Level field

This is a crucial year for our industry in many ways. For one thing, there’s a head-to-head competition going between Boeing and EADS/Airbus to provide the U.S. Air Force with its next generation of aerial tankers.

Much has been said and written about the needs of the Air Force, the relative advantages of each airplane, and the capabilities of the competing companies. Although aerial refueling is not my area of expertise, we think the Boeing KC-767 Advanced Tanker is the best airplane for the job.


A depiction of the KC-767 Advanced Tanker refueling an F-22.

I did come across a couple of items on this topic that I wanted to share with you here. The author of this opinion piece does a very good job of presenting how the aerospace workers he represents feel about the tanker competition.

This op-ed column also effectively spells out some of the background about the World Trade Organization (WTO) case and how it relates to the tanker competition. And this piece talks about the jobs at stake across the U.S.

I’d be interested to read your comments on these opinion pieces.

Comments (43)

George (Raleigh, NC):

I think it is enlightening to consider how the game would be played if the roles were reversed: What if France were the country buying the tankers? I doubt if Boeing would have even been asked to bid.

Unfortunately, this entire situation is fallout from the first attempt to award this contract. Now, the Pentagon is going to an unreasonable extreme to try to make everyone happy with the process. However, regardless of what they do, someone will be running to their lawyer in an unhappy mood, with lawsuits soon to follow. The worst possible situation would be to split the contract (which it sounds like is not going to happen).

I agree whole-heartedly with the op-ed authors: awarding the most critical defense sourcing contract of this decade to a non-US company, much less one that has a long history of state-sponsored anti-competitive behavior, would be criminally negligent. Insanity like this is what puts smiles on our enemies faces.

I'm all for giving them a big, fat frown.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I like the idea of a KC-767 tanker, it will certainly fit within the spaces that the KC-135 tanker fits in where the KC-30 can't.

This is certainly a good time to look for a replacement for the aging KC-135 that has been in
service for nearly fifty years and while on the
subject on 707 replacements the Air Force should
consider the 767 to replace the E-3 Sentry (AWACS),
and the E-8 Joint STARS.

Since space is needed to build the Boeing 787, the
KC-767 production line can be built outside of
Everett and in places like the Boeing facility in
Wichita or even in Dallas, in both cases creating jobs in the region.

I an not opposed to the Airbus/EADS KC-30 if it's being made Mobile, Alabama as it creates jobs in
the area but with that I like to see three or four-
hundred KC-767's ordered as well as a few B777-200LR tankers to replace the KC-10's.

G (France):

Few issues around the military role of an aerial tanker have been discussed publicly, for example its possible role during time of crisis has not been fully exposed.
When operating close to a theatre-of-operation as a flying gas-station for ground-ops airplanes, a smaller electromagnetic and thermal footprint could be a survival advantage.

Birgit (France):

Reading about the allegedly superior fuel efficiency and operating economics of the 767, I certainly wonder why it was blown away by the A330 on the commercial market?

Trent (Dublin, Ireland):

If you overlook some of stupider comments (the concerns about sourcing from a country that may or may not be an ally in future), the articles do have a point. It makes little sense for a country that has the manufacturing capability to provide for itself to go elsewhere for a similar product.

However, if that was the reality, no country would be outsourcing anything anywhere. In this case, I would be on the US side - source it from Boeing.

Eric Booth (Houston):

These op ed pieces hit the nail on the head. After everything the French did to us in the UN regarding Iraq, and knowing how Airbus (or should I say "subsidy-bus") does business, there's no way in hell this contract should go to Airbus. I don't want to see our fighters and bombers sucking up to an Airbus A330 when they need fuel. Giving this contract to Airbus would be a slap in the face to the men and women in our armed forces.

What really bothers me is that Northrop Grumman's name is being used to give it an American flavor. This is an absolute scam. This is nothing more than Airbus. Northrop Grumman only has a minor role. I can't believe a company that built such great airplanes such as the F-14 would team up with Airbus.

