March 05, 2008
Tanker Time

Aviation enthusiasts may find this AvWeek editor's opinion on the new Air Force tanker deal of interest. The guy flew C-5s for a living at one point, so it's most likely somewhat more informed than most. His advice for Boeing: the Air Force needs this, don't jam it up with protests for the next two or three years.

Posted by scott at March 05, 2008 12:42 PM

eMail this entry!

Until we see an exact reason behind choosing the Airbus over the Boeing product (And it's a LARGE and critical differance) then the Airforce shot themselves in the foot by choosing to go this route.

This statment by the author:

"And I also know from posting photos on the Aviation Week military gallery from the Royal Air Force and the armed forces of Denmark and Germany that these nations are all helping the U.S. in Afghanistan. Their soldiers are risking their lives every day. If we can't buy planes from our closest allies now and then, there is something wrong."

Is not a strong enough reason to be purchasing vital military hardware from nations other than our own and there by benifiting said nations workers/economy more than our own.

I don't see either England or France going to the Norfolk/Grumman shipyard at Newport News and asking for a competetive bid on the contract for thier new Aircraft Carriers (Which, I can assure you, would be cheaper for both nations to purchase from us rather than build thier own)

But, Again, we don't know the backstory behind the two bids nor the reasons for it.

Posted by: jeff on March 5, 2008 02:43 PM

By all reports, Boeing's proposal was basically "here's a CAD rendering of a 767 with a refueling probe sticking out the back, you can just make the check out to BOEING CORPORATION". Northrop-Grumman spent a little more effort doing what the customer actually wanted.

Posted by: DensityDuck on March 6, 2008 02:14 AM

Jeff - that's not how competition works. If you want to give blank checks to American companies just because they're American, that's great. Personally, I'd rather see foreign companies save us money and make our companies more competitive.

And you did note that there will be jobs added here, no? It's a global economy and we need to play in that manner.

Posted by: Ron on March 6, 2008 09:30 AM

Military hardware is not like other consumer goods, though. The simple fact that the stuff you're selling may one day be used to kill you throws all the economics out of whack; contrary to popular belief, even capitalists are normally unwilling to sell the rope that will be used to hang them. Militaries are for this reason strongly advised to only purchase from people with a definite interest in their survival and success, typically those whom they protect. You don't want your soldiers' rockets to turn out to be sabotaged because the supplier is secretly planning to conquer your nation.

Competition where only money is at stake can get ugly enough as it is.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian on March 6, 2008 11:30 AM

Agreed - but we're looking at long-standing allies that have little chance of fighting against us (and folks that we actually still have military bases within their country). It's not like we're having Iran/China/Russia build them for us.

Posted by: ron on March 6, 2008 11:54 AM

Thats all fine and good Ron

If the other Countries reciprocate in kind.

The ONLY reason they are buying the F-35 is because they can't afford to develope Stealth on their own.

They have built one CV (And are building three more) in Europe when it would be FAR cheeper for them to build them here and they don't.

They could buy C-17s instead of the Airbus transports for less money and don't.

If the Boeing product is even close to the the Airbus's then buy the Boeing product. If not then find out WHY and go from there.

Saying it's a Global Economy is all good if everybody ELSE looks at it as such. Since they don't why should we??

Not only that but buying something this critical from an overseas company is just flat out insane (What if France doesn't like what we are doing and holds up say spare parts or other components critical to our war fighters then what??)

Posted by: jeff on March 6, 2008 04:03 PM
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