The Day After the Draft RFP

There has been some time to digest the Pentagon’s announcement for the re-compete for the aerial tanker program. Predictably, Boeing’s supporters are unhappy. Anything short of a tailor-made RFP guaranteeing a Boeing award won’t make them happy, as their efforts to craft legislation in Congress demonstrates.

Here are a couple of stories that capture the flavor:

The Seattle Times

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Mobile Press-Register

The Wall Street Journal

Having incorrectly called the competition once–we thought Boeing would win and were stunned when Northrop did–we’re going out on a limb and predict Northrop is the favorite this round. (In this we are not alone, but we weren’t last time, either.) But we have a somewhat different view than the hand-wringers over the revised RFP.

The original RFP contained a delivery timeline sought by the Air Force that was not challenged by Boeing in its protest and which the GAO didn’t address. And this timeline isn’t changed in the new Draft RFP, either. And that is the Air Force wants the “prototypes” (our word) of the KC-45 delivered in 2009.

Northrop already has two KC-30 platforms flying and two more on the way. Granted, these must be converted into tanker configuration. But Boeing doesn’t have a flyable airplane nor is it likely to be able to have the KC-767AT prototype ready next year.

This is because the “AT” is a combination of elements from the 767-200ER, the 767-300ER, the 767-400 and the 777. Deemed a “minor modification” by Boeing–and the “Frankentanker” by Northrop–the process of integrating the parts and producing the airplane most likely will take longer than 2009 once Boeing received a contract, if it did.

Boeing’s track record with the KC-767s for Japan and Italy doesn’t inspire confidence, and these are straight-forward conversions of the 767-200ER.

The delivery timeline outlined in the original RFP also argues now, as it did then, against Boeing offering a tanker based on the 777. This production line is already at capacity of seven a month and with a backlog of 358 at June 30 (the latest data available), that’s slightly more than four years before Boeing could deliver a prototype KC-777, even if 100% of the research and development were done and ready to go into production–which it probably is not.

Let’s remember that the re-compete is about eight points identified by the GAO, but there are other criteria involved. The desired delivery schedule is the main reason we think Northrop has the edge; Northrop has a plane ready to go now; Boeing’s airplane is in the computer.

22 Comments on “The Day After the Draft RFP

  1. Scott – Nice piece. Can you give more detail of the 767-200, -300 and 777 features that Boeing is incorporating in the AT? Also, have you heard/do you know why the AF is not requiring GenX/Trent 1000 type engines? My understanding is that in their current/contemplated forms these would work on the 330 and maybe on the 787 AT.

    Thx Christopher Dye

  2. Scott – Another point. If the AF wants a larger tanker than the 767AT why are you and others referring the the 777 as Boeing’s only alterntive. How about the 767-400 combined with GenX engines?

    Chris

  3. The KC-767AT is based on the -200ER fuselage. Fundamentally it will have the -300ERF wing, -400 flaps and landing gear and 777 cockpit, and there are probably other features mixed in from the other product lines as well.

    Although Northrop cleverly called the plane a Frankentanker, Boeing is correct in that these mix-and-matches aren’t an extraordinary approach to building airplanes. We remarked on this in our July 29 update on our Corporate Website Commentary (www.leeham.net).

    As for the GEnx/Trent engines, when the KC-X competition got underway, both engines were in early stages of development. Attaching either engine to either airplane would require a Supplement Type Certificate (or if not an STC, some other certification) and as neither engine had any track record, I can only surmise the USAF didn’t say anything about these engines at all. It would have been up to Airbus (pardon us, Northrop) and Boeing to decide whether to offer an undeveloped engine on an existing airframe and cost the project accordingly.

    It’s worth noting that Boeing selected a new model of the P&W engine that is under development, but this is merely a modification of the existing product line.

  4. Re: 767-400 (or even 767-300): We specifically asked the question about the 767-300 of Boeing at its tanker briefing at the Farnborough Air Show. The response was that the longer fuselage means the airplane would require a shallower rotation to avoid a tail strike (or in this case, a tail-boom strike). This means a longer take-off run and a longer runway requirement. The USAF specified a 7,000 ft runway requirement in the first RFP (and this is unchanged in the second).

    Use of the 767-400 would only aggravate the rotation/take-off roll situation.

