Update, April 1, 0800PDT: Boeing just issued this statement in response to the DOD announcement yesterday:
ST. LOUIS, April 1, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Defense on March 31 said it will extend the deadline to receive proposals in the U.S. Air Force KC-X Tanker competition from May 10 to July 9 if European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) makes a formal request for an extension. The Boeing Company today responded with the following statement:
“We are deeply disappointed with EADS-Airbus efforts to further delay this vital warfighting program and tilt the U.S. procurement process in its favor. EADS-Airbus has been fully engaged in the competition for four years and was always expected to provide the vast majority of its team’s work content.
“We welcome the denial of EADS’s repeated requests to alter U.S. warfighting requirements, and we support the Air Force’s stated intent to provide a level playing field for qualified competitors. We do not see a legitimate reason for EADS’s bid deadline extension request, and we believe an extension that favors any individual competitor does not further the goal of ensuring fair competition.
“Boeing remains fully prepared to submit a competitive proposal by the May 10 deadline originally set by the Air Force. However, this latest development, along with the World Trade Organization’s recent final ruling that Airbus has been heavily and illegally subsidized for decades, requires Boeing to review all of our options for going forward while we wait for a final determination on a deadline extension.”
DOD just announced that it will extend the deadline from May 10 for 60 days to July 9 in order to give EADS the opportunity to submit a bid for the KC-X contract. This is contingent upon EADS notifying the Pentagon of its intent to bid.
EADS hoped for 90 days.
The Pentagon will compress its evaluation schedule to stay on its delivery date timeline for an early-fall contract award. No changes will be made in the RFP. The Pentagon also rejected questions whether political interference was involved.
Geneva, Switzerland: Here is a report we did for Commercial Aviation Online from the Aircraft Finance and Commercial Aviation conference, followed by some additional commentary and reporting exclusive to this column concerning the prospect of re-engining the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. Our additional commentary includes a discussion of the Bombardier CSeries and the PW GTF engine.
Here is a podcast we did today on the topic.
Geneva, Switzerland: During the Aircraft Finance and Commercial Aviation Conference, we filed a couple of stories in aircraft finance with Commercial Aviation Online. Since CAO is a paid subscription service, our arrangement with CAO is that it gets exclusive use for a few days before we can post the stories here.
The stories are below the jump. In them, we report what panelists had to say about the “funding gaps” in 2009 and 2010 and about aircraft values.
A flurry of activity has been happening on the air force tanker front while we’ve been in Geneva, Switzerland, (working, not playing). Unfortunately, we think the activity has all been rather sad.
In the aftermath of the World Trade Organization issuing its final report on the US Trade Representative complaint about illegal subsidies to Airbus, the anti-Airbus crowd has once again seized on this issue to attack the new reports that Airbus parent EADS is now likely to bid on the KC-X contract against Boeing’s KC767NewGen.
Update, March 29: Airbus CEO Tom Enders now says a decision will be made in two-three weeks.
Geneva, Switzerland: EADS will decide within days whether to pursue a bid on the KC-X tanker program, this column has learned.
The Pentagon has yet to officially decide whether to grant a 90 day extension so EADS can be fully briefed on what is necessary to make a bid, something that Northrop Grumman had previously done as the prime contractor. EADS needs to be brought up to speed on everything Northrop learned during the previous effort to bid on the tanker.