Joaquin H. (Monterrey, Mexico):

I think there is no science here. The US should and must go Boeing with its eyes closed.

Aurora (Texas):

This deal is absolutely critical to the U.S. defense industry and to employment in the U.S. aerospace industry. Aerial refueling tankers represent a strategic capability that must not be allowed to atrophy on the altar of "free trade". Why reward the EU EADS for almost 40 years of subsidies to Airbus?

BTW, George in Raleigh N.C., the French Air Force is asking Boeing to bid on their tankers. However, were it not for the KC-X competition, there is no doubt that they wouldn't have bothered. In my opinion, Boeing may want to fax them the KC-767 spec sheet and be done with it; any effort beyond that would be a waste of time and effort.

Jeff Weymouth (Everett):

I think most people have missed the real objective of this competition - to provide our fighting men and women the best possible tool for their defined mission regardless of source. Where it's built and whose name is on it is of little importance to those whose life depends on it.

Unfortunately we tainted the original proposal and now the Air Force has bowed to political pressure and created a poorly crafted list of mission requirements resulting in a "competition" between two very different aircraft. I hope Boeing wins this competition on the basis of the best product for our troops, not where and how many jobs are created. Is it ethical to apply political pressure to award a contract on a basis outside the product performance specifications? - I think not.

John DeRosia (Everett, Washington):

I agree with the gentleman from Houston that wrote- it would be a slap to the many brave men and women of our armed forces to have our fighters refueled with Airbus airplanes (tankers).

Something I'm not clear about- we have United States Senators and Congressmen -representing guess what- the US of A and its great citizens- so....should there even be a question of loyalty to the 767 Tankers made in the US? I know politics is a huge sore spot for many- but what about good old loyalty?

Does that count for anything anymore? I surely don't hear or read about other countries lining up to defend freedom like the United States. Sure- a few others 'help' so to speak...but not one country does what the US is all about-defending freedom at all cost. There should be no question about the 767 Tankers. It would be one more thing to boost the moral of all the proud brave men and women defending our freedom.They can look to the skies and know our country is behind them-100 percent.

Tim Coppin (Puyallup, Wa):

I can see beyond even what the articles have to say. Besides buying an American made aircraft, the money that would be spent by changing the parking ramps and hangers to accomodate the 330 would be enough (I think) to buy more 767 tankers.

Since the 767 is roughly the same size as the existing KC-135, the only real changes that I know of would be to hanger doors to accommodate the difference in fuselage cross sections. I have been to numerous theaters where the KC-135 was operating and do know that if the A.F. buys the 330, they'll have to change forward basing, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the entire force.

Steve (Siggenthal Station, Swizerland):

I think Birgit, of France, needs to do a bit of fact checking before making such completely inaccurate statements. If any plane has "blown away" the other, it is the B767 doing it to the A330. Let's review the facts:

A330: 880 total ordered, 517 delivered since 1993

B767: 1011 total ordered, 960 delivered since 1982

And if the Air Force orders KC-767's than the gap gets even wider. Although, I suppose one could say that is technically not "commercial success" since it's a "military" application.

But the numbers indicate that the A330 only has 54% of the number of planes in service as the B767. I think it's fair to say that this qualifies as "blowing away" the competition! I believe that the B767 still constitutes something like 70% of the flights across the Atlantic.

Within 2 to 3 years the A330 sales may possibly surpass the B767 sales, but even at deliveries of up to 10 per month, it will be about 4 years before the number of delivered A330's will exceed the 1011 presently ordered B767's that will have been delivered by then (unless Airbus ramps up production rates substantially). So, the bottom line is that for 20 years, from 1982 to 2012, the B767 will have "blown away" the A330. And from 2008, to probably at least 2028, the B787 will be doing the same thing to the A350!

