SOURCE: EADS North America

EADS North America

July 12, 2010 15:51 ET

Mobile Rally Celebrates KC-45 Tanker Team Move to the Gulf Coast

1,500 Area Workers, 48,000 Nationwide, to Build KC-45 Tankers

MOBILE, AL--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) -  The greater Mobile region today held a community rally to celebrate the relocation of EADS North America's KC-45 Tanker program team to Mobile, Ala. On July 8 the company submitted its proposal in the U.S. Air Force KC-X aerial refueling tanker competition, and reaffirmed its intention to build the KC-45 in Mobile.

KC-45 production will take place at a new aircraft center of excellence to be built at Mobile's Brookley Industrial Complex, creating more than 1,500 direct jobs and thousands more in the greater Gulf Coast area. Nationwide, KC-45 production will create or support 48,000 American jobs across a supplier team of more than 200 companies.

While a final decision from the Air Force is months away, EADS North America is ready to begin work in Alabama, and today began the transfer of its KC-45 program management team of almost 200 employees to its new Mobile offices.

"We're confident in our offering, and want to be ready to get to work right away when the Air Force selects the KC-45," said EADS North America Chairman Ralph Crosby. "Our fighting men and women have waited far too long for a new tanker, and the people of this part of the country have waited far too long for the jobs the KC-45 would bring."

Crosby was joined at today's rally by Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama's 1st Congressional District Representative Jo Bonner, Mobile Mayor Samuel L. Jones and Mobile County Commission President Merceria Ludgood. Crosby praised all the elected officials for unwavering support throughout EADS North America's KC-45 campaign.

"All along we've asked for only one thing: for the Pentagon to select the airplane that is best for the men and women who serve our nation. We're confident that if the best airplane is selected, it will be the KC-45. The KC-45 is the only one in this competition that is flying and refueling today. It is the superior aircraft," said Gov. Riley.

"If the welfare of our warfighters trumps politics in this competition, the Air Force will select the EADS tanker," said Alabama Senator Richard Shelby. "It is clearly the most capable plane, and will be built by American workers to best serve and protect American warfighters."

"The Mobile community is proud to stand arm-in-arm with EADS in the competition for the Air Force tanker," said Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. "The EADS tanker is clearly the superior aircraft, offering more capabilities to the men and women who protect our nation, and at a better value to the taxpayer. EADS' investment in Mobile, combined with a talented workforce and excellent resources and infrastructure, is an important step in turning South Alabama and the Gulf Coast into a world-class center for aviation manufacturing," Sessions added.

If the KC-45 is selected, EADS North America also has committed to building commercial A330 freighter aircraft at Brookley Field -- more than doubling the aircraft production that the tanker alone will bring. 

"EADS' partnership with South Alabama is a natural fit," said Congressman Bonner. "Our region has the talented workforce and the infrastructure to deliver the very best tanker to our war fighters, while laying the foundation for a new aviation corridor along America's Gulf Coast. We are excited to be a part of an EADS team which offers our military the most advanced and adaptable refueling aircraft in the world."

"I am thrilled to partner with a world-class company like EADS North America to help bring badly needed, high-skilled jobs to a workforce unsurpassed in its skill and dedication," added Mobile's Mayor Jones. "As a United States military veteran with deep experience with combat aircraft, I could not be prouder that Mobilians will be at the forefront of building the EADS North America KC-45."

"The partnership between Mobile and EADS North America offers the hardworking women and men of Mobile a critical shot in the arm as we feel the effects not only of the national economic downturn, but of an oil spill that has devastated our community," said Mobile County Commission President Ludgood. "Mobilians are thrilled both at the much-needed jobs this partnership would bring, but also at the opportunity to contribute to the defense of the nation."

The reliability and performance of the KC-45 and its refueling systems has been validated by over 1,000 boom/hose-and-drogue contacts and refuelings involving a wide range of aircraft, including F-16 and F/A-18 fighters, E-3 AWACS and other A330 tankers. The KC-45 is the U.S. Air Force configuration of the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport, which has been selected by four allied nations, winning every head-to-head competition against Boeing tankers. The KC-45 carries more fuel, cargo and passengers over greater ranges than the NewGen concept aircraft that Boeing is offering the Air Force.

To learn more about the KC-45 and see video of refueling operations, visit www.kc-45now.com.

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