  5. It would be interesting to get a poll from current tanker pilots as to the pressing need and preference of tanker platforms. Was impressed by this comment on DODBUZZ: “I just hope this gets resolved SOON, I’m a KC-135 pilot and let me tell you if we get these planes today they will be 10 years late. While I love my bird, to say we should’ve had a replacement years ago would be an under statement.

    I’m as pro American as they come, but Boeing clearly lost this proposal, the Northrop plane blows it out of the water. Congress should not tell the Air Force what it should buy, and it should not force them to buy “American Only”. nd let me share something the Boeing plane has crucial parts contracted overseas not just for their Tanker, but also their commercial aircraft as well. Are we telling Congress to buy Chevys and not buy Volvos? Like I said i’m a red blooded American but I drive a BMW, and with any luck I’ll be trading my Boeing Tanker for a Northrop/EADS Tanker.”

  6. This isn’t really a competition anymore, the decision has already been made, what is happening now is just politics/CYA. I work for Boeing and I think it’s time for them to just bow out and not bid, they clearly will not win this thing based on the revised RFP.

    That’s not to say I think the airbus offering is the better fit for their needs, let us remember this competition was to replace the KC135. The boeing plane is BIGGER, carries more fuel and is more capable than the KC135 it was designed to replace. I know Boeing shouldn’t try to tell it’s customer what they want, but the studies that back their recommendations show that the KC135’s (that carry less fuel than either of the KC-X planes) hardly ever are used to anywhere near their capacity for fuel offload. So basically, this competition has shown that the AF wants bigger/better/faster/more regardless of cost or practicality. In an air-dominance fighter jet, I can understand and support that mentality, but in a tanker/transport, it doesn’t make much sense to spend more than you have to (which means less money for other/future programs.) I think that is what Boeing has a hard time understanding, and why they’ve stayed with this thing this long. An anology: The AF needs to replace its Rangers (KC135), and they’re picking an Expedition (A330) over the F-150 (767).

    I don’t really see the jobs issue going either way, but I will bet that when airbus gets the contract, it’ll be quite a while (if ever) before production is moved here. They’ll site the urgency of need, etc as reasons why they can’t move it to Alabama sooner, and I’m sure there will be plenty of delays just getting the facilities in AL built/setup. They talk a good game on jobs to win public support, but there will be nothing in the contract that requires them to build anything in the US I imagine, and they probably never will, especially if the dollar recovers anytime in the next decade.

  7. How many more 767 based tankers can the USAF get for the same contract value, or another way – how much more does a KC 30 cost ?

  8. no-win: Everyone keeps forgetting that it is Northrop who will be getting the contract, not airbus. The Mobile groundbreaking was scheduled and construction of the Alabama facility would have been well underway at this time, if not for the Boeing protest. Whether NG’s 48.000 jobs will come to fruition (if they win) obviously remains to be seen, but just as you are sure about “plenty of delays” and such, I am sure that Mobile will be just what NG says it is going to be.

  9. There has been a lot of talk about the Northrop tanker being too large. Boeing and it’s supporters claim that the KC-30 will be unable to land, turn, takoff, or even be stored at numerous airfields throughout the world. They even claim that hangars will have to be modified. Is all this true? The Air Force currently flies a large tanker…the KC-10…built by McDonnell Douglas. How does the KC-30 compare in size with the KC-10. Is the Air Force currenlty having problems landing and storing the KC-10 at airbases throughout the world? If the KC-30 is of equal or smaller size than the KC-10, then what is Boeing complaining about. I am a former employee of McDonnell Douglas. How competitive would the KC-10/11 be in this competition?

  10. leehamnet: makes a logical person wonder, doesn’t it? ..that northrop/airbus can offer a larger, newer plane with more bells and whistles for a lower price, especially considering the current doller/euro exchange rate.

    Cap: Northrop won’t make the plane, everyone knows that, they’ll modify it, and the level of modifications to actually be performed by actual Northrop people seems to be in question, I’ve heard a lot of different numbers. Again, a logical person has to question how 48K jobs will be created just to modify an airbus plane when boeing claims to be able to build AND modify their plane with only 44K (numbers i’ve heard, but they seem to change often.) Maybe 48K jobs between Northrop AND Airbus, but that depends on airbus moving production of the entire plane here, which is the part I question. It simply doesn’t make business sense to do so is my point, and imagine the political fallout for eads in europe if they move a production line over here? I just don’t think they’ll ever actually do it, and it would also be costly/impractical to duplicate an entire production line here. Both sides will have a lot of foreign made parts, that’s a given, but it’s just not logical that Northrop can claim to create more jobs when more of the plane will be built (or at least assembled) outside the US. I don’t think the jobs issue is really relevant to the competition, it’s just that I don’t believe Northrop can use it as a selling point to the customer or the public.

