- EADS reveals its study–countering two Boeing-commissioned reports–about fuel usage of the KC-45 vs the KC-767;
- EADS says it delivers more bang for the buck than Boeing;
- Flight Global has a good story detailing some of Boeing’s KC-767′s technical specifications;
- Boeing is prepared to deliver its first two KC-767s to Italy by year-end, at long last, five years late.
After two years and two studies commissioned by Boeing promoting the KC-767 as less costly to taxpayers over a 40-year period, EADS has provided its analysis to us of the operating costs of the EADS/Airbus KC-45 tanker vs. the Boeing KC-767. The EADS analysis rebuts the two studies commissioned by Boeing in support of its tanker bid.
EADS and before it went solo, Northrop Grumman, has largely ignored the Boeing studies other than to generally dismiss the veracity of them. In doing so, both said the USAF would run its own analysis and determine the KC-45 delivered more bang for the buck, which is what happened in the 2008 competition won by Northrop. The KC-45 achieved an IFARA (efficiency) score of 1.9 vs. 1.71 for the KC-767.
But EADS and Northrop missed the point of the Boeing studies, and that was to influence Congress, not the Air Force. EADS finally got it, and released the following data.
EADS’ internal study, based on requirements and criteria in the USAF Request for Proposals, says the KC-45 will use 3% less fuel per gallon of fuel delivered on refueling missions than the KC-767 on 500nm trips and 31% less on 2,500nm trips. Thus, using USAF criteria, EADS says on a 2,500nm mission with 250 sorties, the KC-45 will save about $25.8m in one day alone, based on assumed fuel-per-gallon pricing disclosed by the Department of Defense.
Using USAF Net Present Value criteria in the RFP; 500nm increments for missions, and other factors, EADS ran several different scenarios with variable factors based on RFP criteria and concluded that mission-driven factors—and not solely training scenarios on which Boeing studies are essentially based—means the KC-45 $1.37bn to $16.5bn on an NPV basis over the 40 year life cycle.
This compares with Boeing’s AeroStrategy study that concludes the KC-767 saves taxpayers $11bn-$36bn over the same period, but not on an NPV basis.
EADS uses USAF criteria and the cost to deliver a gallon a fuel as the basis for its study compared with the Boeing approach, using commercial airline fuel consumption data filed with the US government.
The distinction compared with Boeing’s methodology is important, as we will explain. Continue reading