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EADS to Expand its U.S. Industrial Presence Following Selection of Northrop Grumman KC-30 Tanker

EADS to Expand its U.S. Industrial Presence Following Selection of Northrop Grumman KC-30 Tanker

• Northrop Grumman KC-30 Tanker aircraft selected by U.S. Air Force is based on A330 MRTT
• EADS and Airbus have begun work on U.S. facilities to support tanker programme

Amsterdam, The Netherlands --  (EADS) -- 29 February 2008 – Selection of the Northrop Grumman KC-30 Tanker by the U.S. Air Force, a system based on EADS’ A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) and designated by the USAF as the KC-45A, will significantly increase EADS’ industrial presence and commitment in the United States, as well as its role as a U.S.-based defence and homeland security provider.

EADS North America is the partner to Northrop Grumman on the new tanker, with responsibility for assembling airframes and providing completed flight-qualified aircraft and refuelling sub-systems.

KC-30 Aerial Refueling of a B2 Bomber Aircraft. EADS © Photo.

KC-30 Aerial Refueling of a B2 Bomber Aircraft

KC-30 Aerial Refueling of a B2 Bomber Aircraft. EADS © Photo.

KC-30 Aerial Refueling of a B2 Bomber Aircraft

The KC-45A Tanker is based on the EADS A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport). Its airframe is derived from the popular A330 jetliner produced by EADS’ Airbus Division, of which more than 880 have been ordered worldwide in passenger and freighter configurations. The Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD) is responsible within the EADS Group for all military derivative programmes based on Airbus platforms, including tankers.

EADS © Photo.

In addition to the fuel transfer, it covers the control and command systems installed in the rear part of the aircraft and communicates with the entire avionics and communication system of the aircraft. Purchasers of the MRTT Boom are the Australian Armed Forces, the UK and the UAE.

EADS © Photo.

This latest success in a series of competitions worldwide confirms the EADS-based military tanker as the best solution available on the market. Following its purchase by the Royal Australian Air Force, the MRTT solution has been officially ordered by the Royal Saudi Air Force and the UAE Air Force, as well as selected by the Royal Air Force of the UK.

EADS © Photo.

Selection of the KC-45A Tanker was announced today by the U.S. Air Force, culminating a multi-year evaluation. The programme award calls for 179 aircraft with an estimated contract value of US$ 40 billion. The initial KC-45A contract for Northrop Grumman covers four System Design and Development aircraft and is valued at US$ 1.5 billion.

Louis Gallois in Donauwörth, Germany, in January 2008. Joël-François Dumont ©  Photo.

Louis Gallois in Donauwörth, Germany, in January 2008

Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS, stated: “We have committed our energies to this important U.S. Air Force programme and to our team mate Northrop Grumman. Selecting a tanker based on the A330 MRTT will provide the U.S. Air Force with the most modern and capable tanker aircraft available today.”

He added: “This major selection is a win-win for our customers, for allied industrial cooperation and for EADS. It signals a quantum leap forward in our commitment to the U.S. defence customer, reflects and supports our global strategy to increase EADS’ industrial presence in key markets and our goal to balance the company’s defence and commercial portfolios.”

Thomas Enders, President and CEO of Airbus. EADS © Photo.

Thomas Enders, President and CEO of Airbus

Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus said: “Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force can count on the full resources of Airbus to support the KC-45A tanker’s production and delivery. All four System Design and Development aircraft are already in production. Preparatory work is now underway for our commitment to co-locate the final assembly of the tankers and A330 civilian freighter aircraft at Mobile, Alabama, creating the first new large commercial aircraft assembly facility in the U.S. in over 40 years.”

Carlos Suárez, Chairman of EADS CASA and Head of Military Transport Aircraft Division. EADS © Photo.

Carlos Suárez, Chairman of EADS CASA and Head of MTA Division

Carlos Suárez, Chairman of EADS CASA and Head of Military Transport Aircraft Division stated: “This selection is a monumental achievement and firmly establishes the A330 MRTT as the state-of-the-art air refuelling system. The A330 MRTT platform now has won five consecutive global competitions and is clearly the standard for new-generation tankers worldwide.”

Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., PEADS North America Chairman and CEO. EADS © Photo.

Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., PEADS North America Chairman and CEO

“We are proud that the U.S. Air Force chose the Northrop Grumman/EADS team to modernize its aerial refuelling fleet,” said EADS North America Chairman and CEO Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. “EADS has committed our full resources to support this vital programme for our prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Air Force and the warfighters that this system will serve for decades to come. We already have begun the work necessary to expand our U.S. industrial footprint in support of this important programme.”

EADS © Photo.

EADS has made major investments in the KC-45A Tanker, as well as its international tanker programmes, spending more than US$ 100 million to develop the aircraft’s advanced Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), while also building the first airframe – which made its maiden flight last September, and will now begin military conversion to the full aerial cargo configuration.

Production of KC-45A airframes will be performed at Airbus’ new Mobile, Alabama aerospace centre of excellence which houses the Airbus KC-45A final assembly facility. In addition the final assembly of Airbus A330 civilian freighters will be performed there, providing a robust final assembly line to ensure low risk, high efficiency and increased capacity for both the U.S. Air Force and commercial Airbus customers.

The first UH-72A to be delivered to the US-Army lands on the American Eurocopter plant. The UH contract is for up to 352 aircrafts and valued more than US$ 2 billion. They are produced in Columbus Mississippi from 2007. EADS © Photo.

The first UH-72A to be delivered to the US-Army lands on the American Eurocopter plant

EADS North America’s role in support of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A Tanker programme marks its latest contribution to the defence and security of the United States. The company already is supplying through its subsidiary American Eurocopter up to 345 UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters to the U.S. Army for homeland security operations, medical evacuation, passenger/logistics transportation and drug interdiction missions. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard is acquiring CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft, designated the HC-144A, from EADS CASA, and the service operates a fleet of nearly 100 Eurocopter HH-65 helicopters, whose upgrades were provided by American Eurocopter.

EADS CASA delivered on December 6 the first HC-235A (CN-235 CG01) multi-mission aircraft to Lockheed Martin and was selected to serve as the medium-range surveillance Maritime Patrol Aircraft platform for the U.S. Coast Guard. EADS © Photo.

First delivered HC-235A Multi-Mission Aircraft to Lockheed Martin as Maritime Patrol Aircraft platform

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, EADS generated revenues of € 39.4 billion and employed a workforce of about 116,000. The Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world's largest helicopter supplier Eurocopter and EADS Astrium, the European leader in space programmes from Ariane to Galileo. Its Defence & Security Division is a provider of comprehensive systems solutions and makes EADS the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium as well as a stakeholder in the missile systems provider MBDA. EADS also develops the A400M through its Military Transport Aircraft Division.

EADS Corporate Communications :

  • Pierre Bayle +33 1 42 24 20 63 -- Markus Wölfle +49 89 60 73 42 87 -- José María Palomino +34 91 585 77 89

  • Further information on EADS – photo, video, sound bites, background documents – is available at www.medianewsnet.com

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).