Aurora (Texas):

Both companies have submitted proposals that will be
evaluated on the merits and the needs of the Air
Force. Either the KC-767 or the KC-30 can do the job.
The KC-767 will do it in more places for less cost.
Airbus keeps touting the KC-30's cargo carrying
capability but all that is secondary. The USAF needs
tankers, needs them now, at an affordable cost, and
low operating costs. That plane is the KC-767!

I have actually taken the time to write to members of
Congress on this procurement. The issue really comes
down to this: do you want the benefits to accrue to
the U.S. aerospace industry, or to the European
aerospace industry? As a U.S. citizen, I prefer the
benefits stay at home. I want a deal that will employ
the maximum number of my fellow citizens in the most
states. I do not want to see the U.S. Department of
Defense held hostage at some point when the EU
parliament disagrees with our policies. "Political
pressure" is not only ethical, but absolutely vital to
ensure that Boeing wins this contest.

For EADS, there's always that French air force tanker
deal as a consolation..

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

The tanker war has been on my radar for some time now. Recently, it has become very political thus revealing its multi-faceted nature to more outsiders. Like the amount of lobbying involved. Or the fact that it has spilled over into commercial affairs and has become a weapon there.

A few points to keep in mind:

1. Some 50 years ago - Boeing was not the only American manufacturer of airliners - although they did start it there with the private funding for the 367-80.

2. America is the greatest democracy on the planet.

3. There needs to be some kind of bidding process - despite the lack of an indigenous alternative to the only American supplier. This works for cost and affords the customer the best, most capable product - with the nation's best interests at heart.

4. The American aerospace & defence market has become the world's largest and most sophisticated because there exists vigorous & vibrant free-market competition. Should American Big Government be used to aid the ailing industries of allies against her long-term interests? Has the Marshal Plan made a comeback?

5. And, if EADS actually won, what kind of case would it now want to present against Boeing at the WTO?

In any event, it is good indeed that Boeing Commercial Airplanes is looking after the interests of Integrated Defense Systems. That is only a super plus for the Boeing Co.

Saj (London, UK):

Birgit, France-

You fail to acknowledge that it took Airbus almost 20 years to address the 767 - by which time it closed in on 1,000 orders.

As with ANY airplane, they get old(er) and get replaced. And most carriers have opted for the 787 Dreamliner, not the outdated A330.

Steve Johnson (Weston FL):

There's one really bizarre thing about all this. Whether the subject is sports, bilateral air service agreements, access to slot-restricted airports, or who's going to build the next tanker to replace the 40-50 year old KC-135: The United States is the only country in the world that gives the home-field advantage to the other guy.

Don (Brighton, UK):

It is not important what France does with its tanker orders. The US military should get the best deal and if that deal is Airbus then Boeing should make sure they understand why... Then Boeing should make sure that in future they win because they are the best and not because they are American.

We have suffered like this in the UK but the end justifies the means and US industry needs to compete to give the US market a good deal.

The US is most certainly not the only country that gives home advantage to "the other guy". Welcome to the new capitalism encouraged by the mighty US!!!


It will be a sad day in America when we depend on foreign countries to supply as strategic an item to our security as aerial tankers. What happens to our spare parts support should we engage in a conflict that is politically too incorrect for the EU? What's next -- shall we purchase tanks from Russia?

Jeff (Atlanta) (Atlanta):

How could the U.S govt. even consider using a non US
built aircraft to fill this need? That would be like deciding to let the President use an Airbus product. Nothing says USA more than those beautiful Boeing aircraft. And the last time I checked, the words on the side of those airplanes says "U.S. Air Force". This contract has to go to Boeing. Shame on the govt. for considering otherwise.

Flash (Seattle, WA):

Let's be honest with this competition - it's like pitting the 787 vs. the A350. There really isn't a direct correlation. The A350 is a competitor to the 777, and the 787 easily usurps the 767/A330 market.

