Saturday, March 01, 2008

Boeing Tanker Contract Reaction

Sounds like Boeing is surprised that being the only "American" company bidding on the tanker deal is not enough to overcome submitting an inferior bid.

As a former Boeing employee who worked almost exclusively on Air Force related projects, I was more than a little surprised by the news. Reading the reports though, it sounds like Boeing was relying on being based in America as the main selling point. The 767 did not appear to be the strongest platform and had some performance issues when compared to the Airbus proposal. It will be interesting to follow the reaction as news of why Boeing lost leaks out.

One note of interest, in all that I have read in the news, not once has my representative, the Congressman from Seattle, Jim McDermott's name been mentioned once. I am guessing the reason is if he had been asked for comment about the Boeing tanker deal, the comment would have been something along the lines of "Boeing, Tanker deal? What are you talking about?"

Of course I could be wrong.


Anonymous said...

I have worked some 30 years now with the Air Force and Navy at Boeing and this tanker decision isn’t a surprise. Truth is that the Air Force really dislikes working with us on many fronts these days. For several years following the merger with St Louis, they held that distain mostly for dealing with just St Louis. They have told me on many occasions, from multiple different sources in the Air Force, that over the years that they have seen the St Louis highly arrogant culture and poor decision processes migrate to Puget Sound and affect an ever increasing number of programs and key people and positions. It’s one of the great-untold stories of the after effects of the merger.
No doubt the specifications used for the evaluation of the RFP responses will hold up to great examination. The Air Force wasn’t born yesterday. If one really wants to dig into this and detect a predetermined slant to exclude Boeing, one has to look at the underlying mission scenarios and mission scenario mixes used to derive the specifications and models/simulations. Did they deviate from traditional and historical ones for tanker employment or create a new set and mix which doesn’t jive with future needs and wars? Hard to say if we will ever know the answer to that question as so much of that is classified. So in that respect, it’s the perfect cover for the decision.

Anonymous said...

It is quite typical for someone from Seattle to make excuses for their own lacks in performance. I am an employee in St. Louis and think the main problem is that people in Seattle need to get over the merger and start learning to work as a team. Don't forget the workers in St. Louis were not happy about the merge with Boeing either. Our stock had outperformed yours and the future was looking bright. If I am not mistaken the managment for the tanker deal is located in Seattle. Hmmmmm. So here we go again blaming everyone else but themselves. Personally I think it had more to do with the Air Force not wanting to deal with Senator McCain if they gave the contract to Boeing.

Conservative Belle said...

I know some of the players at NG and EADs in getting this contract. They worked hard. They worked together. They produced a better RFP.

It is just increasingly more expensive to do business on the West Coast, compared to somewhere like Mobile, Alabama. And it isn't like Washington state has been known lately for welcoming military and its manufacturers with open arms.