Monday, September 28, 2015

Airbus still has tanker dream

Could military tankers for the U.S. Air Force eventually be built in Mobile, Ala.? Allan McArtor, Airbus Group CEO, told National Defense magazine that if a future competition required that military tankers be built domestically, Airbus would expand its facilities in Alabama to compete. "That is our industrial home. If we had an opportunity to bid on a tanker program, that is where it would be," he said. Airbus competed against Boeing to build tankers to the Air Force. Airbus won initially, but Boeing protested and eventually won. McArtor is convinced the Air Force would consider buying an Airbus tanker to supplement the Boeing 767-based KC-46A fleet. The opening of a U.S. manufacturing plant in Alabama is a milestone, McArtor says, and while the plant is for commercial planes, it's still a boost to Airbus’ marketing efforts at the Pentagon and could be expanded. (Source: National Defense Magazine, 09/26/15)