It’s Official, KC-X is Three-way Contest

US Aerospace, Inc., a heretofore inconspicuous US aerospace and defense contractor, announced Tuesday that it has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Antonov, the Ukrainian state-owned aerospace giant, to compete for the Air Force’s KC-X tanker contract. We first reported yesterday that this was a possibility. The new team joins Boeing and EADS North America in the tanker contest. “Together we can deliver the US Air Force a superior tanker at the most competitive price,” said Jerrold Pressman, US Aerospace chairman. The US-Ukrainian pair says it will offer the Air Force three Antonov tanker models: the AN-124-KC, AN-122-KC (a twin-engine AN-124-100 variant), and AN-112-KC (an updated airframe designed specifically to meet KC-X requirements).Antonov would build the airframes in Ukraine, with final assembly at a new US Aerospace facility in the US. No word yet who will supply aerial refueling booms for these tankers. (See also Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog entry)