Reuters just moved this story that EADS is preparing to bid the contract alone. L-3 Communications appears to be definitely out of partnering with EADS and “for now” EADS is prepared to go it alone, Reuters says.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-EADS/AL) blasted US Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Boeing/WA) for what Sessions termed attempts to intimidate potential EADS partners. Here is this report.
From strictly a taxpayers’ point of view, the EADS competition should result in better pricing for the Pentagon whoever wins. The past competition has already seen the price driven down compared with the original Boeing lease deal from 2002-2004 and an improved airplane offering from Boeing.
Boeing’s KC-767 NewGen appears to be a still-better offering compared with the KC-767 Advanced Tanker offered in the 2006-2008 competition. The 767NG has a 787-based cockpit (vs one based on the 767-400/777) and winglets, for additional fuel savings. Boeing is offering yet another version of the refueling boom compared with the 767AT. It’s not clear whether the 767NG incorporates a wing from the 767-300ERF as did the 767AT, but industry sources believe this to be the case but Boeing hasn’t commented one way or the other.
Richard Aboulafia issued his April newsletter (TealApr10AC) on the KC-X competition. In it, he raises a point we’ve been harping on for some time: when are the Boeing supporters going to actually talk about the attributes of the KC-767 and why Boeing should win rather than why Northrop/EADS/Airbus shouldn’t be allowed to compete? The absence of a pro-Boeing message in contrast to the anti-Airbus message is pretty stark, in our opinion, and raises a lot of questions.