Sept. 21, 2021, © Leeham News: Lockheed Martin (LMT) last week revealed its dedicated product launch web site page of the LMXT aerial refuel tanker. The LMXT uses the Airbus A330 MRTT as the platform for the US Air Force’s KC-Y competition for which initial information requests have been issued.
LMT and Airbus partnered in 2018 in anticipation of the KC-Y program, originally intended to replace the aging Boeing (nee McDonnell Douglas) KC-10. KC-Z was to follow, an entirely new concept in aerial refueling tankers.
KC-Y is now recast as a replacement for 140-160 Boeing KC-135s. It will be a follow-on to the original KC-X program, which was won by Boeing after three tries. Boeing has 179 orders for the 767-200ER-based KC-46.
By the Leeham News Team
Aug. 20, 2021, © Leeham News: President Biden’s “Buy American” policy means increasing the US content in things purchased by the federal government. Except when it doesn’t.
Biden announced the policy in July. LNA raised the prospect that the increasing US content requirements could make it difficult for Lockheed Martin and Airbus to offer an A330-200-based airplane for the US Air Force’s KC-Y Bridge Tanker.
LNA now has clarity on this. Under Biden’s Buy American policy, there are—as it turns out—some key exemptions.
Aug. 12, 2021, © Leeham News: Lockheed Martin’s rebranding of the Airbus A330 MRTT aerial refueling tanker has some competition that already uses the name: LMXT.
LNA’s background includes branding. Other than the obvious “LM” means Lockheed Martin, we couldn’t see where “XT” comes from.
“XT” is on a lot of cars. The full acronym is on a warehouse management system, solar storage, a solar tube battery and a car charger.
But our favorite is the acronym stands for Little Mix Tribute Rock Band, a UK group.
LNA can’t wait to see the band’s logo show up as nose art on the airplane formerly known as the A330 MRTT.
Aug. 2, 2021, © Leeham News: A move by the Biden Administration may have unintended consequences in the KC-Y Bridge Tanker procurement by the US Air Force.
The Bridge Tanker is the Air Force’s second round to replace the aging Boeing KC-135 fleet. Between 140-160 airplanes will be purchased under KC-Y. The Air Force awarded a contract to Boeing in the previous KC-X procurement for 179 tankers based on the 767-200ER platform.
President Joe Biden announced last week that the US will adopt a rule under its Buy American policy that American content must be increased from 55% to 60% immediately and ultimately 75%.
If adopted, the rule appears to all but preclude an expected proposal by a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Airbus (LMA) to offer the KC-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). This is based on the A330-200 platform.
Lockheed Martin did not respond to a request for comment.
By the Leeham News Team
The first, KC-X, took more than 10 years to award a contract that didn’t get overturned. Boeing initially was awarded a lease deal in 2001 that was canceled in the wake of a scandal that sent two Boeing officers to jail and led to the resignation of CEO Phil Condit.
Round two pitted Boeing against Northrop Grumman and EADS, which was the name of the parent of Airbus’ commercial unit. Northrop won, but this award was overturned when USAF improprieties were revealed in the debriefing.
Round three pitted Boeing against EADS alone after Northrop bowed out. Boeing won this contract with a price 10% below EADS, which didn’t contest the decision. Boeing since has written off about $5bn on the KC-46A tanker, which still doesn’t work as required and which was delivered nearly two years late.
July 8, 2019, © Leeham News: When a company authorizes or sponsors a book about some major event, the book is usually a puff piece meant for the coffee table in reception.
Airbus authorized the book, Airbus: The First 50 Years, but it’s no puff piece. It’s an honest, candid accounting of how the company came to be, navigating through country and corporate politics, face offs with rival Boeing, reporting the insider trading allegations and ending with the as-yet unfinished corruption scandal investigations.
Nicola Clark, the aerospace reporter for the International Herald Tribune, did a superb job up to her usual reporting standards while avoiding the puff pieces that usually come with an authorized book.
March 18, 2019, © Leeham News: There’s a saying that history repeats itself.
When it comes to the crisis of the Boeing 737 MAX, I’m reminded of the crisis Lockheed faced in 1959-1960 when the Electra propjet crashed in September and the following March, killing all aboard both airplanes.
The Electra entered service Jan. 12, 1959, with Eastern Airlines. It was considered a pilot’s airplane. Coming off decades of piston engine aircraft and early in the jet age, the Electra was the only airplane that was over-powered, piston or jet. Timing, however, was poor and crashes soon overtook the euphoria.
Feb. 18, 2019, © Leeham News: Last week’s column about the revolutionary Boeing 747 prompted some Twitter interaction asking what other commercial airplanes might be considered “revolutionary.”
I have my views. Let’s ask readers.
There are also three polls below the jump in addition to the usual comment section. Polling is open for one week.
Feb. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Few airplanes truly can be called revolutionary. Most are evolutionary.
The Boeing 747 was one of those that falls into the former category.
Just as the Boeing 707 revolutionized air travel, so did the 747.
The spaciousness and, after a period of engine difficulties, the economics put the 747 into a class by itself.
Since then, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Norway are among the countries ordering the airplane and the first Navy P8 entered heavy maintenance here.
Boeing produces the P8 at a 1.5/mo rate, which is full rate.
The Navy ordered 117 P8s, but there is potential to order more.