EADS North America today will submit its response to the U.S. Air Force's request for final proposal revisions in the KC-X aerial refueling tanker competition. EADS North America is offering the KC-45, the only tanker in the competition that is flying now and certified. The KC-45 will be built in the United States by 48,000 American workers.
If the Air Force selects the KC-45, EADS North America will build the tanker along with commercial freighter aircraft at a new aircraft production center in Mobile, Alabama, using a supplier base of hundreds of U.S. companies in more than 40 states.
"Our fighting men and women deserve the most modern, capable and proven tanker in the world, and American workers deserve the jobs that the KC-45 will create here at home," said Ralph D. Crosby Jr., EADS North America Chairman.
"We're proud to compete on the merits of our tanker offering and support the warfighter's right to choose the aircraft they will go to war in."
Because of its superior capabilities and efficiency, the EADS North America KC-45 will provide the Air Force substantial savings in operating costs compared to the concept aircraft that the Boeing company is offering. In true Air Force operational scenarios, Boeing's concept tanker will cost 15% to 44% more, measured on the basis of cost per gallon of fuel delivered, Crosby said.
Demonstrated cost efficiency is one reason that in four straight competitions, U.S. allies have chosen the A330-based tanker that EADS North America is offering the Air Force over the older Boeing 767 tanker. All of the KC-45's refueling systems have been proven in flight, with more than a thousand aerial refueling contacts and over 1.5 million pounds of fuel transferred to a wide range of receiver aircraft.
The concept aircraft and refueling systems that Boeing is offering to the Air Force have never been built, flown or tested.
"We're offering a real aircraft that has proven what it can do for our men and women in uniform, not asking the Air Force and U.S. taxpayers to take a huge gamble on an airplane that only exists on paper," Crosby said.
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