Boeing files protest against US Air Force Tanker selection

Showing what a sore loser they are, Boeing will file a formal protest today asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the decision by the U.S. Air Force to award a contract to a team of Northrop Grumman and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) to replace current aerial refueling tankers with KC-45A tankers.
“Our team has taken a very close look at the tanker decision and found serious flaws in the process that we believe warrant appeal,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This is an extraordinary step rarely taken by our company, and one we take very seriously.”
Following a debriefing on the decision by the Air Force on March 7, Boeing officials spent three days reviewing the Air Force case for its tanker award. A rigorous analysis of the Air Force evaluation that resulted in the Northrop/EADS contract led Boeing to the conclusion that a protest was necessary.
“Based upon what we have seen, we continue to believe we submitted the most capable, lowest risk, lowest Most Probable Life Cycle Cost airplane as measured against the Air Force’s Request for Proposal,” McNerney said. “We look forward to the GAO’s review of the decision.”

Hope the GAO will support the Air Force decision and dismisses the Boeing whiners!

7 thoughts on “Boeing files protest against US Air Force Tanker selection”

  1. The a330 is still a flying corrosion trap. Irregardless of the political manouevering/innuendo and downright crying by both sides.
    Check out There are pics of NWA a320’s at the Marana, AZ “Storage Facility” that are sitting on pallets, being parted out. This is a normal thing in the course of an airplanes life. But the photog indicated that the cycle limit had been reached. Just an example: the a230 and it’s offspring(a319, a319 and a321) have about one half the cycle limit of a B757. So how does the a330 compare against the B767? About the same.
    It is for the corrosion problems that I DO NOT board anything from hamburg or tolouse. If the carriers that fly to where I live start using airbuses, I guess I’ll take the train.

  2. Seriously? I mean the Air Force did change the tanker criteria at the last minute and from all the news that’s coming out about Senator McCain’s involvement with EADS, there may have been something fishy going on. Shouldn’t we make sure everything is above board? Aren’t we owed at least that? Or may be not us, but those 44,000 who won’t have a job because the Air Force awarded the tanker to EADS definitely are.

  3. >Or may be not us, but those 44,000 who won’t have a job because the Air Force awarded the tanker to EADS definitely are.

    New jobs will be created across the US for building the KC-45A.


    The Northrop Grumman KC-45A U.S. supplier base includes 230
    companies in 49 states.

    The Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker will support more than 25,000
    direct and indirect jobs in the United States — a conservative
    estimate based upon the U.S. Department of Commerce aerospace
    industry jobs projection formula.

    Using more recent data from our suppliers and applying the Labor
    Department’s formula for projecting aerospace jobs at the state
    and regional level, the KC-45A will employ approximately 48,000
    direct and indirect jobs nationwide.

    Assembly and militarization of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker
    will take place in Mobile, Ala., resulting in the creation of
    1,500 jobs in the United States.

    Job creation was not a part of the evaluation criteria, in
    accordance with federal law.

    The Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker program does not transfer any
    jobs from the United States to France or any other foreign

    All modern jetliners are built from a global supplier base, and
    the two entrants in the KC-45A competition are no exception.

    Boeing’s proposed tanker includes parts manufactured in Japan,
    United Kingdom, Canada and Italy.

    Northrop Grumman tanker includes parts built in the United
    Kingdom, Germany, Spain and France — countries exempt under the
    Buy America Law.

    The Northrop Grumman KC-45A will include approximately 60 percent
    U.S. content. It is America’s tanker.

    That Boeing was not chosen, at some part, is the price you have to pay for globalization.
    You can see that in any industry. Like Austria using US helicopters instead of ones produced in Europe, Malaysia using MiG-29 and Su-30, Cessna building planes in China, or many thousands across western Europe losing jobs because Nokia goes to Romania …

  4. i agree with Michael here, Boeing is clearly pouting and chucking its weight around. but they do have the right to appeal, and it’s not as if the competition wasn’t messed up in the first place. word on the street is Boeing would’ve won if that scandal with the CFO never happened.

    however, i gotta agree also with GM Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET, an aircraft with only half the service life of its competitor ain’t worth it.

  5. Now there’s a shock….. Boeing have thrown their toys out of the pram because a “French” aircraft won the KC-X competition….. Michael’s post on here is a rock of sense. Now, to my fellow serviceman – I have flown in more Airbus aircraft over the years than I care to shake a stick at. Being an airman, I always have a quick look round an aircraft I am going to board, and I have seen no corrosion problems on Airbus. However, it could be that British registered aircraft are better maintained than our European cousins’. Still, the only thing I ever fell out of the sky in was actually a USAF Black Hawk when it’s gearbox packed in at 150ft! I’m not saying that corrosion issues are impossible, I’m saying they are improbable…

  6. Although I have not seen concrete information, I have heard about the lower cycle life of Airbus aircraft and that would worry me. Look at the current tankers. If they were built to the same life cycle standards they definately would not still be flying. As for corrosion issues, you wouldn’t see them. Most corrosion is not visible until much later stages. Good inspections and maintenance will find it, but an aircraft prone to corrosion will be a nighmare to keep up with? Does anyone have concrete data on Airbus corrosion problems?