Discussion:
A vs. B: USAF Tanker Battle, Round 2
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A Guy Called Tyketto
2009-12-08 02:54:59 UTC
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Here we go again:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121165176

Personally, Boeing is still on the ropes with this, as they
really don't have an answer to what NG/EADS can offer. The B787 is
still in strife, and with 7 days left before their supposed 'first
flight' and being 2 years behind, their only option is a B767 variant,
which is what the B787 is to replace.

NG/EADS will have the A330 and, the way things are going, A350
available. Isn't it ironic that with all the problems Boeing has had,
that they cried foul when the DoD went with the NG bid? They obviously
wanted more time, cried about it, and got it. And yet Sen. Murray (from
the state Boeing's plant is in, nonetheless) says that NG/EADS is
whining about it. Talk about Pot, Kettle, Black..

BL.
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Miles Bader
2009-12-08 03:35:37 UTC
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Post by A Guy Called Tyketto
NG/EADS will have the A330 and, the way things are going, A350
available. Isn't it ironic that with all the problems Boeing has had,
that they cried foul when the DoD went with the NG bid? They obviously
wanted more time, cried about it, and got it. And yet Sen. Murray (from
the state Boeing's plant is in, nonetheless) says that NG/EADS is
whining about it. Talk about Pot, Kettle, Black..
The reason Boeing cried foul was because the original decision was
obviously flawed (with vague, shifting, and inconsistently applied
selection criteria):

"GAO's review of the record led the agency to conclude that the Air
Force had made a number of significant errors that could have
affected the outcome of what was a close competition between Boeing
and Northrop Grumman. The Air Force, in making the award decision,
did not assess the relative merits of the proposals in accordance
with the evaluation criteria identified in the solicitation, which
provided for a relative order of importance for the various technical
requirements. The Air Force conducted misleading and unequal
discussions with Boeing, by informing Boeing that it had fully
satisfied a key performance parameter objective relating to
operational utility, but later determined that Boeing had only
partially met this objective, without advising Boeing of this change
in the agency’s assessment and while continuing to conduct
discussions with Northrop Grumman relating to its satisfaction of the
same key performance parameter objective. The Government
Accountability Office recommended the Air Force reopen the bidding
process for the service’s aerial refueling aircraft contract."

The whole thing is a huge mess -- AIUI, this is the _third_ attempt to
do this, and every time, what started as an apparently earnest attempt
to do things right by the air force, quickly became a tar pit of
political interference and pressure, from both sides. The first time,
the shady dealing was in Boeing's favor, and NG/EADS supporters
(rightfully) derailed it; the second time, the shady dealing was in
NG/EADS's favor, and (again, rightfully), it was squashed. Let's hope
they can do things right this time, now that everything's under a
microscope...

This newest attempt does at least seem to be trying to reduce backroom
dealing by using far stricter and more concrete criteria. If EADS wants
to argue about the specific criteria used, they can do that, but at
least it's out in the open.

-Miles
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