An EADS press release - 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, 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.?
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.?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. For more information, go to www.eads.net