DoD Early Estimates Two Tankers Have High Costs

October 20, 2009 by
Filed under: KC-X, KC-X Tanker News, U.S. Air Force 
Prior to the release of the latest RFP for the KC-X tanker program some in Congress and the media mooted using a split award for the aircraft. This would allow for faster fielding of tankers to expedite replacement of the older KC-135’s. It would also possibly reduce the chance of a protest by either Northrop or Boeing as well as spreading the contract around to different states. The biggest issue with the idea is that it would add cost to the program. Through the necessity of having two separate support tails the overall program would be more expensive. There would be two training tracks, sets of support equipment and parts pools alone. The aircraft also may not be complimentary. The DoD estimated back in April that the total additional cost would be over $14 billion. Obviously neither the Air Force or the U.S. Government has this kind of money available to support the idea. It would have to be payed for at the expense of other Air Force or DoD programs. It may be that cost estimates with more refinement are created that reduce this, but right now the plan is one company and one aircraft.

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