Boeing has been awarded the next-generation tanker contract

Well, i guess that $600 million fine paid by Boeing five years ago was just another cost of doing business.

Looks like a pretty good investment now, doesn’t it?

Until the fines and other penalties (say, disqualification from competing for the business) outweigh the potential gains, this sort of corruption will never stop.

Of course, you can explain *how *this is corrupt. :dubious:

Well, it seems to me that a fine of over $600 million suggests some corruption. It could well be, as you’ve suggested, that what came after reflects the best interests of the Air Force and the American taxpayer, but Boeing’s presence in the procedure continued after two of its executives were sent to prison and the the CFO and CEO either jumped or were pushed from the company.

Of course, you poo-pooed the whole thing with your blithe handwaving argument that “nobody in the industry felt sorry for” Druyun, but the fact is that you used the term “corrupt” yourself to describe what happened on her watch, and it’s also a fact that, no matter how much you might want to focus on one bad apple, shit like this doesn’t happen in the world of government contracting without multiple people from both the government side and the contractor side being in on the deal.

My point was simply that, given the corruption that occured at an earlier stage of the process, a more appropriate penalty would have been not only a fine, but to boot Boeing out of the process altogether. The idea of corporate personhood should extend to this sort of incident as well; the corporate person (Boeing) did something wrong, and should not be allowed to move on just because a few individuals get fired. They shold have been told, “You can no longer be involved in the bid for these tankers.”

Of course, because there are only a handful of companies in the world that can make a tanker like this, that was never going to happen, so the fine becomes little more than another cost of doing business in the world of government contracting.

And there was, in the 2002 lease deal. For you to drop a serious charge like that today, with the process as open as legally possible, requires a bit of factual support, which you pointedly do not provide.

Do you even realize that there are only 2 airframers in the world who can make tankers? Disqualifiying Boeing = awarding the contract to EADS without competition.

No, I just pointed out some basic facts for you.

Who says this contract award will stand any longer than the last one?

We could be stuck in a ‘Groundhog Day’ scenario that can only terminate when the lawyers have all the $$$.

The fact that my assertion came today does not change the fact of corruption in 2005. As part of this process, Boeing acted corruptly. The fact that the process might have been corruption-free since 2005 doesn’t eliminate that earlier corruption. If some guy robbed a bank in 2005, the fact that he has lived the last 5 years without robbing banks doesn’t make him less of a bank robber.

Which is precisely what i suggested in the last paragraph of my previous post. I used to suspect that your selective reading was confined to baseball threads, but apparently not.

Damn. I’d thought I’d heard my last negative ad about the air tanker on WTOP. Yes, there were dueling negative ads about this on the radio :rolleyes:

Not in Washington.

They still want to compete for future contracts - there are two other tranches of replacement tanker in the next couple of decades - so they played ball.

True enough - this was just the KC-X program, essentially to replace the KC-135 in the tactical mission, not the KC-Y program to replace the KC-10 in the strategic one. A larger airplane will be more appropriate for that - wonder if we’ll see a 777-based proposal from Boeing?

heyoka, the fact that this competition was based entirely on objective, pass-fail criteria, with no scoring system subject in any way to judgment calls may prevent protests this time (which was obviously the purpose behind doing it that way). A protester has to have not only a sound factual basis but a reasonable chance of prevailing to do it. And, as the Baron points out, it would have to consider the intangible effects as well.

mhendo, please try to become better informed, okay? Thanks.

Actually, no. Some of us are glad Boeing got the contract, because we live here or work for Boeing; but I don’t see any bragging.

IIRC (and I may not, at least as far as the details are concerned), one thing that scuttled the previous round was that the specifications called for an aircraft the size of the 767/A330. Boeing made its bid based on these specs, while EADS’ bid was based on the A340 (more comparable to the 777). For some reason, the USAF changed the specs after the fact to match the A340 — which, among other things, altered runway and hangar requirements. Boeing’s complaint was basically that if the AF were going to do that, it should have been allowed to rebid based on the 777.

If you’re looking for bragging, don’t go to the local rags’ websites. There’s some high-fiving, but the Naddering Nabobs of Negativism* are out in full force — some checking in from Alabama, but the majority homegrown.

*Probably the only positive thing I can attribute to Spiro Agnew.

I haven’t had time to read the news, so I haven’t seen the stories. I was responding to the claim that this thread started out with bragging.

Elvis, you might want inform yourself on the aerial tanker mission. The KC tankers are all strategic assets.

130 variants with drogues for the choppers and smaller aircraft are the tactical refuelers.

Should have been more specific. :smack: I was referring to the websites’ “Comments” sections.

The terms are fuzzy, yes, and there’s some overlap. But the 135’s primary missions are in-theater (short range), the 10’s are mostly deployment (long range). That’s why USAF defined 2 different replacement programs for 2 different type aircraft.

Sure, the very-short-range stuff that isn’t part of the discussion. I do think we can agree the 130’s will be around forever. :wink:

Like i suggested, if you want to ignore what i actually wrote in favor of some fantasy you have about what i wrote, go right ahead.

Sigh. If you seriously want to assert that, if someone in a company violated the law at some point in the past, then the firm should be forever damned, then you’re welcome to.

And if you want to continue to assert that the USAF decision just announced is corrupt, then you need to come up with some factual basis for that belief, something less than 9 years old from an entirely different contract, hmm?

That’s more response than your statements here deserve, frankly.

How about the fact that Department of Defense declared that the Northrop Grumman/EADS team won the contract on technical merit back in February 2008, only to have the decision nixed by the General Accounting Office (GAO) in what is almost universally regarded as a politically motivated move to protect Boeing. The later set of requirements, first listed in the August 2008 draft request for proposal (RFP) which was then cancelled, and the final RFP for the third acquisition, both glad handed by the office of the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in an abnormally involved role (significantly exceeding that of former SecDef Robert McNamara whose involvement in the acquisition process for new systems was and still remains controversial) favored Boeing’s 767-based proposal so heavily they might as well might have included requirements that said, “Must be made in Seattle,” in the RFP.

Northrop Grumman actually dropped out of the proposal last March because it was clear to everyone involved that the deck was stacked against Northrop, despite having a complete conceptual design in the proposal and the ability to turn around the design within the intended timeframe, which no one expects Boeing to be able to do. The US Aerospace/Antonov proposal was rejected flat out for being “five minutes too late,” which is a complete bullshit sandwich with fries. This whole acquisition effort is The Purloined Letter of corruption in acquisition; done in such plain sight nobody could believe it was actually being done until it was all over.