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Jeff Babbin is wrong

by: Matthew Potter
March 24, 2008

Category: Boeing, commercial aviation, Contract Awards, EADS, logistics, Northrop Grumman Corp., Protest, U.S. Air Force | RSS 2.0

Jeff Babbin, former defense official in the Reagan Administration and a columnist for The Washington Times and Human Events has an editorial on the KC-45 contract here.  Because he doesn’t want to get into the industrial policy argument he claims that the need to operate from smaller fields means Boeing should have one.  He calls for the contract to be taken away from Northrop Grumman and EADS and given to Boeing.  I left the following comment:

“Mr. Babbin,

The A-12 disaster was caused by the Program Office lying to the Pentagon.  That is whey the PM and a bunch of other people were fired.  Also building a stealth replacement for the A-6 (in the Eighties) it is a little different then building a converted commercial aircraft.  If you prefer I am sure that EADS could deliver 10 aircraft a year from their factories in France and Germany, they just went with Mobile to be nice to America.  As to the short runway length, please tell me where all those forward deployed KC-135 aircraft operated from?  I think the KC-45 will be fine flying from Diego Garcia, Guam, the US, UK and Germany.  That is a specious argument.

Competition in military procurements is a good thing.  Once McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing who was their competition?  One of the reasons the tanker lease was overturned so quickly was the bad terms for the government.  That is what a monopoly gets you.”

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