    Brian: The kc30 is actually larger in some dimensions than the kc10, but I don’t imagine the KC135 is limited to the same airfields as the KC10. To put the sizes into perspective:

    Plane / Length / Wingspan / Height / Fuel Capacity
    KC10 / 182 / 166 / 58 / 342K
    KC135 / 137 / 131 / 39 / 203K
    KC30 / 194 / 198 / 57 / 250K
    KC767 / 159 / 156 / 52 / 220K
    KC777 / 209 / 213 / 61 / ~350K

    So you can see by looking at the numbers that size-wize, the kc30 is replacing the kc10, not the kc135, but it can’t offload as much fuel as the kc10 (but can carry more passengers/cargo i assume.) It looks like the 777 would be a much better competitor to the kc30, but there’s not enough time to put a proposal together for that in this second competition run. I assume boeing didn’t offer the 777 the first time because the competition was to replace the 135, and the 767 is much closer in size to (but still bigger than) the kc135 than all the others.

  11. A reader points out to us that we incorrectly stated the 777 cockpit will be part of the KC-767AT and that it is in fact the 767-400 cockpit.

    There are elements common between the two and that’s what we were thinking.

    Another reader writes on a different post:

    Cap, some of us believe, with at least some justification, that Northrop is “fronting” for Airbus. You can call it anything that suits your fancy. But if it looks like a duck…

    I think there would be far less critisum of the Northrop KC-30, if they actually licenced the design and built the aircraft. The Industrial Base concerns many of us have are real, far reaching and a potential pitfall for American manufacturing and the U.S. Aviation industry in general.
    While I would love to see another U.S. aircraft manufacturer emerge, to believe that Airbus or it’s cronies at Northrop have the U.S.’ best interests in mind in quite frankly, naive.
    Those who criticize American “jingoism” and “protectionism” seem to only do so when those of us want Americans to build the tanker for the U.S. Air Force. They seem to be stranglely silent when France, Germany, Spain and the U.K, don’t even allow Boeing to compete. Can one say “double standard”?

    Just ask the former workers here on Long Island N.Y. – Where the F-14 and Lunar Modual were built – Northrop’s commitment to the aviation industry.

    I think No-Win makes some very valid points that are backed up by recent history and facts.

  12. Scott, as a taxpayer my question is what is the lifetime cost of the two offerings? What I am hearing is that the Airbus/Northrop plane is larger and more the Expedition vs. F150 for bigger, better (?) offering, but the Boeing plane is more cost effective over the life expectance of the platform. We are looking at lifetime of 40 to 50 years (note: KC135 started in service in the 1960’s and are still flying, a Boeing built plane). I am thinking that the initial cost and lifetime operating cost is higher for the Airbus/Northrop plane than the Boeing plane. Do we, as taxpayers want to support that type of boondoggle?

    Added to this would be concerns about the true ability of the systems to meet both tactical and strategic needs of our military. Bigger is not always better. I have heard from some, currently plane commanders for C-17’s, that they are not happy with the A330 platform. It is to large and slow and will take up to much airfield space for the actual off-load capacity.

  13. I lot of good points here. Having been a KC135 operator all of my AF career we rarely carried fuel to capacity. Plus, these new tankers will be inflight refuelable themselves, so I think total fuel capacity beyond the KC135 is not very important. It would be good to see if they put an additional criteria to help them differentiate the bidders, like maybe offload capacity per square foot of ramp required – using the KC135 as the baseline. You’ll find that the KC767 is not as good as the KC135, the KC30 even worse yet, and the KC10 is the king of the ramp. To me, the biggest need in the air refueling community is booms in the air. If your ramp in theater can only hold 5 KC135’s, you might be able to get 5 KC767’s there, maybe only 4, but I bet you can only park 3 KC10’s or 3 KC30’s. If you could only choose between the KC30 and the KC10, you go with the KC10 because it has more fuel capacity with practically the same footprint. Real estate is going to be an issue when we need tankers most (in a conflict, deployed off-shore away from our big bases at home). The KC30 is a ramp hog and a lightweight given it’s size to fuel capacity ratio.

