Air Force Envisions Multiyear Contract To Buy New Tankers

February 16th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Air Force Envisions Multiyear Contract To Buy New Tankers

I know a COL who used to fly tankers. He said the entire fleet needs to be replaced.


National Journal's CongressDailyPM
February 15, 2008
The Air Force plans eventually to ask Congress to approve a multiyear contract for the high-priced effort to replace its aging fleet of aerial refueling tankers, a senior Air Force official said today. The multiyear buy would not immediately affect budgets for the KC-X tanker program, expected to cost as much as $40 billion to buy 179 aircraft over the next 10-15 years.
The Air Force would have to first stabilize the nascent program, guarantee that there is a long-term requirement for the tankers and demonstrate that a multiyear contract would significantly reduce overall costs. "Multiyear is a very complex drill to go through," said Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman, the Air Force's top acquisition officer. "We don't do that coming out of the chute." Indeed, the Air Force bought more than 100 F-22 Raptor fighter jets before going to a three-year multiyear contract for the last 60 aircraft.
Any multiyear procurement proposal could line up another battle with Senate Armed Services ranking member John McCain, R-Ariz., who in 2003 stopped the Air Force's overpriced effort to lease Boeing KC-767 tankers. McCain and other lawmakers have long been skeptical of the multiyear contracting approach, which allows the military services to sign long-term contracts for weapons systems for a fixed price. Opponents of multiyear contracts argue that it reduces oversight and commits future Congresses to funding a program.
In December, the Republican presidential frontrunner refused to sign the conference report on the FY08 defense authorization bill in part because he said it contained "troubling provisions that will likely fail to cure abuses in multiyear contracting." The enacted defense bill establishes new rules governing multiyear contracts, but it was a watered-down version of language McCain had attached to the Senate-passed version of the bill.
Meanwhile, Hoffman said today that the Air Force has not made a final decision on the hotly contested tanker contract, which could be awarded by the end of this month. The competition pits Boeing Co., which built the Air Force's venerable fleet of KC-135 tankers, against a team led by Northrop Grumman Corp. and the European consortium behind Airbus.
Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of Air Force Material Command, this week said he believed the rival contractors had prepared their written protests in the event they lose the contract decision. Hoffman said today that any formal protest of the contract award would delay the program and could put FY08 funding for the tankers at risk. On Thursday, Senate Budget Chairman Conrad, co-chairman of the Senate Tanker Caucus, likewise warned against protesting the contract decision, which could tie up the program indefinitely. "The decision ought to be respected; it ought to go forward," Conrad said.
--Megan Scully
February 16th, 2008  
A Can of Man
Hell it seems every airplane needs to be replaced.
February 16th, 2008  
Team Infidel
they do.... they are sooo old
February 16th, 2008  

Topic: Tankers

I know how important they are but tankers and transports aircraft are types I don't know a lot about and don't follow as closely. I'm not far from a major Air Force base and see tankers and transports fly over my job daily. I do know they are so important and a major must have item in our Air Force, and other branches of our Armed Forces.

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