However, the KC-767 is a perfect REPLACEMENT for the KC-135's currently in service. Since the Air Force has made it clear they wish to continue to serve a similar mission purpose, the KC-767 is the most logical replacement for the KC-135.

The A330 is a great airplane and has competed well with the 767 on the commercial market, although they still serve different markets in general. The KC-30 is a great airplane, however it is a different airplane than what the Air Force has said it wants. The KC-30 offers flexibility in terms of payload, refueling capacity and, size in general. However, there isn't an operational need for this refueling capacity and the Air Mobility Command already has an adequate fleet of cargo planes led by the C-17 which government leaders have already come out and said they have enough with the approx. 200 they have ordered.

As a Boeing stockholder and someone who loves the company, I hope Boeing wins the contracts. As their marketing campaign states - I believe they have the right size airplane which suits the Air Force's needs with precision. However, let's not have this be a debate about keeping US jobs.

As a taxpayer, I want the Air Force to choose the most logical airplane which keeps the costs low to the US taxpayer and yet fulfills the needs of the Air Force 100%. When you compare these needs, the winner is still Boeing. EADS is trying to fill a round hole with a square peg with the KC-30. No one doubts that it is a good airplane - the British and Australians know that it fits their needs perfectly. However, the air refueling needs of the US require a plane of little risk and full capability, a plane which can land on both conventional and unconventional runways, a plane that requires little modification to the current fleet for refueling purposes and a plane that is cost competitive with its foreign competition.

The KC-767 is the answer to all of these questions - without having to bring up any protectionistic ideas presented by the arguments Randy referenced in the articles or the arguments voiced by members of Congress. The KC-767 shouldn't be selected because it creates or keeps US jobs, but because it is the RIGHT airplane and happens to be designed, built and managed by US workers.

Reece Lumsden:

There's a number of issues to the tanker deal, none of them easy to resolve. Following is a list of the ones I can see/think of:

Capability: plain and simple: which one meets the USAFs requirements the best?

Strategic asset: The tanker becomes a national strategic asset and assets like this are rarely pushed outside of ones own borders, no matter how costly it may be to retain the capability in-house. Would you think it would make sense for work on National Missile Defense to be awarded to companies outside the US?

Jobs: As mentioned in all three opinion pieces, jobs are a BIG component of this deal. It can sometimes cloud judgement because talk of these programs and the jobs and livelihoods they provide and support invariably stir up emotion.

Politics: Capabilities like this that push up against the strategic canvas are intimately linked to the political process, providing yet another complicating factor because politicians and the political process rarely act in a rational way.

National interest: While commercial (or pseudo-commercial in EADS case) entities are vying for these contracts, the names Boeing and EADS tend to be synonomous with 'Europe' and 'USA', despite the fact that both companies utilize a large numbers of sub-tiers in each others back yard when it comes down to sub-contracts.

Of course, each of these has to be considered in relation to the others, none of them exist in a vacuum, making the decision that much harder. For my money, I think that on the basis of the categories listed above, it will be very difficult to choose the non-US identified option.

Ed (Dublin, Ireland):


The level of misguided opinions in many of the above comments is remarkable.

G (France):

You guys need to read this document. It is extremely interesting to compare US aerospace employment between 1990 and 2006.


G (France), the document you posted shows a precipitous decline in U.S. employment in the Aerospace mfg sector--almost 50%. You've made the case! Pick the tanker that will keep the most jobs on U.S. soil--the KC-767. Thanks.

Charley (South Carolina):

Lets look at this a different way. The current tankers, which are almost 50 years old, and by the way are still supporting the refueling missions were made by Boeing. How many refueling aircraft has EADS manufactured?

Look at it this way. If I had a car that I drove for 50 years, why would I go to another manufacturer that just started manufacturing cars. EADS started manufacturing tankers to get the USAF tanker contract. They have sold the KC-30 to the UK, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. I just wonder if they will honor those orders if they do not get the USAF contract.

