Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.

User Tag List

Post Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-29-2008, 07:45 PM   #1  
Che Guevara
Thread Starter
ToiletDuck's Avatar
Joined APC: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,363
Default Boeing losses Air Force refueler

I would have never thought BA would have lost the bid. I'm shocked we are now going to rely on Airbus for our military!!!

Northrop group wins $35B Air Force deal
Larger size of proposed airborne refueling planes helps group overcome Boeing's bid.
email EMAIL | print PRINT | digg DIGG | RSS RSS
Subscribe to Companies
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
February 29 2008: 11:32 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Air Force on Friday awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. and a European partner a $35 billion contract to build airborne refueling planes, delivering a major blow to Boeing Co.

The selection of Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman (NOC, Fortune 500) and European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., the maker of Airbus planes, surprised industry and elected officials. Air Force officials said the larger size of the Northrop-EADS aircraft helped tip the balance in its favor.

Chicago-based Boeing (BA, Fortune 500), which has been supplying refueling tankers to the Air Force for nearly 50 years and had been widely expected to hang onto that monopoly, could protest the decision, though the company said no decision has been made.

The contract to build up to 179 aircraft - the first of three awards worth up to $100 billion over 30 years - opens up a huge new opportunity for Northrop Grumman.

"They don't come along at this scale very often," Northrop Grumman Chairman and CEO Ronald Sugar said. "We do see this as being a very important component of our business for many years to come."

The EADS/Northrop Grumman team plans to perform its final assembly work in Mobile, Ala., although the underlying plane would mostly be built in Europe. And it would use General Electric (GE, Fortune 500) engines built in North Carolina and Ohio.

Northrop Grumman, which is based in Los Angeles, estimates a Northrop/EADS win would produce 2,000 new jobs in Mobile and support 25,000 jobs at suppliers nationwide.

"I've never seen anything excite the people of Mobile like this competition," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said. "We're talking about billions of dollars over many years so this is just a huge announcement."

The deal also positions EADS to break into the U.S. military market.
Tata joins forces with Boeing, others

In after-hours trading, shares of Northrop initially surged more than 5% before retreating to $78.83, an increase of 22 cents. Boeing's stock price fell $2.64 to $80.15.

The Northrop-EADS refueling tanker, the KC-45A, "will revolutionize our ability to employ tankers and will ensure the Air Force's future ability to provide our nation with truly global vigilance, reach, and power," Air Force Gen. Duncan J. McNabb said in a statement.

Air Force officials offered few details about why they choose the Northrop-EADS team over Boeing since they have yet to debrief the two companies. But Air Force Gen. Arthur Lichte said the larger size was key. "More passengers, more cargo, more fuel to offload," he said.

"It will be very hard for Boeing to overturn this decision because the Northrop plane seemed markedly superior" in the eyes of the Air Force, said Loren Thompson, a defense industry analyst with Lexington Institute, a policy think tank. And as the winners of the first award, EADS and Northrop are in a strong position to win two follow-on deals to build hundreds of more planes.

Boeing spokesman Jim Condelles said the company won't make a decision about appealing the award until it is briefed by Air Force officials. Boeing believes it offered the best value and lowest risk, he said.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst Troy Lahr said in a research note it was surprising the Northrop-EADS team won given the estimated $35 million per-plane savings offered by Boeing. Lahr estimated the Boeing aircraft would have cost $125 million apiece. "It appears the (Air Force) chose capabilities over cost," Lahr said.

Military officials say the Air Force is long overdue to replace its air-to-air refueling tankers, which allow fighter jets and other aircraft to refuel without landing. The service currently flies 531 Eisenhower-era tankers and another 59 tankers built in the 1980s by McDonnell Douglas, now part of Boeing.

But the new contract has emerged as a major test for the Air Force, which is trying to rebuild a tattered reputation after a procurement scandal in 2003 sent a top Air Force acquisition official to prison for conflict of interest and led to the collapse of an earlier tanker contract with Boeing.

The tanker deal is also certain to become a flashpoint in a heated debate over the military's use of foreign contractors since Boeing painted the competition as a fight between an American company and its European rival. Lawmakers whose districts stood to gain jobs from a Boeing win were pressing this point on Friday.

"We should have an American tanker built by an American company with American workers," said Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., who represents the district in Wichita where Boeing would have done much of the tanker work.

