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15 -- KC-135 Tanker Replacement Program (KC-X) and Complementary Capabilities

Solicitation Number: KC-135-RTA-KC-X-RFI
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Material Command
Location: AFLCMC/PK - WPAFB (includes PZ, WL, WW, WI, WN, WK, LP, WF, WK)
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Added: April 25, 2006
KC-135 Tanker Replacement Program (KC-X) and Complementary Capabilities

KC-135 Tanker Replacement Program (KC-X) and Complementary Capabilities


The Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) Tanker Systems Modernization Systems Squadron (TSMSS), ASC Mobility Systems Wing/TSMSS, Wright-Patterson AFB OH, is submitting a Request for Information (RFI). The purpose of this two part RFI is to ensure early industry involvement in the effort. Part A requests information on KC-X platforms and concepts, whereas Part B requests information on complementary Air Refueling (AR) capabilities. The Tanker Systems Modernization Systems Squadron is currently seeking information to gain insight into the market to determine if there are potential sources that would be interested in providing a refueling capability. The submitted documentation, upon delivery, becomes the property of the U.S. Government and will not be returned. No solicitation documents exist at this time.

This is NOT an Invitation for Bid (IFB) or a Request for Proposal (RFP). The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this advertisement. This is a request for information/market research announcement for planning purposes and the Government will not provide reimbursement of costs associated with the documentation submitted under this request. Although “proposal” and “offeror” are used in this inquiry, your response will be treated as information only and will not be used as a proposal.

Responders are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this inquiry. This announcement is not to be construed as a formal solicitation. It does not commit the government to reply to information received, or to later publish a solicitation, or to award a contract based on this information.


PART A - Tanker Recapitalization Capability Criteria. The primary purpose of the KC-X program is to replace the war-fighting capability provided by the KC-135 fleet. The KC-X aircraft is expected to provide world-wide [Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) compliant], day/night, adverse weather, probe/drogue and boom/receptacle AR (including provisions for multiple point, simultaneous air refueling operations) on the same sortie to fixed-wing, receiver-capable United States, allied, and coalition military aircraft (including un-inhabited air vehicles). KC-X may be employed to support global attack, air-bridge, deployment, Re-deployment, homeland defense, theater support to joint, allied, coalition air and maritime forces; and specialized national defense missions. Some of these aircraft will be used to support special operations and U.S. nuclear forces. KC-X may allow for mixing of secondary missions in a manner not to significantly impact its primary AR mission. Secondary missions for KC-X may include cargo and/or passenger transportation, aero-medical evacuation, and Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) augmentation.

The Air Force is requesting information and recommendations in the following areas:

- Delivery of AR capability to include the following or combinations thereof:

-- New and/or used commercial derivative tanker aircraft, including availability and acquisition timing of any suggested combinations.

-- Medium and/or large commercial derivative tanker aircraft (approximately 300K lbs to 1000K lbs maximum take off gross weight).

- Economic, performance, risk and logistics assessment capabilities of the above options or any combination of these options. Acquisition options to be assessed also include multi-role tanker, cargo and passenger configurations.

- AR concepts of operation, technology, design, development and test. Consideration should be given to direct-view versus remote operating stations for AR operator workstation, and the impacts and benefits of advanced technology on AR operator capabilities.

- Offeror’s experience in aircraft design and/or modification capabilities to incorporate CNS/ATM compliant systems; military defensive systems; military communications equipment with strategic and tactical interconnectivity; and night vision internal, external and flight deck illumination. Also, capabilities for evaluating impacts and recommended approaches for Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) hardening.

- Offeror’s experience in fielding of fully integrated commercial and/or government support systems for military aircraft. Previous experience (if any) in implementing Public-Private Partnerships and performance based logistics concepts is requested.

- Understanding and previous experience in obtaining FAA (or equivalent) type certificates or supplemental type certificates shall be demonstrated. Submit evidence of any FAA or equivalent production, repair or alteration station licenses.

- We are also interested in assessing the impact that potential events would have on this procurement. Please identify and quantify how the following may affect the life cycle costs of the KC-X program.

-- Business arrangements that involve a financial contribution from government, including an offeror’s receipt of subsidies; financing (such as “launch aid”) for design and development; grants and government-provided goods and services to develop, expand or upgrade manufacturing sites; loans on preferential terms; assumption and forgiveness of debt resulting from launch and other production and development financing; equity infusions and grants; or research and development loans or grants.

