Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aerospace Competitors, Several Compromised Policy Makers Behind Continuing Efforts to Kill Indispensable C-17, Boeing Itself; Sets Stage for US AirForce Acquisition of Airbus A-400M, Cont'd Retrofit of Ancient Lockheed-Martin C-5 Galaxy

Bloomfield Hills, MIUPDATE May 17, 2011   WASHINGTON, May 16 (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Monday announced that: * Boeing Co had won a $962.5 million order for five more C-17 cargo planes for U.S. Air Force. (Company news desk in Washington; +1 202 898 8400, COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved.

Bloomfield Hills, MI - UPDATE September 28, 2010 (to 5/26/10 press release) -        According to Congressional sources, Boeing C-17 Funding is not included in the first markup of the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill which failed to make it to the floor in the aftermath of partisan objections to certain aspects of its content. At this juncture, it will in all likelihood not come up for final approval until January 3, 2011 or beyond, giving Boeing additional opportunity to fill production schedules out to 2016 with FMS C-17 sales that may include 3 to 5 aircraft for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)  (Kuwait is now on track to acquire at least one, but indications are that will be expanded to 2, thus allowing the Kingdom to further expand humanitarian/disaster relief efforts like nation sibling Qatar) while simultaneously allowing solidification of interim policy shaping actions designed to ensure the inclusion of up to 10 and no less than 5 very much confirmable-as-needed Globemasters in this budget.

Sepecat Jaguars of the Royal Air Force of Oman 
 Image: RAFO


The Sultanate of Oman may soon make an announcement about its own C-17 aspirations; "Oman's His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has long sought, with laudable success, to place the country in a carefully crafted position of quasi-neutrality, balance, reason and progressiveness,"  (note Ambassador to the U.S. Hunaina Al Mughairy as the region's first woman in this capacity) observes a foreign services colleague, "along with a geo-strategic position that cannot be ignored nor is lost to its immediate neighbors or nations abroad.  Its recent participation in the repatriation of an American journalist held captive in North Korea is demonstrative of this contention.  Conversely, the rapid and comprehensive humanitarian/disaster relief capabilities of C-17 conjoined with the RAFO military airlift mission, fits hand-in-glove with Omani international influence objectives."

Boeing At Risk

It is our understanding that aerospace competitors to Boeing - Lockheed-Martin and Airbus/EADS - in conjunction with several policy makers (who, by their inexplicable and irresponsible efforts to kill the operationally superior and provably cost effective C-17 Globemaster III, are ostensibly compromised) have been, and continue to be, behind the full range of activities within government, industry and media to terminate C-17 production.

It’s not difficult to understand why: With C-17 out of the way, Lockheed-Martin will reap up to USD15 billion in C-5 - an arguably mission obsolete airlifter with a long history of reliability problems that continue to this day - modernization revenues, and up to 5 billion in C-130J orders both from the US AirForce and NATO/de facto NATO allies; Airbus/EADS will have an open door to attempt the placement of 200 overweight (12 tons at moment giving it essentially the same approx. 25 ton load capacity of C-130J) overcost (current acquisition costs may exceed that of a new C-17, prompting South Africa to withdraw its order) yet-to-be-operational A-400M - an order valued at up to 40 billion based on current projected acquisition costs, and renewed confidence and vigor to pursue the 35-40 billion (100 billion over life of program) US Air Force KC-X aerial tanker replacement program.

The strategy in place is structured not only to wrest airlifter and tanker program participation from Boeing, but to set the stage for the company’s rapid elimination from existence. Thus, leaving the military and commercial aircraft sector to Lockheed-Martin and Airbus/EADS and an increasingly unstable geo-political landscape (within which the duality of asymmetric/conventional war scenarios is a constant) while simultaneously rendering it bereft of Boeing’s critical-to-defense-industrial-base technological and production capacity - should its enemies succeed.

This must be called what it inarguably is: An issue of national security demanding response crafted to ensure continuance of Boeing, a core element of the US defense industrial base.

Myron D. Stokes, Publisher