New US tanker competition underway: Boeing versus…

Gotcha. Could not resist.

It’s a billion-dollar contract to train the crews for the Boeing KC-46A.

6 Comments on “New US tanker competition underway: Boeing versus…

  1. You are not that far off the mark, Scott. I expect Boeing, LM, L-3 and others to fight tooth and nail for these dewindling defense dollars. I would think Boeing has a slight advantage and lead over its competitors as they have (but needs to bring up to standards) that mobil demonstrator that toured the country during the KC-X compitition. That demonstrator was more like the KC-767AT from the 2008 compitition than the KC-46A is. Also Boeing knows what the cockpit and Boom Operator Station will look like and what computers they will have. They also know about the med-vac kits the KC-46 will use (the same med-evac kits the C-17 uses), as well as what cargo handling systems the new tanker will have.

    But it will all come down to the bottom line price, and if Boeing is not selected, they will need to supply the simulator/training systems contractor with the information they will need to develope all the training needed for the KC-46.

    Perhaps I should dust off my resume’?

    • How can others bid on this contract without knowing the specifics of the operating systems? If there is an RFP it must cover all the information necessary. Is this just another political competition or one to drive the price down ? I would have thought that this aspect of the Contract would have been included in the original bidding for the Tanker.

      • Unlike a FMS contract, the USAF usually does not ‘buy’ all the ‘packaged options’ like training. They do often buy the spares and sometimes buy the maintenance packages. Since the KC-46 has already passed the PDR, the systems needed to train Pilots and Boom Operators should be firmed up and well into developement. Don’t forget the training of the flight crews will not start until 2017, and the initial crews may very well be trained by Boeing. The 4 SDD airplanes will be used for testing and developement and, at least for the first year or two, flown exclusively by USAF and Boeing flight test crews. Late in the flight test program the USAF flight test crews and/or Boeing will begin training the initial group of USAF Instructor Pilots and Instructor Boom Operators. Most of the training for these initial crews will be done using the airplanes and not simulators, as they will not be built, yet. Boeing will probably take care of training the maintenance crews, at least the initial group of maintaners at the first 3-4 bases.

    • Is there a possibility that the responsibilities under this Contract up for bidding get divided among two or more bidders. It seems that the nmaintenance of these planes would be better served by the manufacturer.

      Also, I would assume that the training of the initial USAF flight test crews as well as the training of the maintenance crews called for in the original Tanker Contract.

  2. I’m sure there will be congressmen making sure, changing the rules if necessary, so that the contract goes to the most suitable party.

    • I agree. Perhaps Senator Shelby can make it so Airbus of Alabama wins the contract….LOL

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