DOD releases draft RFP for new tanker

  • 01-Oct-2009 01:59 EDT

Boeing released a statement that emphasized that once it had studied the most recent draft request for proposal for the KC-X tanker competition, it would know whether it will offer a 767- or 777-based tanker, or both.

In late September, Pentagon officials released the latest draft RFP to replace the U.S. Air Force’s Eisenhower-era KC-135R tanker fleet. In February 2008, a Northrop Grumman/EADS consortium won an earlier version of this contract in a competition with Boeing, but in June 2008 the Government Accountability Office recommended that the USAF re-bid the contract due to what it referred to as "irregularities in the contracting process." While that RFP had 808 requirements, the new draft RFP has 373 mandatory requirements, with 93 non-mandatory capabilities identified and points assigned to them. The DOD says it will look at price from a broad perspective, not just acquisition cost, in particular fuel burn and military construction projects needed to accommodate the aircraft, such as the costs to adjust hangars, ramps, taxiways, and runways. While Boeing has stated that it will study the RFP to determine whether it will offer its 767- or 777-based tanker, or both, industry experts are torn between who will win the contract: Boeing or Northrop Grumman. Or both.

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