With every competition, there will inevitably be a winner and a loser. Although there is a lot of excitement in the Seattle area that Boeing won the Air Force tanker contract with their 767 (KC-46A) aircraft, there are many in the Mobile, Alabama area who are very disappointed. If they won the contract, EADS planned to build their Airbus A330 based tanker (the KC-45) in Mobile. There is no word yet if EADS will appeal the decision, but they did post a statement on their website about the tanker selection. Here is their statement in full:
EADS North America statement concerning U.S. Air Force Tanker selection
Arlington, Virginia, 24 February 2011
EADS North America officials today expressed disappointment and concern over the announcement by the U.S. Air Force that it had selected a high-risk, concept aircraft over the proven, more capable KC-45 for the nation’s next aerial refueling tanker.
’œThis is certainly a disappointing turn of events, and we look forward to discussing with the Air Force how it arrived at this conclusion,’ said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. ’œFor seven years our goal has been to provide the greatest capability to our men and women in uniform, and to create American jobs by building the KC-45 here in the U.S. We remain committed to those objectives.’
If selected, EADS North America had committed to build the KC-45 at a new production facility in Mobile, Alabama, with a U.S. supplier base of nearly a thousand American companies.
’œWith a program of such complexity, our review of today’s decision will take some time,’ Crosby said. ’œThere are more than 48,000 Americans who are eager to build the KC-45 here in the U.S., and we owe it to them to conduct a thorough analysis.’
’œThough we had hoped for a different outcome, it’s important to remember that this is one business opportunity among many for EADS in the United States,’ said Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS North America. ’œWe have exceptional technology and highly capable platforms that will be invaluable to U.S. military forces, now and in the future. We have learned much through this process, developed a world-class organization in the U.S. and have earned the respect of the Department of Defense. Our commitment to our U.S. customers is stronger than ever.’