Bottom line, Stick with Boeing. They made the last USAF Tanker and it has served the Air Force well. Why change?

Jonathan Blubaugh (Everett):

Both editorials you link us to were written by IAM leadership-hardly a dispassionate source. I disagree that this is about jobs. It should be about military capabity. However, in my opinion the EU's excessive, ongoing subsidies to Airbus should DISQUALIFY the misnamed Northrop-Grumman Airbus.
Also remember this is unfortunately about politics. Southern Republicans will want the "promised" EADS production facility to be build in Mobile. Democrats on the West Coast are solidly suppporting Boeing.

Rob (Australia):

Putting politics aside, this is a delayed program.
Surely this delay - and only a little more (in the scheme of things) should have allowed the 787 to be put forward!
While all the refuelling equipment is a "new add" to this plane, there is no need for a new cockpit and the other things Boeing must do for the 767.

Think about it - an infinite life airframe (aside - the windows don't have to be cut from the barrel!), latest fly by wire controls, and most importantly VERY significant savings in running costs.

For a program that extends to 150+ planes and has a very long life, surely this plane has the best growth potential?

C'mon Boeing - give them the best! I'm sure any slight increase in acquisition cost would more than offset in running costs..and given the time frames involved a few years slippage is irrelevant!

(Note: Composite fuselage, wings and fan - could this have stealth possibilities? (joke)).

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I think KC-767 orders should have been processed
a long time ago when the requirement for the new
tanker was initiated by the USAF before all the
debacles that delayed the orders.

With the possibility of 600 orders this is a very
big deal especially for the declining aircraft
manufacturing industry.

Birgit (France):

Saj (London, UK):

You fail to acknowledge that it took Airbus almost 20 years to address the 767 - by which time it closed in on 1,000 orders.

As with ANY airplane, they get old(er) and get replaced. And most carriers have opted for the 787 Dreamliner, not the outdated A330

-> Thanks, exactly my point. When the A330 came to the market some ten years later than the 767, it clearly was the newer, more efficient plane. Which is why 767 orders gradually dried up, and the A330 order book significantly grew. Today the A330 captures the major part of the market (I'm not speaking of total a/c flying, but of orders placed - no. of 767 is flying is of course higher, no surprise there given that the plane has been delivered for more than a decade before the arrival of the A330)
Same situation now with the 787: it's much better than the A330, which is why customers order it. Which is why Airbus had to come up with the A350XWB.

Bottom line is that the 767 is an older plane than the A330 (which itself has been made obsolete by the 787). Commercial customers have more or less stopped buying it. Boeing want to make some more money with the old frame, and offers it to the military (instead of the 787, which continues to sell well with commercial customers...)

Saj (London, UK):

Birgit - you state:

"Today the A330 captures the major part of the market (I'm not speaking of total a/c flying, but of orders placed"

Total A330 orders, including freighter, -200 & -300 stand at 880.

Total 767 orders stand at 1011.

To suggest the 767 was "blown away" by the A330 is a dubious claim, if not outright a fallacy.

Furthermore, there are still a greater number of 767's in service despite the A330 being available.

Regardless, its a pretty safe bet that the 787 will surpass both in sales and service utilisation over its lifetime. The A350 will continue to be "second fiddle" in this game...

Chris C (South Africa):

The Boeing KC767 Tanker proposal for the United States AirForce is a perfect balance and solution for all of the USAF’s future tanker requirements. Moreover, the KC767 for the USAF will be fully optimised for its missions, providing an invaluable asset to the USAF. The mathematics is there to support the Boeing KC767. No matter what way the competition fudges the numbers, the 767 tanker is the right size, the right combination of flexibility and economics, and above all, built by the right manufacturer, period! BOEING’S 767 TANKER IS THE BETTER OPTION!!

