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Boeing wins $35bn US tanker deal

February 25th, 2011 by David No Comments

Boeing has defeated EADS to win a contract worth $35bn to replace the US Air Force’s fleet of aerial refuelling aircraft with its KC-767 aircraft.

Boeing says the contract calls on it to design, develop, manufacture and deliver 18 initial combat-ready tankers by 2017.

Boeing and EADS had tabled rival bids for the $35bn deal.

In 2008 EADS was announced to have won the contract with with US partner Northrop Grumman.

The award was withdrawn after the US Government Accountability Office upheld Boeing’s objections that the award process has been flawed.

The Boeing and EADS / Grumman Northrop’ bids both highlighted their US credentials.

Boeing is US-based and EADS is French-based, but both companies said the deal would provide around 50,000 US-based jobs, with aircraft production taking place in the US.

The KC-45 aircraft built by EADS is based on the Airbus 330 commercial airliner.

The KC-767, based on the Boeing 767 commercial airliner, will replace 179 Boeing KC-135 tankers.

The US Air Force presently has 400 KC-135s in service. The KC-135 was based on the Boeing 707 airliner, entered service in 1957, with production ceasing in 1965.

“Our team is ready now to apply our 60 years of tanker experience to develop and build an airplane that will serve the nation for decades to come,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing’s chairman, president and chief executive.

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