EADS to bid alone for KC-X tanker

 - May 6, 2010, 9:30 AM

EADS has decided to bid the A330MRTT for the U.S. Air Force KC-X requirement again, this time without a major North American partner. Ralph Crosby, chairman of EADS North America, said that the Pentagon had recognized EADS North America as a qualified prime contractor. Leaving Boeing as the sole-source bidder “harms the U.S. taxpayer,” Crosby added. Announcing the decision to compete after all, the European company made repeated references to the maturity of its product, now almost ready for service with the Royal Australian Air Force. EADS North America CEO Sean O'Keefe attempted to explain why he had changed his mind over the fairness of the KC-X solicitation terms. “We think we will pass all 372 criteria...that becomes a distinct advantage,” he said. Crosby suggested that Boeing would have to price a higher development risk. To emphasize U.S. content, EADS paraded senior officials from nine existing American subcontractors on the A330 airliner, as well as Cobham, whose refueling pods would supplement the EADS-designed refueling boom. Bids are due on July 10.