-- Any change in the above business arrangements.

-- Application of retaliatory duties that may be imposed pursuant to the aircraft litigation at the World Trade Organization.

PART B - Complementary Tanker Support Capability Criteria. Over and above the effort described in Part A, the Air Force is also requesting information on complementary capabilities that would support, augment or enhance our air refueling mission, such as specialized (niche) Fee-for-Service support or modifications/upgrades to maintain KC-135 force structure as we recapitalize the tanker fleet. The Air Force will also consider vendor inputs on the following:

- Outsourcing a portion of the needed AR capability from private companies instead of providing it organically. :

-- Potential mission, uses and DoD benefits

-- Aircraft number, type and mission availability

-- Candidate refueling systems/subsystems

-- Schedule of potential service availability date(s)

-- Financial arrangements and anticipated fees (cost) to government

-- Liabilities and indemnification approach

-- Potential basing locations and operational limitations

-- Potential other aircraft missions with operational availability impacts

-- Offeror’s experience in acquiring, modifying and/or maintaining aircraft and any experience in AR concepts of operation with DoD aircraft.

- KC-135 Modifications/Upgrades. Specific information is requested in the following areas:

-- Modifications/upgrades to maintain KC-135 force structure during transition to the KC-X fleet. Possibilities include KC-135E struts/pylons, engines, avionics and flight deck, or complete KC-135E to KC-135R conversion

-- High maintenance and obsolete parts upgrades

-- Aircraft quantity for upgrades

-- Economic, performance, risk and logistics assessment of the above options or any combination of these options. Analysis should include proposed use within the overall framework of total KC-135 recapitalization, and the projected service life benefit.

-- Offeror’s experience in aircraft design and/or modification capabilities to incorporate major aircraft upgrades including struts/pylons, engines, avionics and flight deck.


Should the Air Force decide to pursue either a KC-X program, a KC-135 Modification/Upgrade, Complementary Tanker Services, or a combination of the above, offerors meeting the above criteria may be requested to supply additional information on their specific capabilities in future draft Requests for Proposal (RFPs).

If subsequent RFPs are released, a Notice of Contract Action will be published at least 15 days prior.

For Government planning purposes, anyone intending to submit information for either Part A or Part B is requested to notify the Government within 14 calendar days. Initial responses should provide summary level information on corporate capabilities and the offeror’s ability to receive, control, handle and destroy DoD classified material to the level of DoD Secret.

Interested parties should respond with their submittals within 45 calendar days after this notice is posted. Responses should include information on a corporate point of contact, as well as information on the product or service submitted. Offerors may submit information on all or any portion of this request. Responses to Part A and Part B should be provided in separate submittals. All correspondence should clearly identify which part it is addressing. Submittals are not expected to exceed 150 pages. Any proprietary information submitted should be marked accordingly. Interested parties are advised that technical data submitted to the Government in response to this request may be released to non-Government advisors for review and analysis.

Send responses to Ms. Sandra Palmatier;


Phone: 937-656-9599; fax 937-255-3466;

Mailing address: ASC MSW/TSMSS, Bldg. 560, 2530 Loop Road West, WPAFB OH 45433-7101.

KC-135 Tanker Replacement Program (KC-X) is an Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) program. The current status is Request for Information and it is a Category A – Research and Development.

Solicitation No. KC-X (KC-135 RTA)

Request for Information Response Date: 09 Jun 2006

NAIC Code: 336411 Dollar Amount: N/A

How to contact this program: All correspondence should clearly identify which part (A or B) that it is addressing.

POC: Sandra Palmatier, Tel: (937) 656-9599

Tanker Systems Modernization Systems Squadron, ASC TSMSS/PK, Bldg 560 Room 159, 2530 Loop Rd W, WPAFB, OH, 45433-7101

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Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, ASC - Aeronautical Systems Center, 2275 D Street, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, 45433-7218
Aeronautical Systems Center, Mobility Systems Wing, Tanker System Modernization Systems Squadron, Bldg. 560, 2570 Loop Rd. W., WPAFB OH 45433-7101
Sandra Palmatier, Contracting Officer/Contract Negotiator, Phone 937-656-9599, Fax 937-255-6350, Email