EADS North America Intends to Submit Proposal for U.S. Air Force Tanker

Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:07pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

EADS North America announced today that it intends to submit a proposal
on July 9, 2010 for the U.S. Air Force's tanker modernization program and
will offer the KC-45 -- the most capable, American-built solution that is
flown, proven and in production now.

    EADS North America is progressing in discussions with potential U.S.
partners to build a winning team in order to provide the most capable,
best value solution to the Air Force.

    The KC-45 is the only aircraft flying today that meets the U.S. Air
Force's tanker requirements as outlined in its KC-X Request for Proposal
(RFP). The KC-45 builds on the EADS-based tanker that was previously
selected in 2008 by the Department of Defense and that has won the last
five consecutive tanker competitions worldwide.

    "We will offer a modern, more capable tanker in response to the Defense
Department's decision to encourage competition for this major taxpayer
investment," said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "Our
KC-45 is the only real, flying, low-risk solution that today meets the
demanding Air Force air refueling requirements and is actually in
production now. That fact is critical because our warfighters deserve a
true best value solution."

    EADS North America will build and modify the KC-45, along with A330
commercial freighters, at an EADS North America/Airbus production
facility to be constructed in Mobile, Alabama. The KC-45 program and
aircraft production/modification center will create and support tens of
thousands of high-value American jobs while making a long-term investment
in the nation's economy at a time when other aerospace companies are
outsourcing production overseas.

    "This tanker competition is all about the warfighter and the aircraft
that most successfully meets their requirements. The KC-45 offers what
the Air Force needs today: a modern military tanker that is in production
now with deliveries beginning this year," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North
America Chief Executive Officer. "Not only does the KC-45 offer the best
value and a huge capability advantage over the competition, it also will
support tens of thousands of jobs across America by expanding our
nation's industrial aerospace capacity."

    The KC-45 is the U.S. military version of the proven A330 Multi Role
Tanker Transport (MRTT). To date 28 aircraft have been ordered by four
U.S. allies. The MRTT has transferred more than 265,000 lbs. of fuel to a
range of military aircraft -- from F-16 and F/A-18 fighters to the E-3
AWACS -- using the same refueling systems offered on the KC-45. 

    "Our aircraft has demonstrated its unparalleled capability by refueling a
variety of military aircraft utilizing both boom and hose and drogue
systems, as well as by operating in the receiving position. That's a
statement our competition can't make," said Crosby. 

    The Royal Australian Air Force will receive the first A330 MRTTs later
this year. Additional aircraft are in production or undergoing
mission-equipment outfitting for the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates. 

    "We're progressing forward in discussions to expand the ranks of our
nearly 200 current U.S. suppliers, some of which are joining us for
today's announcement," continued O'Keefe. 

    At the heart of the KC-45 is the most capable aerial refueling system
operating today. The aircraft's fly-by-wire Aerial Refueling Boom System
(ARBS) has a demonstrated fuel offload rate of 1,200 U.S. gallons per
minute -- the only system which meets the U.S. Air Force's requirements
without further modification. The system's proven all-electric
fly-by-wire technology ensures enhanced controllability and safety that
greatly aids the boom operator and receiver aircraft's pilot.

    The KC-45 also carries an all-digital hose and drogue system for
probe-equipped aircraft. The under-wing refueling pods are the most
modern in service today, with the capability to deliver up to 420 gallons
of fuel per minute through 90-ft.-long hoses at refueling speeds from 180
to 325 knots. The KC-45 will also feature a modern fuselage refueling
unit, common with that of allied MRTT users such as the United Kingdom. 

    About EADS North America 
 EADS North America is the North American
operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related
services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security,
EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11
billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000
American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in
17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions
to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and
defense markets.

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Contact: Guy Hicks
Vice President, Communications and Public Relations
EADS North America
Tel: 703-236-3346
e-mail: guy.hicks@eads-na.com 

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