Boeing Defends Company Integrity To Build The KC-X Tanker Aircraft <


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Boeing Defends Company Integrity To Build The KC-X Tanker Aircraft

By Eddy Metcalf

April 21, 2010 - The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS), parent company of Airbus, today announced that it will re-enter the competition for the U.S. Air Force KC-X Tanker contract through its subsidiary, EADS North America. The Air Force has said that EADS' announcement of intent will extend the proposal deadline by 60 days, from May 10 to July 9. The Boeing Company responded with the following statement:

"From the outset, Boeing has been 100 percent focused on responding to the needs of our Air Force customer and preparing a competitive proposal. Only Boeing can produce a tanker that will meet the Air Force's 372 requirements and promise delivery of a combat-ready, safe and survivable tanker that is the most capable for the warfighter, the lowest cost for the taxpayer, and backed by Boeing's proven U.S. work force.

"We are confident in the superior value and capabilities of our NewGen Tanker and intend to present a compelling case for it in our proposal. While we are disappointed in the bid submission delay, we hope for a fair and transparent competition free of any additional changes intended to accommodate a non-U.S. prime contractor.

"We also remain deeply concerned about the ability of a heavily subsidized Airbus/EADS to accept levels of financial risk that a commercial company such as Boeing cannot. We regret that these concerns will not be addressed in the bid evaluation, even when the U.S. government has proven in a world court that those subsidies are illegal and directly distort competition between Airbus and Boeing."

The Boeing NewGen Tanker will meet all 372 requirements set forth by the Air Force in its search for a medium-size tanker to replace the KC-135 fleet. It will be a widebody, multi-mission aircraft based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial aircraft, updated with the latest and most advanced technology. And it will provide more fuel and more cargo to more warfighters in combat.

Boeing will build the NewGen Tanker with a low-risk approach to manufacturing that relies on existing Boeing facilities in Washington state and Kansas as well as U.S. suppliers throughout the nation, with decades of experience delivering dependable military tanker and derivative aircraft. Nationwide, the NewGen Tanker program will support approximately 50,000 total U.S. jobs with Boeing and more than 800 suppliers in more than 40 states.

The Boeing NewGen Tanker also will save American taxpayers more than $10 billion in fuel costs over its 40-year service life because it is 24 percent more fuel-efficient than the Airbus A330. It will cost 15 to 20 percent less to maintain, saving hundreds of millions of dollars over its service life.

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