Boeing’s Redacted Protest on Tanker

Here’s Boeing’s Tanker Protest filed with the Government Accountability Office over the Air Force award of the KC-45A tanker contract to Northrop Grumman. It’s an executive summary and there’s a lot that’s not in it, but it’s the closest thing the general public will get to reading the file.

Leeham.net updated/Looks at Tanker

Our corporate website, Leeham.net, has been updated with an in-depth look at the Boeing protest of the KC-30 tanker award; the surprise doubling of the Northrop Grumman jobs for the KC-30; and a Wall Street Journal story looking at the reasons for the Boeing protest.

Why Boeing protested tanker award

Because we were traveling this week, we’re a little behind on these sorts of things. Boeing’s press releases concerning the tanker protest don’t do justice to their reasoning. James Wallace of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer posted an audio of the 64 minute conference call in which Boeing executives explain why they protested. You may listen to this audio here.

Podcasts on the tanker and Southwest Airlines

Here’s an 11 minute podcast on the Boeing protest of the tanker award to Northrop Grumman.

Here’s an 8 minute podcast on the latest travails of Southwest Airlines and what might this mean.

Northrop’s job figures

As we noted Tuesday, Northrop issued a press release saying that its KC-30 program will produce 48,000 new jobs. This compares with the 44,000 jobs Boeing claims for its KC-767AT.

We find something really odd here. Setting aside for the moment that Northrop for more than a year claimed its tanker would produce 25,000 and accused Boeing of grossly inflating its figure, and setting aside for the moment the methodology described in the press release, here’s the deal:

The KC-30 has only 60% US content by value vs. the 85% claimed by Boeing (Northrop’s analysis of the KC-767 US content is 69% but that’s neither here nor there for purposes of this discussion). Northrop now claims its airplane, with less US content than the KC-767 (using either the Boeing or Northrop claim of content for the KC-767, BTW) will produce more jobs than Boeing claims. (Boeing also has previously said its number was conservative.)

Considering that one key message of the political battle is the “exporting” of US jobs, Northrop’s new jobs claim comes at an interesting time and with an interesting number despite its tanker’s lower US content.

The Politico, a website that follows all things in the political arena,  reports that Northrop and EAD lobbyists are focusing on the jobs that they assert will be created by the KC-30 program.

The timing and new number certainly have the appearances of oddity and desperation.

Loren Thompson’s report of Boeing protest

Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson provides a report of why Boeing protested the tanker award to Northrop.

Until we get through with our travels, this will have to suffice for our readers. We plan a full report Tuesday on our Corporate Website with our bi-weekly update.

Northrop doubles KC-45 jobs forecast

Our first reaction to this piece of news from the St. Louis Business Journal was, What the hell?

“Northrop Grumman Corp. has nearly doubled its estimate of the number of jobs its KC-45A tanker contract will support, using a different projection formula, the company said Monday.

“Using more recent data from suppliers and the Labor Department’s formula to project aerospace jobs at the state and local level, Northrop said the KC-45A program will employ about 48,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide, the company said Monday.

“Its previous estimate of 25,000 direct and indirect jobs in the United States was based on the U.S. Department of Commerce jobs projection formula for the aerospace industry. The supplier base includes 230 companies in 49 states, according to a release.”

After all the dissing by Northrop of the Boeing forecast that its airplane would produce 44,000 jobs (and we had trouble believing this figure, too), now Northrop one-ups Boeing?!?

We’re traveling but we’re going to follow this up when we get back.