Update, 10:30 PST: Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, who has come in for our share of criticism for his unabashed bashing of Airbus and subsidies as it relates to the KC-X competition, has this very good essay on why Boeing won.
Here is a link to Richard Aboulafia’s commentary.
We are hearing from a variety of sources a growing concern that the Air Force hasn’t been as forthcoming as it should be in its debriefs with EADS.
But Reuters moved a story a short time ago that EADS won’t protest.
The Mobile Press-Register, in a rare front-page editorial, and the Alabama Congressional delegation are complaining that the Air Force has been as forthcoming as they believe it should about why Boeing won the tanker contract. Publicly, the Department of Defense said Boeing was the “clear” winner in what had become a price shoot out. DOD, EADS and Boeing will not reveal the pricing.
While the newspaper and the politicians are concerned, we understand that the USAF has complied with its legal obligations in the debriefs to EADS. The debrief occurred for 90 minutes on Monday and 75 minutes on Tuesday.
Here are several stories out today on the topic.
Aviation Week, on the process.
Flight International, on the prospect of a protest and some background.
Flight International, on the prospect of a European backlash. We’ve heard about this, too, from our sources. Europe, get over it. If Boeing won on price, it won on price. That’s what this contest was about.
The question now is whether EADS’ Congressional supporters will try to block the appropriation in order to force a split buy, or to hold hearings on the procurement and pricing. We hope not. As we previously opined, it’s time to move on.