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Friday, 26 March 2010

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A long and dirty saga.

The KC-135's are wearing out. they have a few years left but contracting tsakes a long time.

Boeing several years ago made an offer to build and lease tankers to the Air Force. Which would have cost more than out right purching them. The pentagon official who approved it went to jail for accepting a bribe from Boeing. Contracting law puts Boeing at a disadvange because of it's bad behavior. Except that they are one of the two comapnies that can build the tanker they would normally be out of the running.

So Air Force started the process over from scratch. Realizing that the decision will be in court no matter what the Air Force has been very slow to ensure due process.

There were two bids Boeing and Airbus. Air bus had a US partner (not stricly required by law but it helps and politiclly necessary) and much of it's work would be done in the US. Depending on whose district the factory will be in the Congressman have been activly pushing one or the other.

I do not know what effect the WTO dicision will have since the contracting law was written before the WTO.

I gather they can both do the job, if they get built before the KC-135's wear out.

The soap opera continues, but will working tankers be builut in time?

Ah, well, the fact that some of the construction work would be done in the US explains the partial Congressional support, although I gather now that the Partner, Grumman(?), have pulled out.

The Telegraph reported this morning that our Nimrods have all been taken out of service and that their replacements should be in service in the autumn of 2012. I don't know why we haven't rented anything to fill the gap. Bit of a bugger, gaps.

Especially if you're in a long-range Hercules running out of fuel!

By the way, 'DM', has Madame tried any of those books yet?

For the last several years, Sen John McCain has been pushing hard for the French a/c to be in the USAF fleet. McCain has a number of EADS former lobbyists working for him and they also worked on his election campaign. Why he has an agenda to put jobs in France? - nobody seems to know.

McCain! Well, well, that does surprise me. And he's due for re-election in November, too.

By the way, welcome to D&N, 'ProUSA'.

"has Madame tried any of those books yet?" Not yet, David; she's been a busy girl.

"Busy girl". Quite right too, you can never do enough for a good husband, as I always tell the Memsahib, er, under my breath, of course!

I'm gonna have to be brief here (off on another of my "adventures" and normally sized keyboards being unavailable) thankfully 'hank' has a seeming good handle on the subject. And, I'm a bit restricted given present circumstances anyway.

April 11th's entry is telling.

http://defensetech.org/category/the-tanker-tango/

OK, "Permission Granted" 'n all that nonsense (still, damned tiny keyboards). Should be kept in mind the Boeing entry is based on a 70's era designed airframe, the 767. Obviously newer avionics, still an almost 35 year old design.

McCain has a years long history with EADS even though most of the parts would be built in Europe and assembled in Alabama.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:c05cbcb9-3c6b-4f9e-a584-3bf6ac13339b

Hope that link works. Ah, let me see...
http://aviationweek.typepad.com/files/10-29-09-mccain-letter.pdf

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