Boeing has been awarded the next-generation tanker contract



I don’t work for Boeing, but there’s at least a couple of Dopers who do. As a resident of Washington State, I’m glad the jobs will be here.

I could never figure out how the Defense Department could even consider giving the contract to an European company. Patty Murray would have had their guts for garters.

As a Boeing employee, this is very good news. My fellow co-workers in Everett have to be excited for this news. Plus in will kill the rumors of Boeing moving the 737 assembly line to Everett.

Well, it’s not as if the originally chosen Northrop-Grumman KC-45 (a version of an EADS A330) would have been the first major military system that’s really a design originated outside the US but produced in the USA by a joint-venture partner or license holder. Probably just the biggest and most expensive.

The early-series Harrier fighters, the Jayhawk jet trainers, C-23 (Brit), C-27 (Italian), the Coast Guard’s Dolphin/Dauphin helicopters (French), the Beretta (Italian) and SiG (Swiss) pistols, both the M240 and M249 machine guns (Belgian), the LAV (Swiss/Canadian), etc.

Good show for Boeing, they needed the boost right now.

I thought the design competition, expecially after the first two aborted attempts, had been structured to eliminate any political considerations. Not easy to do, and maybe not even possible, but I thought that was the plan.

What an amazingly well organized and corruption free bidding process this was!

Actually, it was structured such that only Boeing could win. Which is why the actual Europeans dropped out and what was left going against Boeing was the European’s former US parter companies.

This thing has been a slow motion Kabuki dance of corruption & jingoism for 20 years now. Maybe it’ll be over with this award, maybe not.

I can’t understand why they even attempt a facade at fairness. We’d have new EADS tankers on the ramp right now if that was the case. Instead we have $millions wasted on a phony acquisition system and SLEPs to geriatric aircraft.

I seem to recall the first Boeing contract being so riddled with corruption, people actually went to jail over it. If you want to have at least the semblance of a competitive process, you need to bring in an overseas company - who builds wide-bodies? Airbus, Boeing and United Aircraft, which translates to Ilyushin, and that’s not going to happen.

I’m happy for the USAF who, I suspect, would’ve taken anything at this point. And I wonder how many aircraft could have been purchased for the price of this decade-long process…

USAF was desperate for takers more than a decade ago when Boeing managed to botch a lease deal. So sad. I only hope crews and supported units and aircraft don’t end up dying as a direct result of systematic failures in the aerial tanker business.

I hope Boeing is happy with themselves.

Many more jobs would have been produced at the new assembly plant for the Airbus jets in AL.

Personally, I would have titled this thread:

“Your Tax Dollars at Work: Boeing has been awarded the next-generation tanker contract”

And put it in the BBQ pit. :wink:

Don’t get me wrong, for all I know Boeing may have had the better product - I know f*ck-all about air tankers. But the process was painful to watch.

Where did you get this fact?

I’d say “cite?” but I hate when people do that.

Also, wouldn’t the profits end up in Europe if the contract went to EADS, even if all the jobs didn’t?

Seemed like a blantant case of the AF being politically pressured to lather, rinse, repeat the procurement process until the answer came up “Boeing” one way or the other. Incredible waste that pretty much can be traced back to the original Druyun shenanigans. At least I trust Boeing to build a flying gas station better than their Arizona “Virtual Fence” project.

And as far as any profits that would end up in Europe go, that is a widely held, gross misconception pushed by Boeing lobbyists and their political patsies. Northrop Grumman was sub-prime in the deal and would have seen the bulk of revenue from the program, along with the new jobs, etc. They would have been basically just buying parts from Airbus and assembling them here along with tons of U.S. made on-board equipment.

Total sham.

Hey, I thought Alabama politicians didn’t want any stimulus money.
I have no idea whether politics had anything to do with the decision ( :stuck_out_tongue: ) but if it did, maybe Alabama and the Gulf States would have come out a bit better if their representatives hadn’t spent the last two years calling Obama names and steadfastly refusing to even negotiate. Now they’re crying about not getting a big contract? Waa waa.

Actually no, I am. And I don’t live in AL. The thread started with Boeing or Boeing proponents bragging about getting the contract. I’m just applying the approriate polish to that little bit of information, thank you very much! :smiley:

You know: The Straight Dope?

How in the H*E double hockey sticks does Obama get into this?

Unless you wish to somehow characterize him as MPSIMS material in another thread, maybe I’ll go along with that. :rolleyes:

Why does everything have to be a conspiracy theory around here? :confused:

Previously, not “originally”, and erroneously too according to the GAO investigation. The mess started with the corrupt lease offer from Boeing that put Darleen Druyun in jail (and nobody in the industry felt sorry for her). Back in 2002, that was. The 2007 program, with the bid specs altered to manufaacture an artificial competition with the only other qualified airframer, was botched so badly, including bad arithmetic that led to the wrong result even according to the new specs, was then protested and cancelled. The top command of USAF was all relieved for that, and for another issue or two but that was the main one. Then there was a hasty attempt to “fix” the contract on an expedited schedule before Obama could take office, but it failed too because the bid specs were so screwed up that they no longer reflected a validated study of USAF operational requirements. So, EADS cannot claim that they ever won.

Or, one could say that it was structured to match USAF’s validated operational requirements, and that EADS didn’t have an airplane as well-sized to those needs as Boeing did

Wrong. Northrop-Grumman (which EADS selected as a partner only to make its offering officially American) dropped out when the new USAF crew made it clear that the new contract specs would this time be based on USAF’s needs, not on politics or the ideology of competition, and EADS went it alone

Based on EADS’ product being so less well matched to the specs than Boeing’s that it’s hard to understand why they even bothered this time, except perhaps out of stubbornness, it does appear that this is it.