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Posted: 7/22/2008 2:07:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 2:11:39 PM EDT by vito113]
And so it begins…



Northrop chief warns on fight over US tanker
By Sylvia Pfeifer and Kevin Done in Farnborough
Published: July 16 2008 03:00 | Last updated: July 16 2008 03:00


Ronald Sugar, the chief executive of Northrop Grumman, the defence company that is battling with Boeing to win a contract to provide tankers to the US Air Force, has warned of "dire consequences to the transatlantic alliance" if the competition were to be influenced for protectionist reasons.

The competition between Northrop and its European partner, EADS, and Boeing for the $35bn contract to provide refuelling tankers to the USAF has attracted an unprecedented amount of political attention in recent months. Northrop and EADS originally won the contract in February, a victory some Boeing supporters warned would cost American jobs.

The two saw their victory dramatically overturned last week as the US Department of Defence decided to re-open the competition after Boeing complained about the process of the initial competition.

The decision came after a damning report by the General Accountability Office, an arm of Congress, which said it agreed with Boeing that there had been flaws in the process used to choose Northrop and EADS.

"There will be dire consequences to transatlantic alliance if this decision is reversed on political grounds because it would basically send a chilling signal in terms of our relationship with our most trusted Allies that we do have to fight together with in the future," Mr Sugar said in an interview with the Financial Times at the Farnborough International Airshow.

"All major US defence and aerospace companies fully support international trade and global access to technology. We have one strange anomaly here where for the purpose of this programme you have an argument being made for the purposes of protectionism. But even the companies involved, even our adversary here, is extraordinarily supportive of international trade - they have to be, they built half of the 787 out of the US," he added.

According to Mr Sugar, much of the political noise surrounding the competition was due to "a handful of political people who are more concerned about work in their state".

"The bizarreness of this is that [the Northrop/EADS proposal] will create 48,000 new jobs in the US and we are an American company," he added.

Speaking separately at the Farnborough show, Jim McNerney, chief executive of Boeing, insisted that protectionism had had nothing to do with the company's protest. Its protest had been based on the process. "This is a technical issue for us. I have worked hard to get our employees to focus on the issue in this way," he said.

Mr McNerney said the company's protest could risk its working relationship with the USAF, although this was its first objection to a procurement process, whereas Boeing's rivals had filed at least 28 protests in the last decade.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ea5f4e16-52cf-11dd-9ba7-000077b07658.html

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:11:46 PM EDT
At this point i say fook it and we just flip a coin. I dont care which one we go with just make a decision and start making tankers.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:15:51 PM EDT
i say go with what will do the job best and quickest
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:18:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rocksarge:
i say go with what will do the job best and quickest


That is the complete opposite of how DC thinks.
Spend the most for the least. Yea thats the ticket
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:18:58 PM EDT
How about we don't pick either one and hit up some other manufacturer like the boys over at Lockheed to build us something new from scratch.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:24:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 2:24:53 PM EDT by Baldmonk]
When have the French come to our aid outside of 1779.

The last good frenchmen are burried in a mass grave in Yorktown.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:28:59 PM EDT

Speaking separately at the Farnborough show, Jim McNerney, chief executive of Boeing, insisted that protectionism had had nothing to do with the company's protest. Its protest had been based on the process. "This is a technical issue for us. I have worked hard to get our employees to focus on the issue in this way," he said.


'this is what you will think'
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:12:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Baldmonk:
When have the French come to our aid outside of 1779.

The last good frenchmen are burried in a mass grave in Yorktown.


Ok I'll bite.

In WWI the French army did more than any other single entity to transform the US Army and Marine Corps into a modern fighting force instead of a backwoods police force only suited to hunting Indians. On the western front most US forces fought in the French sector not the British, ever wonder why? It was because The French opposed the British plan of using US servicemen as individual replacements in British and French divisions, instead the French chose to foster the growth of the AEF. Ever wonder why US forces used 75mm guns, or 155mm howitzers, or why the United States military has such an affinity for the metric system? The French. They gave our boys artillery and machine guns in WWI. The US tank corps overwhelmingly used French Renault tanks instead of their British counterparts, and the US Aircorps was really the French Aircorps with American pilots.

I say all this to illustrate that the French are our traditional Allies not the British, a position that did not change until we left them hanging in the wind in 1940. Sure we liberated France from the Germans-after 4 years of occupation. More than any one person Churchill was responsible for the Us-British bond that is seen today.

But lets ignore the fact that the French were our best ally in WWI and we left them hanging in WWII. On to two of our greatest fuck-up presidents Harry Truman and his doctrine of opposing communism on every front and Eisenhower and his containment policy and domino theory. Enter Vietnam-which the French warned us would be a quagmire.

Fast forward 40 something years and the French do not participate in OIF. Apart from being in bed with Sadaam and being Jackasses ever wonder why the French did not participate. It was not because they thought we couldn't win, it was because they did not see an honorable way out. They warned us of this. As a country France has had the most experience dealing with Arab countries maybe we should take their advice from time to time.

But no, you are right apart from 1779 France has never even tried to help us. . .



Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:52:35 PM EDT
Kansas Senator Pat Roberts has several television ads assuring Kansans that he will do everything in his power to see that Boeing gets this contract.

It is going to be a tough fight.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:58:53 PM EDT

Politicians should stay out of military acquisition altogether. It only complicates matters.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 5:00:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By swede1986:
Politicians should stay out of military acquisition altogether. It only complicates matters.


Wishful thinking.

It would be nice though.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 5:08:44 PM EDT
Boing is using it's bought senators from Washington and Kansas to stick it to American taxpayers with a lesser product
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 10:43:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By alaman:
Boing is using it's bought senators from Washington and Kansas to stick it to American taxpayers with a lesser product



Indeed… Boeing is going to make sure the USAf chooses the product Boeing mandates.

They tried bribery and corruption, and that didn't work, now they are just using bought politicians to mandate what the USAF will select.


THe fact that Boeing may cause a serious fracturing with US allies in Europe and make many European countries opt out of buying US made defence products matters not to Boeings Directors… Of course the fact that any defence equipment trade war would affect Lockheed Martin far more than Boeing is purely incidental to this attitude from Boeing.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 11:00:32 PM EDT
I'm still amazed at how many here support Airbus over Boeing...
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 11:07:02 PM EDT
In the meantime, buy NOC and BA as they drive up each others share prices.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 11:07:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By XterraJohn:
I'm still amazed at how many here support Airbus over Boeing...



Why?
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 11:33:22 PM EDT
What is this, "transatlantic alliance" that you speak of?

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