Northrop Grumman Enters Bid For USAF Next Gen Tanker

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posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 05:55 PM
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After changes to the contract specifications Northrop Grumman teamed with EADS will challenge Boeing for the USAF's next generation tanker contract. The contract is estimated to be wroth up to 100 Billion with a production total of 500-600 planes. Northrop/EADS will enter with a modified version of the A330 MRTT while being will go with the KC-767 or a possible* KC-777.

Personally I think Boeing will still win the contract but Northrop Grumman may get rewarded via other programs for deciding to run. This will also make congressional approval a little easier than essentially a no bid contract for Boeing, considering the previous fiasco.


Northrop will bid on $40B Air Force tanker contract

WASHINGTON - Northrop Grumman Corp. on Thursday said it will compete against Boeing Co. for a $40 billion Air Force contract to replace 179 aerial refueling planes, ending speculation there might be just one bidder.

The Los Angeles-based company had hinted as recently as last week it might bow out, saying Air Force specifications seemed to favor Boeing. But on Thursday Northrop said it was satisfied with changes the Air Force made to address its concerns in the formal request for bids.

Northrop will partner with European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., the parent company of Boeing's arch rival, Airbus.

The $40 billion contract to replace 179 refueling planes is just the first of an expected three-phase deal that calls for more than 500 planes and is worth an estimated $100 billion.

Source


So are our Euro friends a tad happy?




posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 05:01 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Personally I think Boeing will still win the contract but Northrop Grumman may get rewarded via other programs for deciding to run.


WestPoint23,

Don't count Northrop Grumman out yet. They have a tendency to surprise people and come out on top when it's least expected. Case in Point: in the earily 1980's Everyone though it was a foregone conclusion that Lockheed would be building the Stealth Bomber. Then along came The B-2 and changed everything.

You may be right, but don't underestimate Northrop Grumman, you might find a surprise in the future!

Tim



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 10:26 AM
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Well, I'm not underestimating them Tim it's just that Boeing did build the KC-135, which the KC-X design will replace. I don't believe Northrop has such an excellent history when it comes tanker design and experience, neither does EADS. Furthermore the Northrop/EADS jet will be heavier, bigger and more expensive it will also have to converted to use Boeing's boom being developed now for the KC-767. EADS does not have any experience with booms, which the USAF prefers. And I believe, as you do I'm sure, that other factors come into consideration (ATF). As such how the military brass views Northrop/EADS could also influence the final decision.



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 12:51 PM
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Good point, As far as I can tell, Northrop Grumman has never built a tanker before, unless we count the Navy's KA-6's, which are now retired. As much as I like Northop, Boeing has the experience.

Tim



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 05:10 PM
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I remember reading a thread a while back on ATS that Northrop and EADS dropped out of the competition...

Whatever happened to that?

I agree, Boeing will most likely get the contract as they have all the experience with tankers and will most likely deliver on target and on budget.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
I remember reading a thread a while back on ATS that Northrop and EADS dropped out of the competition...


Well, the USAF submitted it's first proposal for the KC-X a few months back but Northrop refused to enter because it said the specifications favored Boeing. The USAF was furious with Northrop but it realized that with essentially a no-bid contract Congress wouldn't go along quietly. So they changed the specifications and requirements abit to satisfy Northrop, Northop accepted the new proposal and now we have two bids.



posted on Feb, 12 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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While clearly Boeing do have far more experience with boom tankers, is it really a reason for them to win? Its not as if EADS have no clue with booms after all, the EADS CASA owned A310 MRTT testbed is already flying with a boom and the RAAF MRTT's are already being produced with them as standard.



posted on Feb, 12 2007 @ 08:48 PM
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aight here's a question guys, pardon me if its nonsense but it just popped into my head so here goes:

tankers perform a very important role in the war zone and can be considered by the enemy as high value targets, is there any possibility that future tankers might have LO tech and stealth incorporated into them to ensure their survivability?

can you guys see where i'm going with this one? i mean, what happens when a B2 has to refuel after bombing country X only to find that their tanker has been blown to bits by a long-range radar-guided A2A missile.

shouldn't tankers have stealth too? if only to make those tanker crews feel better and safer about their jobs.

oh and turn them into airborne UAV carriers too while your at it. teehee, just wishing.



posted on Feb, 12 2007 @ 09:50 PM
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Originally posted by toreishi
tankers perform a very important role in the war zone and can be considered by the enemy as high value targets, is there any possibility that future tankers might have LO tech and stealth incorporated into them to ensure their survivability?


Well, being LO is not as crucial to a tanker as it is to a front line combat aircraft. Tankers usually operate outside the "danger zone", if you will, and they do usually have escorts or other systems watching their six. Having said that however there are currently several concepts on the drawing board that promise to make tankers more efficient in terms of payload vs. fuel efficiency. These designs also might have inherent LO features. While making a tanker truly VLO is impractical in every way imaginable, reducing it's signature a bit through a new design is not.

Links

Next Gen Tanker Design
BWB Tanker (PDF)



posted on Feb, 12 2007 @ 10:20 PM
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thanks for the clarification and the links WP23

now why does this remind me of a dropship?





These capabilities will help the tanker to refuel everything from fighter aircraft to unmanned air vehicles and helicopters.


methinks it would be great if they'll be able to launch, recover and rearm UAV's as well.

[edit on 12-2-2007 by toreishi]



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by toreishi
thanks for the clarification and the links WP23

now why does this remind me of a dropship?





These capabilities will help the tanker to refuel everything from fighter aircraft to unmanned air vehicles and helicopters.


methinks it would be great if they'll be able to launch, recover and rearm UAV's as well.

[edit on 12-2-2007 by toreishi]


yeah a tanker that serves as a mothership to UAV's is a great idea can you imagine this:

stealth tanker
10 UAVs each armed with 2 bombs

now multiplyu by 10 and you get something similar to those WW2 movies with people dropping out of the planes execpt this time its robot airplanes comming to bomb the (...) out of you

``````````````````````
Removed odorous word

[edit on 27/2/07 by masqua]





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