SOURCE: EADS North America

EADS North America

May 19, 2010 12:32 ET

EADS North America's KC-45 Again Demonstrates Readiness for U.S. Air Force Operations

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2010) -  In the latest demonstration of the readiness and capability of the EADS North America KC-45 aerial refuelling tanker, two A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft have completed successful tanker-to-tanker refueling missions. The KC-45 is the configuration of the Airbus Military A330 MRTT being offered to the U.S. Air Force, and is the only tanker in the Air Force competition that is flying and refueling today. The KC-45 will be built by 48,000 Americans nationwide, and if selected will be complemented by production of civilian freighter aircraft in Mobile, Alabama.

The two A330 MRTTs that completed the tanker-to-tanker refueling operations are in certification flights for Australia, one of four American allies that have selected the A330 MRTT over Boeing 767 tankers. The A330 MRTT has also successfully refueled F-16 and F/A-18 fighters, and the large, aerodynamically complex E-3 AWACS.

"The 'buddy' refueling missions underscore the KC-45's ability to conduct large fuel onloads and offloads, and reconfirm it as the only tanker in the U.S. Air Force competition that meets the warfighter's needs and is flying today," said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "With the KC-45, America's warfighters have a mature, mission-ready answer for their critical refueling requirements."

During the buddy refueling missions, one MRTT passed fuel from its advanced Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS) through the other aircraft's Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI), mounted above and behind the cockpit. Both systems are identical to those offered on the KC-45 and meet U.S. Air Force performance requirements for its KC-X tanker fleet modernization program.

The KC-45 configuration also features the all-digital Cobham 900-series hose & drogue refueling pods, which have also performed numerous successful refueling operations with the A330 MRTT and probe-equipped receiver aircraft. The A330 MRTT offers the most advanced aerial refueling systems flying in the world today.

A total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered to date, with the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joining Australia on the customer list. Aircraft are now in tanker conversion, flight test or final certification for all four of these international customers -- underscoring the tanker program's maturity and sustained production pace.

EADS North America will build and modify the KC-45, along with A330 commercial freighters, at a new aerospace center of excellence to be constructed in Mobile, Alabama. The addition of freighter manufacturing could increase total aircraft production significantly, with an associated increase in American jobs. The KC-45 and A330 freighter will support a U.S. supplier team of more than 200 companies across America.

To learn more about the KC-45, visit

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.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Guy Hicks
    Vice President
    Communications and Public Relations
    EADS North America
    Tel: 703-236-3346
    Email Contact