less money for lobbyists.

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Old 20th Mar 2010, 23:38
  #39 (permalink)  
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I'm not sure converting previously owned frames would be more economical than building from new in this instance. If you wanted to make a tanker to sell AAR time to the various militaries of the world currently enjoying a 'capability holiday', a la Omega, then converting retired airliners does work. But to meet the RFP there might be too many alterations required. E.g. NVG compatible flight deck (not sure how the 787 screens will do there...), 1200 USG/Min offload via the boom etc.

Ulrick has the right idea until the KC-X fiasco is sorted-out, but when it is I expect new build aircraft will be part of the winning proposal.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 00:31
  #40 (permalink)  
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The USAF wants a KC-135 sized refueler
Size as in airframe or capability?

About 5 years ago, I did some work for the multi-national ART group. One basic issue was to compare various tanker aircraft. But we refused to accept manufacturers boasts, so told the national teams to furnish the relevant information for a simple scenario I defined:

Take-off, landing and alternate: 10000 ft balanced field, SL/ISA /Still-air.
Task: Take-off, fly a 4 hr AAR mission, land with 1 hr until tanks dry.
Query: Available offload.

Well, on figures provided by national teams, the KC-767 came in at only 1.1% better than the A310MRTT - and was 12% worse than the KC-135R. Interestingly, the first thing the spams asked was "Can you make that 12000 ft balanced field?" - to which I said "No!".

And the A330?

A massive 65% better than the KC-767, or 45% better than the KC-135R!

So, are The Messiah and his bubba buddies really going to try and hoodwink the USAF into buying something less capable than the jet it is supposed to replace?

Only In America could such a thing happen, it seems....
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