EADS and Boeing Battle for USAF Tanker Deal

Contributor:  Defence IQ Press
Posted:  05/26/2010  12:00:00 AM EDT
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Airbus parent EADS and Boeing are preparing to do battle over the US Air Force’s $50 billion KC-X aerial refuelling tanker contract, after EADS North America notified the US Department of Defense that it will compete for the deal as a prime contractor.

EADS was to have partnered with Northrop Grumman to offer the KC-45, which is a variant of the Airbus A330 airliner, but Northrop Grumman withdrew from the competition in February of this year, so EADS has decided to lead a bid on its own. Boeing and EADS must submit proposals by the 8th July.

The KC-X competition is for 179 aircraft to replace some of the U.S. Air Force’s vast KC-135 fleet. EADS plans to establish a modification facility in Mobile, Alabama, to convert A330-200s into tanker-transports. The company had reportedly discussed new teaming arrangements with US prime contractors such as L-3 Communications and Raytheon, but in the end, decided to go it alone.

Other members of the EADS team include AAR Cargo, Cobham, Eaton, General Electric, GKN, Goodrich, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, RTI and Vought.

EADS is very confident that the KC-45 is the best technical solution to meet the requirement, but other factors may decide the eventual outcome.

Defence IQ Press Contributor:   Defence IQ Press

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