Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Tanker Drama Back To Square One

Northrop has decided not to bid for the tanker RFP, and EADS will not go it alone. So Boeing is now the de facto winner of the KC-X competition, as was the case nearly 10 years ago. France and Germany are crying foul and may punish the US for a narrow RFP, we'll see how that turns out. Some of the observers seem to have forgotten that this is merely the first stage of the USAF tanker replacement program. There are the KC-Y and KC-Z to come.

So France and Germany need to pace themselves on that protesting part. The KC-330 has never been a good replacement for the KC-135s; its performance more approximates the KC-10(KC-Y/Z?). The USAF is clearly interested in a wide-body tanker, they just screwed up their own acquisition program in pursuing the KC-330.

Still, I'm glad that we will start saving on the O&M money of maintaining the outdated KC-135s.

ETA: Formatting and links

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