Tanker countdown-maybe

First it was mid-August, then late August and now it’s supposed to be this week. Pardon our skepticism if the US Department of Defense slips yet again on issuing the Final RFP for KC-X program.

We’ll update this column this week as necessary as we all wait for the tanker RFP.

Update, Tuesday, Sept. 9:

Update, 1:00 PM PDT: Defense News: Tanker statement may come Wednesday.

From earlier today:

Reuters: DOD brass to meet, make statement.

Flight International: Citing engine test problems, the A400M program looks for yet another delay.

Update, Sunday, Sept. 7:

Defense News: Italian KC-767 delivery slips to 2009, four years late.

7 Comments on “Tanker countdown-maybe

  1. If that report is accurate, many customers would simply refuse to accept what Boeing are offering.

    The cockpit noise level as an example is more than twice as noisy as specified if my memory of logarithms is correct, and for such a mature airframe 4 tons overweight is to say the least poor performance.

  2. I don’t understand the following. The Italian Air Force presumably specified in an RFP that it wanted ‘the noise be no louder than 75 decibels’. This is part of the requirement, to which Boeing signed up. For Boeing to now turn around and say, you need to change your specification to meet that requirement is unbelievable! What are the chances that the Italian AF refuse to accept an aircraft, which does not meet the specification?

  3. to UKair:
    It sort of sounds like the refrain Northrop has: Boeing telling the customer what it should buy rather than the customer calling the shots.

    Will the Italians CXL the KC-767? We have our doubts, considering the partnership Alenia has on the 787 program.

  4. Reminds me of NG/EADS telling the USAF they should change their Overrun-Breakaway procedures so that their bid (KC-30) could qualify.
    (This was one of the 8 protests that Boeing made and was upheld by the GAO.)

  5. One doesn’t need to read Northrop press releases to recognise that the Italians are going to get an aircraft, which they didn’t quite sign up for! My question was way to hypothetical to get a serious answer. Of course they will take it, what else is there for them to do?! Be it even 5 years late.

  6. Here is an interesting quote:
    “… KC-30’s 7,000 Foot Runway Performance Provides Illusory Benefit.”
    Boeing GAO submission document.

    The above is an RFP requirements as set by the USAF, which was not met by the B762AT.

  7. Boeing’s own specification document on the KC-767AT from its website lists 8,000 ft for the runway performance.

    The Round 3 DRFP now ranks runway requirements as “level” 3 (“level” being our word) rather than level 1, “1” being of highest value.

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