The letter specifically questions how the Air Force determined that the relative risks of the two proposals are comparable in terms of cost, schedule and technical performance.
The letter states:
On the one hand, you have the EADS team that proposed to build the first several planes in a number of different combinations of production facilities (most of which are either overseas or do not exist today). This approach entails building new facilities, hiring and training a new workforce, transferring design and production information among multiple nations, languages and cultures, and establishing and certifying production processes multiple times.The letter went on to mention Boeing's approach to the KC-X proposal is fundamentally the same as the one that they are successfully using today for the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft:
In contrast, the Boeing bid proposes to make a one-time investment of time and effort on the front end of the program to adapt an existing production line and develop production processes that maximize the in-line militarization modifications on an ITAR-compliant line that will be proven and certified only once. This is consistent with the underlying approach used by the Rand Corporation in the KC-X Tanker Analysis of Alternatives; an approach that they used because it "eliminates the rework of sequential green aircraft production and tanker modification at two locations."
This program, awarded to Boeing in 2004, is performing on its original program plan to begin delivering aircraft next year....Just a couple of weeks ago, VADM David Venlet (Commander of Naval Aviation Systems Command) stated "Normally with non-commercial-built airplanes, it takes us longer to build them and we have more time, but with this one, we're almost running behind Boeing to catch up and to keep up with that airframe, and we're very pleased with that concept."