In Everett, Wash., a few dozen Boeing workers protested outside a Machinists Union hall holding up signs saying "American workers equal best tankers," and "Our military deserves the best." To top of page
Lockheed leads American defense companies into India
ToiletDuck is offline  
Old 02-29-2008, 09:34 PM   #2  
Prime Minister/Moderator
rickair7777's Avatar
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 24,957

Originally Posted by ToiletDuck View Post
I would have never thought BA would have lost the bid. I'm shocked we are now going to rely on Airbus for our military!!!
There's a little more to the story than face value...Boeing essentially had the whole thing locked up a few years ago, but they got caught bribing an air force acquisition official. John McCain blew the whole thing out of the water...she went to jail, along with a couple of Boeing employees IIRC, and McCain forced the pentagon to un-award the Boeing tanker deal and go to open bid. Airbus was obviously able to compete effectively in the open bid.

Around the same time, Boeing also got caught stealing Lockheed bid info in a government satellite launch deal. Needless to say Lockheed got some extra launches out of that one

Boeing then instituted a top-down ethics overhaul, led by a hand-picked CEO. The new ethics program wrapped up after the married CEO got caught sleeping with a staffer
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 06:24 AM   #3  
Gets Weekends Off
reCALcitrant's Avatar
Joined APC: May 2006
Posts: 538

I am disgusted I'll have to refuel behind a frog plane. What have we come to?
reCALcitrant is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 06:53 AM   #4  
No one's home
III Corps's Avatar
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Posts: 950

Originally Posted by reCALcitrant View Post
I am disgusted I'll have to refuel behind a frog plane. What have we come to?
People from Alabama and California are "Frogs"?

Just practice this a few times. "dégagé dans la position de contact"

(rough translation.. cleared to the contact position) (do they still say that?)
III Corps is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 07:13 AM   #5  
Gets Weekends Off
alvrb211's Avatar
Joined APC: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,044

Boeing is doing quite alright with sales of widebody aircraft overseas.

The fact that foreign firms like EADS and Rolls Royce are about to open new manufacturing plants in Alabama and Virginia is a good thing.

Without ethnocentrism, globalization is the future!

alvrb211 is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 07:57 AM   #6  
Che Guevara
Thread Starter
ToiletDuck's Avatar
Joined APC: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,363

Globalization takes a dump when Germany tries to establish a superior race. We need home made products for our home made military. I know a lot of the aircraft is outsourced but I still feel I'd rather have an American company supplying aircraft to our American military. So we go to war with a larger country, (pakistan, india, china, Korea, etc.) and Europe is pulled in too. We need replacement parts for the tankers or just general production. Who do you think is going to force priority over those parts or what the factories even produce?
ToiletDuck is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 08:26 AM   #7  
Gets Weekends Off
blastoff's Avatar
Joined APC: May 2007
Position: A320 FO
Posts: 1,170

Originally Posted by III Corps View Post

(rough translation.. cleared to the contact position) (do they still say that?)
Stateside we still do...but overseas we have to use the new NATO terminology "Cleared Astern"
blastoff is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 10:04 AM   #8  
Working Class Dog
11Fan's Avatar
Joined APC: Jan 2007
Position: Spares Pusher
Posts: 1,625

Originally Posted by ToiletDuck View Post
We need replacement parts for the tankers or just general production. Who do you think is going to force priority over those parts or what the factories even produce?
Quite simple Mr. Duck. Impound every A-330 on American soil and turn them into "parts queens"

On a personal note, I'm just disappointed.

Beyond that, words fail me.
11Fan is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 10:21 AM   #9  
vagabond's Avatar
Joined APC: May 2006
Position: C-172
Posts: 7,790

The AF is planning to brief Boeing on March 12 and has asked it to hold off on any appeals until then.

Like 11Fan, I am disappointed. Seattle has been my home for 30 years. We have lived and died by Boeing's fortunes, but always managed to survive. We'll survive this one, too.

This is the local paper's perspective:
vagabond is offline  
Old 03-01-2008, 10:31 AM   #10  
Gets Weekends Off
Rama's Avatar
Joined APC: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,102

Much as I like Boeing and their products, they really did this to themselves. They had the upper hand and still had to try and get the contract through dirty tricks.
Rama is offline  

Post Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Boeing loses $40B Air Force tanker contract daytonaflyer Military 14 03-02-2008 10:46 AM
ABX Air Declares DHL in Fault of Agreement Jurassic Jet Cargo 26 11-15-2007 07:16 AM
Hey Atlas guys.... (UPS) 767pilot Cargo 100 10-15-2007 02:56 PM
UAL Pilot Hiring Update 07/30/2007 Lbell911 Major 29 07-31-2007 05:02 PM
banner year for Air Cargo Freighter Captain Cargo 0 07-09-2005 09:27 PM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:49 PM.