Dan (France):

The only thing for certain is that whoever wins the contract, the American military will end up with a plane that has much of its content sourced abroad. Can anybody confirm how many double-digits of % of the 767 will come from Japan and other countries?

Ed (Dublin Ireland):

Dan, Im not sure what the exact difference is, but I believe that the numbers are being fudged in a certain publicity campaign. If a particular contender's airplane is a superior solution to the USAFs requirements, then surely they could win the USAF contract on terms of having the superior tanker rather than claims of mass employment.

Lets be honest, the strategic interest card being touted is nonsense in this instance, as neither aircraft is all-American, and is dependant on overseas suppliers. I'm sure that on outright percentage terms, the KC-767 has a higher % of US made content, but considering the fact that the KC-30 is a larger aircraft, then the actual amount of cash flowing into the US economy PER AIRFRAME, and thus the monetary benifit to the US economy PER AIRFRAME is going to be similar.

Unfortunately, I can foresee whichever company loses this contract launching an appeal on the grounds of unfairness or bias.

T. Cook (Mt. Vernon, WA):

Didn't the original strato-tanker prototype do a barrel roll over Lake Washington. Who cares about politics or jobs, there should be only one criteria, barrel roll.

Bryan (London, UK):

Regardless of whether the KC-30 is the best plane or not, politics rule and the KC-767 is getting this order, would be nice to see the KC-30 win it but i seriously doubt it. And to Saj, i think Birgit was speaking of orders placed in the last few years, in which the A330 has surpassed the 767 and not overall orders. The A350 will be second fiddle in the A330/767 market game but i expect it to have the upper hand in the 777 market since it doesn't have a viable competitor for the foreseeable future.

Steve (Siggenthal Station, Switzerland):

Just wanted to drop a short note to correct a typo I had in my previous comment aways above.

I wrote:
So, the bottom line is that for 20 years, from 1982 to 2012, the B767 will have "blown away" the A330.

I'm surprised nobody noticed it should have said "30" years!!!
And in reference to the Bryan's note above, I think it might be more appropriate to say "the 777 doesn't have a viable competitor for the forseable future", because at this point, the A350-1000 still seems to be quite a bit of what us Electrical Engineers refer to as "Vaporware". My best guess as to when we will see an A350-1000 take flight is 2015/16, and by that time the 777 will have been delivered for 25 years, and it's likely that the 777's "next generation" will already be for sale at that point.

If Boeing works on the 737 replacement through 2012, then they would have their resources available to start working on the next logical item, the 777 replacement, from 2013 onward, with a first flight maybe in the 2018/19 timeframe. Which means within only about 5 years, or less, of the A350-1000 first deliveries, it's more than viable competitor, the "next-gen 777" will likely be delivered (and you can bet it will still be wider than the A350XWB family).

Christof Spieler (Houston, TX):

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with the United States military buying foreign products if they offer better performance or better value than American products. In fact, I think that's beneficial, since it encourages American companies to keep improving their products. Countries around the world buy U.S. military aircraft. In fact, France flies Boeing planes.

European countries have contributed to defending the United States. After 9/11, NATO AWACS planes -- with crews from 13 different countries -- patrolled the Eastern Seaboard. France and Germany both have troops in Afghanistan. And Britain, which has a significant Airbus workforce, has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, of course, the United States won independence from Britain only because of French help.

The competition should come does to one question: which aircraft best meets the needs of the Air Force at the best price?

Charley (Anderson, SC):

I have a question about the A330MRTT/KC-30. I know that Airbus has sold the A330MRTT to the UK, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. I believe that the UAE has announced that they want to buy it also. My question is, does the A330MRTT have a flying boom, or does it refuel other aircraft with wing drogues and centerline drogue? The reason I ask is that Northrop keeps saying that their KC-30 is a proven tanker.

I believe it is proven for wing drogues and centerline drogue refueling, but it has not been proven with the flying boom. The majority of refueling missions for the USAF are accomplished with a flying boom. I did read in Aviation Week that the KC-30 did make contact with their boom, but did not pass any fuel.

