Can EADS Win?

“There’s no question about it” the KC-X tanker request for proposals “is very much about replacing the KC-135; that is definitionally a different airplane than the one we’re offering,” EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe said Tuesday at a press conference announcing the company’s intention to seek the contract. However, noting that the RFP simply requires “pass/fail” on 372 criteria, he emphasized that the KC-45 will pass “all 372, and that becomes a distinct advantage.” He said USAF and the Pentagon have made clear “here are the criteria you need to pass,” so the process should “yield an answer without a lot of subjective judgments.” Ralph Crosby, EADS North America chairman, said that at that point “the key discriminator is price.” O’Keefe also noted his company is a US entity that has created a structure to handle the 30 or so classified requirements to ensure they aren’t shared overseas.