No AIRBUS tankers for the Yanks

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Semper_Flexibilis, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. Doesnn't surprise me really, in bad times they were always going to back Boeing, though this may just be a tactical move by Northrop to get the rules changed to give them a better chance.
  2. God I hate the Septics. They are a bunch of cheating bastards. They talk about fair competition when they are trying to sell their kit to anyone else, but when it comes to buying foreign they will find any tactic to win the order. The ironic thing is that the US content of the EADS A330 bid exceeds that of the Boing offering anyway (much of the Boing is made abroad (Japan for one).

    They have done the same thing with the CSAR-X contract. the HH-71 (development of the Merlin) was by far the better product but the fiddled the tests (especially the one about the time taken to prepare for transport in a C17 (difficult for a Chinook as it doesn't have folding blades). The whole thing stinks.

    Special relationship my arse. Its special for them its all one sided.... THEIRS!!!
  3. +1000 !

    Makes me even happier the A-400M is going ahead.
  4. By skewing the deal in favour of the B767, the US is losing out because they will end up with an inferior aircraft offering an inferior capability.

    However, the Boeing 767 and Airbus A330 tankers are not that dissimilar, so the net loss militarily is not 'that' drastic. Financially, the US tax payer, in the round probably benefits.

    On the otherhand, there is the A400M political jerry-mandering in Europe where the Euro tax payer is getting hammered just to polish gallic pride.
  5. As Whitecity says, the various Aviation pundits have been saying for the last few years that the US seems to be determined to buy an inferior aircraft. It would appear they have suceeded. They will probably end up doing the same for their P-8 Maritime patrol aircraft and the bigger C-130 they are looking at.
  6. One thing to remember is that as fas as most americans are concerned Airbus is french (though its only partially french). And france is associated with cowardice and surrender in the eyes of a lot of americans, especially over Gulf War 2: A Sons Vengence

    So there will be all sorts of senators and what not demanding the american planes should be built by american people with american money. Woe betide any politician over there that wants to see american jobs go to french people.

    Then again, how many procurements have the MOD done to secure british jobs? An example would be rather than upgrading Pumas and Lynxs why not just buy bloody Blackhawks! That would get choppers to the front a lot quicker than buying british, but no polititian want to sacrifice british jobs.

    However dont accuse me of siding with the yanks on this one! Personally I think its a shame and could possibly have an affect on me. I used to work in the Airbus Broughton factory where they make the wings and have been looking at the possibility of returning, however with fewer orders this might not be good. Also i run my own business and have had many Airbus customes use my services and obviouslty the more there are, and the more secure their jobs are, the more chance I have of gaining work. Airbus and other support companies must be pretty much the biggest employer around here.
  7. The essential difference in the helicopter/tanker analogy though, is that the B767 is actually a capable platform for the job in hand. It may not be the best (don't know to be honest, not familiar with the spec/requirement). Certainly in the case of the Army Lynx British forces are getting a markedly inferior (not for for purpose?) aircraft in the name of jobs for the boys.

    I'm very much in favour of supporting indigenous industry, particularly in the defence sector, but only when the product is what is required by those who are going to be using it.

  8. Boeing wanted the USAF to buy the 767 because the 767 production line was about to shut down as the planes run it's course and there is no more commercial interest in an obsolete mid range airliner.

    The USAF doesn't even want the 767 for much the same reasons airlines turned their noses up at it, it's narrow oval fuselage bulks out before you can fill it up with pallets. This may be a problem as the USAF were rather looking at the big airlift capability of the KC-45, 32 pallets, (the KC-767 can only fit in 19), being a very good answer to their general run of the mill palleted cargo hauling needs.
  9. I heard Airbus declined to enter the contest for the replacement Air Force One aircraft. Would have cost too much to make two A380 sales, even considering the massive kick in the nacelles to Boeing that having POTUS flying in an Airbus would represent.

    I also heard that USAF are considering buying A380 freighters. How would those compare with existing military cargo planes? Bigger than a 747 freighter and carries more weight than one of those C5 galaxy thingies but, I understand, less than ideal for carrying military cargo. Looks like Boeing could be suffering la grande humiliation after all.
  10. One of the early Blackhawk offers included a fair amount of British factory work, which MoD turned down for whatever reason they came up with......
  11. Wastelands even have a licence to build the Blackhawk and actually churned one out…

  12. The Merlin won the H-71 competition. The problem came afterwards as, following best practice straight from the MoD handbook, the Americans started adding extra bits of kit and capability to the airframe. To top it all, they then refused to give AugustaWestland information about the kit (for security reasons) which meant that trying to integrate it became... problematic.

    Also bear in mind that if Boeing hadn't engaged in activity which led to two people getting prison sentences and John McCain and other senators sticking their oar in, the 767 would've ended up as the USAF tanker anyway.

    There are lots of reasons to suspect that this may not be the end of the matter, though - senators whose constituents lose out because of the withdrawal of the KC-45 at a point when Barack needs all the friends he can get in Congress; Obama's stated opposition to single-source contracts as being bad for the taxpayer, and the likelihood that on present form, the KC-767 will be more expensive, late and have problems with the probe-and-drogue refuelling pods (= one unhappy US Navy and USMC) as is currently an issue on the Italian KC-767s and you get the feeling that there may be more to come on this...
  13. Of course, the MOD waste etc is a whole other story. Cant say im suprised at this decision from the Septics given how many defence procurements have 'politics' written all over them?

    Back in the mid 90s I remember a unit I was in was issued RB44 trucks (Reynauld Boughtons or something, about halfway between a LR and a 4 Tonner). These things where a bag of shit. In fact the company went bust part way through suppyling them and most of our trucks only had a drivers seat in the cab! I remember as a youngster driving our PSAO to an exercise or something in one of these, and he was sat in a plastic classroom chair in the cab!...Still he was wearing his seatbelt. Now I heard at the time that these trucks where not selected on the basis of quality (they had none!) but because RB was the only british firm, in fact IIRC they came last in the army trials*

    SO how much kit is selected purely on the grounds of quality and need? Im sure there are sooo many more examples...

    *flashy disclaimer: the above story about it coming last in the trial etc. might be entirely bollocks, im simply repeating what i was told at the time...15 years ago....
  14. This is a quality stitch up by Northrop Grumman/EADS. Boeing may have used US domestic political chauvanism to skew the competition their way but the withdrawal of the opposition means they face accusations of profiteering, and probably a serious wire-brushing of their costs - and hence profit margin - as a result.

    The other thing the delays have done is underlined the obsolete nature of the 767 airframe and the fact that by today's standards it's really not very good and a poor choice for something supposed to be in service for decades to come. But,as Boeing have spent years trashing the A330 on the grounds of size they cannot offer a (say) 777 based alternative without admitting they were lying through their teeth.

    So the only people to get it in the shorts will be USAF and the US taxpayer.