Pentagon on KC-46 tanker; Boeing Charleston bonuses; engineers vs. ‘bean counters’

Yesterday, Air Force officials said they’ll fly Boeing’s new KC-46A tanker more than initially planned, driving up operating costs over the life of the tanker fleet.

Today, the Air Force says it may have to restructure its contract with Boeing if automatic budget cuts, or sequestration, take place (for more on this see Scott Hamilton’s Leeham Co. blog).

Boeing workers in South Carolina will get their first payout from the company’s employee incentive plan. They’ll get an average of 17.95 days of extra pay, reports the Charleston Regional Business Journal. That’s more than the payout for many commercial airplanes workers in the Puget Sound region, who learned last week they’ll get 14.75 days.

Analyst Richard Aboulafia, with the Teal Group, took Boeing corporate officers to task for their engineering and product development strategy in his monthly column. Aboulafia writes that engineers have been nudged aside by company “bean counters.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Chicago’s view of engineering, as seen in management changes, union negotiations, product launch decisions, and design outsourcing moves, is that it’s a secondary consideration, far behind financial and market considerations.

Aboulafia will speak at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference that will be held next week in Lynnwood.

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