Airbus submits bid for US Tanker Project

12.07.2010 Aviation & Space
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Airbus submitted this past Thursady its bid for a huge US military contract for tanker refueling aircraft also eyed by bitter rival Boeing.
Hoping to snare the contract "of the century," executives from Airbus's parent firm EADS said their 8,819-page bidding document was submitted ahead of a Friday deadline.

The winning firm will build 179 aerial refueling tankers for the US Air Force, which Airbus said was worth some 40 billion dollars.

Airbus is proposing a military version of its A330 commercial passenger airliner, the KC-45.

Boeing was expected to submit its proposal on Friday.

With an eye on its US rival, EADS said if it won the contract, a new aircraft manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama would help create 48,000 US jobs.

Airbus and Boeing have traded accusations of unfair competition as they compete for the kudos and cash that come with producing 179 aircraft for the US military.

A third company, US Aerospace, announced it would put up a last-minute bid in partnership with the Russian-Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov. But its ability to meet US military requirements remains uncertain, given its serious financial difficulties. And Antonov has not confirmed its participation in the project.

US Aerospace said on Wednesday that it would like the bid deadline extended by 30 or 60 days.

The Air Force is expected to make its decision by November 12.

It will be the third time the Defense Department has awarded the contract.

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