"GAO almost certainly will find problems" with the Air Force's selection process, said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va. "The only question is how significant those problems will be. But I think the likelihood is that they will favor Boeing, and that would not be good news for Mobile."Dr. Thompson is later quoted as saying:
"If you're one of Boeing's supporters, there's no such thing as a minor problem," Thompson said. "GAO has to show that they're giving serious consideration to Boeing's protest, and for that reason I think they uphold at least some of their complaints. And then the catch for Northrop and the Air Force becomes, is an 80 percent confidence level good enough? What about 60 or 70?"We at Tanker War Blog believe that due to the limited scope of the GAO review, there will probably not be a recommendation to rebid the tanker contract. We also feel though that the certainty level for the Air Force on this contact will eventually be below any percentage mentioned by Dr. Thompson. We can not how see many, if not all, of the issues that have raised previously will not be upheld by the GAO. Issues such as:
1) Changing the criteria for the IFARA modelIn the end we believe Congresses will play a large, if not decisive, part in determine a way out of the botched tanker contract. If Boeing gets even partial victories from the GAO and the WTO we can see no way the KC-30 team gets the tanker contract.
2) Placing more value on exceeding cargo/pax/fuel load than was stipulated in the final RFP
3) Past performance rating and proposal risk
4) Calculation of life cycle costs to include new construction costs.
Be prepared to hear much more talk about a split buy.