    I think some of our USAF/DoD professional shoppers are falling into the “I can get an Expedition for the price of a Explorer”. They think they are getting more for “free”. They are not paying attention to cost of owership issues like higher fuel costs to drive that Expedition around nearly empty, or the cost needed to widen the driveway and garage it at home. Plus, the NG/EADS bid is higher risk. How many tankers has NG built? Boeing built over 750 KC135s in the span of 10 years. How about the track record of the A330? We can see that Boeing has a good track record with the 767, there are 20+ YO 767s in service today. That 20+ track record makes it very low risk in my eyes. But what do I know, I’m just dumb tanker puke.

  14. The life cycle cost has been one of the hottest points of contention, with focus principally on fuel burn. We’ve written often about this issue. Boeing contends the 767 will burn as much as $40bn less over 40 years than the KC-30. Northrop and Airbus, not surprisingly, disagree, and say the fuel burn difference is 6%, not 24%, as purported by Conklin de Decker, the consultant paid by Boeing to come up with the numbers.

    If the A330–on which the KC-30 is based–burned 24% more fuel than the 767, no airline would buy this airplane instead of the 767. Instead, the A330 has virtually put the 767 out of business.

    But even Airbus and Northrop concede that on a pure trip-cost from Point A to Point B, the A330 does use more fuel than the 767. It’s after factoring in the mission capabilities that the A330 becomes more efficient than the 767. According to Northrop, the USAF determined the KC-30 was 6% more efficient than the 767 when mission capabilities are considered.

    But there are more factors to consider over life cycle cost: maintenance, ground support equipment (and their maintenance), infrastructure, etc. etc. This is where we think Boeing always missed the boat during its long campaign leading up to the Feb. 29 award. It wasn’t until very late in the competition that Boeing truly raised the infrastructure issue–and even then it did not put an estimated price tag on it. We specifically asked about this during the last conference call Boeing held prior to Feb. 29 and Mark McGraw admitted they did not have a number estimate.

    Intuitively, the larger the airplane the greater the infrastructure cost–and we always though Boeing could have made a lot of hay on this point (we enjoy mixing out metaphors in this discussion). Now it’s pretty much too late. While the GAO pointed to life cycle costs, and DOD is going to take a new look, the criticism seemed focused mainly on 25- or 40-year life cycles and fuel burn. DOD is now looking at a 40-year life cycle (which is proper) and taking another look at fuel burn.

    We have always discounted the Conklin analysis on a number of grounds as mere Boeing hype. An independent look by DOD is the better yard stick.

    As for the parking foot print, the KC-30 is somewhat larger than the C-17 but it’s not fair to directly equate off-load capabilities because the two airplanes are very different. The C-17 is only troops and cargo; the KC-30 (and KC-767) is also a gas station. Look at the bigger picture: The USAF decided not to upgrade the old C5 fleet any further, so these are on their way out. The USAF doesn’t want any more new C17s (a debatable decision, but there it is) and the current fleet is over-taxed supporting two wars. Something has to supplement the cargo-troop carrying capabilities of the C5 and C17 and the KC-30 simply has more capability to do this than does the KC-767.

    Finally, as noted in an earlier post, Reuters a few months ago revealed that Northrop bid the KC-30 for $10m-$12m per unit less than Boeing bid the KC-767, so initial airplane acquisition cost is actually less than going Boeing. It will be interesting to see if Boeing cuts its price–and whether NGC does, too. This benefits the taxpayer. And so did the competition. When Boeing had a no-bid award in 2002-2004, the deal was for just 100 airplanes for the same price, and the USAF wouldn’t even own the aircraft–they would have been leased. So no matter how you cut it, the taxpayers have already come out ahead.

  15. “But even Airbus and Northrop concede that on a pure trip-cost from Point A to Point B, the A330 does use more fuel than the 767. It’s after factoring in the mission capabilities that the A330 becomes more efficient than the 767. According to Northrop, the USAF determined the KC-30 was 6% more efficient than the 767 when mission capabilities are considered.”

