News from the tanker deal

Well, Northop lost the deal after the GAO ruling, there will be an new Request for Proposals … but i really think that Boeing won´t get the deal in the next attempt either when there is no further political counterfire. The problem is somewhat bigger: Let´s assume Boeing has enough time to build a tanker on the foundation of the 777 airframe to get a bigger aircraft. They have another problem: They do not have the capacities to build it. The 777 is a successful plane and in addition to that they sell this planes as an interims solution for airlines with an urgent need for aircrafts since the 787 is vastly delayed at the moment. The USAF would be a customer like anyone else and do not believe Boeing can explain to their commercial customers that the next 150 airframes are reserved for the USAF … which in turn would be nice for Airbus: More A330/A340 to sell. And they can´t put the tanker 777 at the end of the line. At several locations in the net you can read that they need a replacement for their old tankers really soon. The solution with the 767 wouldn´t have this problem. It´s an EOLed planed for commercial customers and thus they have the capacities to produce it in the old assembly lines. So the point “the airforce wants a bigger tanker” is a real problem to Boeing. They are dependent to the old requirements in the request for an proposal. And in some news outlets in the US you can already see the lobbying against a modification of the requirements in favour of an bigger plane. I think, the end of this year will really interesting for both companies.