Day 2 of the PNAA conference: Richard Aboulafia, consultant of The Teal Group, said that a split buy is the only way the USAF will be able to procure the KC-X tanker.
Aboulafia said the decision no longer effectively rests with the Air Force, but with Congress. Each political party has the ability to block a sole-source selection, Aboulafia says.
Other thoughts from Aboulafia:
- He thinks it is not “inconceivable” that first delivery of the 787 could slip to 2012; Boeing says it should be delivered in the third quarter this year;
- The Bombardier CSeries will be a year late from planned 2013 EIS;
- The Airbus A350 will be 18 months late fromlanned 2H2013 EIS; and
- The COMAC C919 will be three years late (from planned 2016 EIS).
Aboulafia believes Airbus made the correct decision to launch the NEO program.