    I understand your point and the logic here and I don’t dispute the notion that the kc30 is more efficient per measure or work (pallets hauled, lbs fuel delivered, etc) than the kc767. It is a newer aircraft with more capacity. I do, though, consider that notion only relevant if the aircraft will be used in that manner the majority of the time. Yes, if you load some cargo/troops and fuel, then fly your kc30 from point A to B to refuel some planes, then from B to C to refuel some other planes, then from C to D to deliver your cargo/troop load, you are burning less fuel/airframe hours/maintenance hours than if you flew 2 kc767s to do the same job, 1 from A to B to D, the other from A to C to D. However, that efficiency and long term savings depends on the kc30 being used that way a lot. Now ask yourself a couple questions:
    -Will commanders of these tanker wings accept the more complicated logistics of piggy-backing missions
    -Will those commanders risk sending cargo/troops into or near combat zones to refuel aircraft on the way to more mundane destinations
    -Will they rearrange flight missions so that a single tanker can refuel two other groups of aircraft sequentially that two smaller tankers could refuel concurrently
    -Will they put efficiency and fuel cost considerations above any of their mission objectives which may require time sensitivity, more booms in the air, etc, or will they use the kc30’s just as they use kc135’s today? (to a certain extent, they won’t be able to because they won’t be able to fit as many kc30’s as kc135’s on any given ramp)

    If they use the kc30’s just as they use the kc135’s today, they’re pushing a lot more metal through the air to do the same job (and as a 135 jockey above stated, fuel capacity above that of the 135 is mostly irrelevant), which means more fuel burn/cost, than if they used kc135’s or even kc767’s instead. Any efficiency advantage/equality that the kc30 has over/with the kc767 depends on a change in the way the AF uses tankers, so the key point is will the people who receive these aircraft and command them make those changes?

    Concerning the C17’s, anyone who’s ever seen one (especially in person) can agree that it is a very purpose-built (and expensive) aircraft (and a fuel hog, though i don’t know any of the relevant numbers on their fuel burn.) Those things can land and take-off from places you wouldn’t think possible, places a tanker or other heavy transports could never operate from., I personally think they should only be using those things if the mission requirements demand its unique abilities. If the AF is burning C17 hours flying cargo between major airports/bases, maybe they need to look at buying some commercial freighters rather than trying to take another purpose-built aircraft (their tanker) and modify it and it’s mission to haul cargo. Perhaps they could follow UPS and Fedex and purchase used commercial airliners and have them converted to freighters, saving the taxpayers even more money in acquisition and fuel/maintenance costs.

  16. RE: “It [A330/KC-45]is a newer aircraft with more capacity. I do, though, consider that notion only relevant if the aircraft will be used in that manner the majority of the time.”

    And I would ‘consider that notion only relevant’ if that capability gave an edge desired by the warfighterat a cost acceptable to the warfighter, which it [KC-45] apparently does according to the AF’s comments to date.

    Cost is important ONLY in the context of getting the warfighting capability you need at the best possible price. Arguing for lowest cost without that perspective is counter-productive.

    While we’re focusing on who might be the low-cost candidate, let us note the AF had shaped the whole competition such that was (properly) NOT the first priority, and neither the GAO nor the New DoD team seems to be changing tha priority.

  17. If we are going to point out that NG will be only militarizing the bus, let us also note that final assembly of the bus will STILL be in the US performed by US workers working for EADS North America built from parts made all over the world (just like Boeing would do). So in lamenting the loss of tin-bending and riveting work, we must recognize that a LOT of it is just going to be done in Alabama instead of Washington.

    This ‘loss of critical skills’ line of reasoning is weak on two fronts. First, Boeing was claiming that the loss of the KC-X contract wouldn’t mean any lost jobs in Washington. Second, these are both (intentionally) mature airframes: the AF wanted an off-the-shelf system that could be modified to suit their purpose and field as rapidly as possible.

    The modification/integration of the bus and systems will be where the critical skills will be needed, and this is solidly in US hands, except for the few key subsystems where EADS tech is already ahead (FBW boom: built, flown, tested, and being deployed) of the American ‘center of expertise’. this expertise will now flow INTO US hands: it’s just not flowing to Boeing.

  18. SMSgt Mac: If you read what I wrote in context, the notion I was referring to is of the KC30 being more efficient than the 767. That efficiency “edge” is only achieved by having less booms in the air, which I would think is very relevant to the warfighter. Since you brought it up though, my opinion would be that if I were a pilot/crew on one of these in harm’s way, I’d probably NOT prefer the bigger, heavier (usually means slower, less maneuverable) aircraft whose software won’t let it be flown as aggressively/evasively. But, I’m not a pilot/flight crew so I honestly can’t say which they’d choose, I can only say I haven’t seen anything in print that would lead me to believe the kc30 has a capability/technology edge over the kc767, only capacity (and capacity does not mean capability.)

