SOURCE: EADS North America

EADS North America

March 04, 2011 12:12 ET

EADS North America Will Not Protest U.S. Air Force's Aerial Refueling Tanker Selection

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2011) - EADS North America announced today that it will not protest the U.S. Air Force's selection of the Boeing offering in the competition to replace the service's aging fleet of KC-135 aerial refueling tankers.

The company expressed appreciation to the Air Force for running a competition consistent with the rules set out in its Request for Proposal.

"While we are obviously disappointed that our men and women in uniform are not getting the most capable tanker available, we will not take any action that could further delay the already overdue replacement of the Air Force's aging tanker fleet," said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "The bid that we submitted was substantially lower than was submitted in the last competition. Our bid reflected a sound business case and offered a reasonable return to our shareholders."

"We're also proud that our involvement in the competition resulted in very significant savings to taxpayers," Crosby said.

EADS North America's analysis determined that the KC-X bid submitted by The Boeing Company was nearly $16 billion less for 179 aircraft compared to its original tanker lease offer to the Air Force in 2002, when normalized for escalation and differences in aircraft quantities and requirements.

"Much is promised by our competitor, whom we congratulate. However, should they fail to deliver, we stand ready to step in with a proven and operating tanker," said Crosby.

The U.S. Air Force also confirmed that the EADS North America tanker was judged to be superior in capability to the Boeing offering as measured by the service's fleet effectiveness rating.

"We've competed fiercely and demonstrated once again why we have earned a reputation with the Department of Defense for quality, dependability and professionalism," said EADS North America CEO Sean O'Keefe. "Now our focus is on future opportunities and our continued growth. This experience has strengthened our position in the U.S. marketplace."

"We will continue our dialog with the Department of Defense to strengthen our future competitiveness, while also applying relevant lessons learned to the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transports slated for delivery to four U.S. allies," O'Keefe said.

EADS North America is prime contractor on the Coast Guard's HC-144A Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft, and the UH-72A Lakota helicopter for the Army and Navy. More than 150 Lakotas have been delivered from the company's helicopter production center in Columbus, Miss., all on time and on budget.

About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

About EADS
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2009, the Group -- comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter -- generated revenues of EUR 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.

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