The KC-767 has already refueled a B-52 and an F-15. Last week Boeing delivered the first KC-767 to Japan. The first delivery for the A330 MRTT is not scheduled till late 2009. It sounds like Boeing at least has an aircraft ready to deliver. Does Airbus?

Ed (Dublin Ireland):

Re: Steve (Siggenthal Station, Switzerland)

Steve, you are forgetting the A300 and A310 when you compare the sales of the 767! The A300 was in production several years before Boeing introduced the 767.

Steve (Siggenthal Station, Switzerland):

Well Ed, I was trying to be fair and not "Pile-on" to much on Airbus, by sticking to a plane to plane comparison, but if you want to take a look at a class to class, or market-space to market-space comparison, let's go ahead and do that. I'm curious myself as to how the numbers will add up.

Total A300/A310/A330 deliveries 1974 to 2008 = 1336
Total A300/A310/A330 Sales 1972 to 2008 = 1701

Since the concept behind the A300 was a request from Frank Kolk of American Airlines, back in 1966, for a replacement of the 727, then we certainly need to start there on the Boeing side:

727 Deliveries 1974 to 1984 = 834
767 Deliveries 1981 to 2008 = 960
Combined Total = 1794 (starting with the same year that A300 Deliveries started)
Total combined orders would be about 1854

So, adding just the 727 & 767 already surpasses the A300/A310/A330, orders or deliveries, but we're not done yet.

For a true comprehensive comparison we need to at least include the "other" Boeing plane that Airbus was targeting with the A300, the DC-10 (yes, it's a Boeing product, just like the A300 was an Aerospatiale, Deutsche Aerospace, and CASA product)

DC-10 Deliveries 1974 to 1989 = 324

And if we include the MD-11 version (since we are adding A300, A310 and A330, this is only fair), then we can toss on another 200 deliveries (from 1990 to 2001);

Resulting in a total of 2318 Deliveries for the 727/DC-10/MD-11/767, so far.

Oh, but wait, there's one more Boeing product which we should probably put into the comparison, the good old 707. The A300/A310/A330 also fell into the 707 market-space, so we can add another 138 units of 707 Deliveries from 1974 to 1994.

So, the grand total is 2456 deliveries of Boeing products versus 1701 orders of the Airbus products, or only 1336 deliveries, in the similar market-space, from A300 intro to present.

T C (Mt. Vernon, WA):

So, on a day when the US economy is in a free fall, when the US taxpayer has almost solely funded a trillion dollar war, the US military awards a huge contract to an EU company. Is this fair? Well, if the EU taxpayers cough up a trillion dollars over the next five years to fight tyrants and terrorists, then, yes.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

It now appears that the USAF has selected the
EADS/Airbus/Northrop A330MRTT/KC-30, this without
a doubt will be the first Airbus product in the
United States defence inventory.

Though it does not make sense to delay and forestall the production and delivery of the KC-30 because it will be made
in Mobile,Alabama. What Boeing can do is to continue to petition the USAF to order the KC-767 in a way to combine both products, keep in mind over 500 KC-135
need to be replaced and the order for the KC-30 stands for now at 179 orders, so there is space for over 300 KC-767's.

Jean-Jacques HOBOCT (France):

Norman, now that Strategic Air Command (with many bombers and tankers on 24 hour alert) is no longer in existence, the United States is not likely to require 500 tanker aircraft.

We welcome your comments. However all comments are moderated and may not post immediately. Offensive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not treat any comments you submit as confidential information. Please do not submit comments that contain any confidential information belonging to anyone else.

By submitting a comment to Randy's Journal, you agree to our site terms and privacy policy, and to having your name displayed with your comment. All or part of your comment may be posted or cited in the blog. Your name and personal information will not be used for any other purpose, and we will not publish your e-mail address.


More posts