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Moving On: EADS Won’t Protest KC-X Award

by John Reed on March 4, 2011

Also, in case you haven’t seen this one yet. EADS won’t protest the Air Force’s award of the $35 billion KC-X contract to rival Boeing. This means the decade-long KC-X saga is finally moving forward. Expect Boeing’s 767-based tankers to be in the air within the next five years, if all goes well from here on out.  The jet pictured above is one of EADS’ A330-based tankers it built for the Royal Australian Air Force; essentially the same plane it offered in KC-X.

Here’s what EADS North America Chairman Ralph Crosby told reporters today, via Defense News:

“After meeting with the Air Force and the Department of Defense, and evaluating the information they provided to us in their debriefing, EADS North America has decided not to protest the KC-X contract award,” he said. “Our reasoning is simple: The acquisition architecture for this procurement … was quite mechanistic and mathematical. The outcome was decided by price, and Boeing’s offer was at a lower price than ours.”

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

RLJ57 March 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

FINALLY!!!! It's finally a done deal. Now all that has to happen id for Boeing to deliver the plane on time and on budget. It's track history lately hasn't been that good though. What we have here is a plane when new wings and new avionics and a different boom than what the Japanese and Italians have on their versions on the 767. I hope they can pull it off.

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Lance March 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Good American planes for Americas air force. Tell the Euros like EADS FN and Westland to take a hike.

We should use our own designs.

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Oblat March 4, 2011 at 9:21 pm

second best all the way !

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Jacob March 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

You know the EADS-Northrop plane would have been manufactured in the US and would have provided the same number of jobs. Also Boeing is a multinational corporation just as EADS is, so "buy American" rings rather hollow. Thirdly, the 767 and Airbus are both civilian liners, so it's not like we'd be gutting a vital portion of our defense industry if we went with EADS-Northrop.

If you want to argue that one plane has better performance than the other (the 767 does have better fuel economy) then that's fine, but "buy American" by itself is not a good rationale.

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STemplar March 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm

This is just KC-X, there is still the KC-Y to come so it isn't like EADS can't get another shot. Regardless its nice to be moving forward on an overwhelmingly important program finally.

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Brian March 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I hope this doesn't lead to an entitlement mentality for defense contractors where they feel entitled to DoD money just because they are a domestic company.

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Hunter78 March 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Why stop now? Lawyers and aerospace consultants could earn so much more money. Of course, the well-paid-for politics of it all won't change.

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Oblat March 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Just the sort of Boost EADS needs to lift the arms embargo on China.

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Curt March 7, 2011 at 2:43 am

Is this your version of the big lie, just keep saying it long enough and you think people will believe you? Or do you really think if the EU thought if it made sense to remove the arms ban that they would do it regardless of the outcomne of KC-X?

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S. Riva March 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Give me a copy of your bid and I will beat it every time.

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Oblat March 5, 2011 at 5:06 am

You can find Wright in the Boeing canteen playing cards most days.

The EADS bid would have generated more American jobs. I was going to be an high tech investment in American aviation. The only people who think that is a bad idea is Boeing who don't want to see any competition.

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