    I agree with you on the jobs issue, it isn’t relevant to the competition, but if EADS does move an entire production line to AL as stated, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. In the end, it still means more money from each plane going to Europe, but I’m OK with that as long as the jobs come to AL that are lost in WA.

    Concerning loss of skills, I think the argument being made by pro-boeing folks was that boeing will likely exit the tanker market if they lost, not that there will be a critical loss of skill in the US aircraft industry. It makes sense for them to do so, since no other country has an enormous tanker fleet like the US, there would be very little market to fight over, it’s just not worth it for them. I don’t think it’s relevant to the competition either way, it just means on the next batch of tankers, the US gov’t will have to be careful as Airbus/northrop will be the only bidder. In fact, as I’ve stated before, my opinion is that boeing should just bow out of this thing now and avoid damaging their customer relationship any further. Besides, many of the same arguments (size, etc) are being made in the CSAR-X competition, only in reverse, so if Boeing does loose this (and I predict they will), they should be able to look forward to a definitive win in CSAR-X.

  19. Subject:
    WHO SAID WHAT AND WHEN, on the US tanker/transport competition?

    The principal complaint raised by Boeing to the selection of the KC-45, is the
    fact that they were never advised by the US Airforce selection committee,
    that any aircraft with a capacity larger than the KC-76 would qualify,………..
    UNTIL AFTER THEY LOST the competition in the first round.
    Surely, Boeing could not have assumed that Northrop/EADS with their larger
    A330 based design, were in the competition for any other reason, but to win
    from the start!
    Therefore:
    1. It is irrational for Boeing to claim, that the rules were rewritten by the
    Airforce Selection Committee, to favor the Northrop/AEDS design,
    without having advised Boeing. They must have known this all along.
    2. The capacity of the KC-76 was never and could never have been the “only”
    capacity requirement by the Airforce, but the “minimum” capacity
    requirement and the final decision will also be based on this fact!
    3. In support of the above, Boeing lost a similar competition in the “80’s,
    for the same reasons they lost this competition, when the US Air Force
    required additional refueling capability in support of the “rapid deploy-
    ment force,” instigated by President Reagan.
    For that competition, MDD submitted the larger and more efficient KC-10
    over the smaller less efficient and older KC-135. The KC-47, which Boeing
    also proposed, was considered to be much to large.
    MDD won that competition and Boeing did not protest at that time!
    4. And a related, but also not well puplisised issue:
    As a former Boeing Director of Sales, nothing would please me more than
    to see Boeing win this competition, But from the taxpayers’ and political
    point of view, the US cannot continue to have it both ways, without
    seriously damaging all US foreign sales prospects for both military hard-
    ware from Boeing or any other US corporation, as has happened on a
    very large scale.
    After the US developed the F-35 or JSF in the ’90’s, the US government
    insisted that our NATO allies base their decision for a new fighter-bomber
    aircraft on “the merits of the design” and not on politics, in spite of the
    fact that several European countries in the same time period, had in-
    vested billions of Euros in a new advanced technology fighter-bomber
    aircraft, the Typhoon or Eurofighter.
    Several European governments, including England, one of the principal
    partners in the Typhoon program, reluctantly complied with the US
    “request” and selected the JFS, in addition to the Typhoon for the RAF
    and several other European airforces, a decision strongly opposed but
    finally accepted by local politicians, with the expectation that such a
    decision would continue to support the sale of European military hardware
    to the US.
    By not insisting that the selection process for the US tanker/transport
    aircraft be based only on the merits of the design, as the US did in the
    case of the European figher/bomber for the JSF, and base the decision
    on political considerations instead, as many Washington State politicians
    have now openly advocated, the US could not only rob the US Airforce
    from operating the best tanker/transport, but also rob US military
    contractors, including Boeing, from many opportunities to sell their hard-
    ware overseas in the future!
    Rdy Hillinga
    Retired Director of Boeing Airplanes International Sales.

  20. This is off topic,
    Rudy, wil je met mij contact opnemen als je familie bent van mijn vroegere schoolvriend uit het bezuidenhout in Den Haag?

  21. Pingback: The USAF’s KC-X Aerial Tanker RFP

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