(Farnborough, July 15, 2008) -- The Chief Executive Officers of Northrop Grumman and EADS - Dr. Ronald Sugar and Louis Gallois - have reaffirmed their joint commitment to provide the United States Air Force with the most capable aerial refueling tanker in the world.
Northrop Grumman and EADS have established a strong track record of successful transatlantic cooperation. Collaborative programs such as EuroHawk, a joint venture between Northrop Grumman and EADS to provide unmanned signals intelligence (SIGINT) surveillance and reconnaissance systems to the German MoD, and the KC-45 tanker, a Northrop Grumman-led program based on the EADS A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) refueling aircraft, reflect the depth of experience and industrial commitment of the two companies.
Allied industrial partnerships result in increased competition, technological innovation and reduced cost on both sides of the Atlantic-benefits that support U.S. Executive and Congressional defense procurement objectives. In addition, U.S. federal, state and local economies will directly benefit through increased industrial opportunities created by the KC-45 tanker program including establishment of an aerospace corridor of excellence throughout the Southeastern United States.
The CEOs expressed their continued confidence in and support of the Northrop Grumman KC-45 tanker, emphasizing it is the only system that is ready now to recapitalize the aging U.S tanker fleet. Based on the commercially successful A330 aircraft, the KC-45 benefits from the extensive flight testing and certification process already completed for the Australian MRTT program. Along with the U.S. Air Force, in the last five competitions, key allies also have selected the tanker aircraft on which the KC-45 is based including the air forces of Australia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The CEOs declared, "We applaud the decision of the Secretary of Defense to complete the tanker recompetition in an expeditious timeframe, one properly focused on addressing the procedural flaws identified by the Government Accountability Office. We look forward to meeting with DoD and Air Force officials and are prepared to respond quickly to the amended Request For Proposal. As a team, we are ready to get back to work and begin delivering the world's most capable tankers to the U.S. Air Force."