KC-X: Rating the Contenders

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KC-X contenders(click to view full) As the $35 billion KC-45 tanker purchase flies into the teeth of Washington’s political battles, the Lexington Institute think-tank discusses the relative ratings of each contestant in the USAF’s aerial tanker competition. This is a bit unusual, as even Boeing has yet to hear the official debrief – a fact that has them somewhat upset. DID would not normally consider a report of this nature credible, but the think-tank has a wide range of contacts in Washington, and has been focusing on this deal for some time. Their broad assessment also mirrors commenets made by Sen Richard Shelby [R-AL], so it is possible – but not certain – that their report is correct. Lexington defense analyst Loren Thompson contends that the Airbus/Northrop Grumman proposal would be able to deliver 49 operational tankers by 2013, whereas Boeing would have been able to deliver just 19 aircraft within that timeframe. That’s an interesting calculation whose basis DID would be interested in viewing, but public access may be an issue as it was attributed to USAF reviewers. Beyond that, Thompson concludes that Boeing lost out on 4 of 5 key measures, and tied on the 5th. Of course, […]

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