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#2202 2008-03-07 GMT-5 hours    
I think the Airbus tanker program will be cancelled. It is aPresidential election year and with the dollar being weaker than ever, record trade deficits, the home foreclosure situation and the beginning of a recession; I think the USAF is naive beyond belief if they think Congress will appropriate money to expoet jobs. The best case scenario for Airbus is to order a number of both tankers.

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#2212 2008-03-09 GMT-5 hours    
I always thought the best scenario would be to order both as well, but apparently the Air Force went for only one type. Two sizes would've definitely provided more flexibility as well, in my opinion. Like you said, with the dollar being at an all-time low, can Airbus actually make money on the planes? Or does Airbus count everything in US Dollars anyways?


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#2227 2008-03-10 GMT-5 hours    

It sounds like we will find out if Boeing are going to protest or not this week


Boeing: 'serious consideration' of KC-X protest after USAF debrief
By Graham Warwick

Boeing is giving "serious consideration" to filing a protest against the award of the US Air Force's KC-X tanker replacement contract to Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent EADS.

The statement follows a debriefing today, 7 March, by the US Air Force on why Boeing lost the contract. Boeing requested an immediate briefing after the 29 February announcement that Northrop and EADS had won the $35 billion contract to produce 179 KC-45A tankers.

"While we are grateful for the timely briefing, we left the room with significant concerns about the process in several areas, including programme requirements related to capabilities, cost and risk; evaluation of the bids; and the ultimate decision," says Mark McGraw, Boeing vice-president and KC-767 programme manager.

"What is clear not is that reports the the Airbus offering won by a wide marging could not be more inaccurate," he says in a statement.

"Our plan now is to work through the weekend to come to a decision on our course of action early next week," McGraw says, emphasising Boeing "never takes lightly protests of our customers' decisions."

Boeing has 10 days from the debriefing to file a protest with the Government Accountability Office, but is expected to make is decision quickly. If it goes ahead, the GAO then has 100 days to rule on the protest.

The filing of a protest would force the US Air Force to order Northrop Grumman and EADS to stop work on their initial $1.5 billion contract to build four KC-45A test aircraft, the first of which is scheduled to fly in 2010.

A series of protests filed by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky against the US Air Force's award of the CSAR-X combat search-and-rescue helicopter to Boeing's HH-47 Chinook has seriously delayed that programme.



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What don't kill you make you more strong"

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