No Solo Attempt

EADS does not plan to bid on its own against Boeing for the Air Force’s KC-X tanker contract or seek another partner in lieu of teammate Northrop Grumman’s exit, company CEO Louis Gallois told reporters Tuesday in Paris. “I don’t see any opportunity to come back alone or with others,” Gallois said, Bloomberg news wire service reported Tuesday (via Business Week). Northrop announced Monday that it was leaving the KC-X competition, claiming the Air Force’s solicitation clearly favored a smaller aerial refueling aircraft like Boeing’s 767-based NewGen Tanker and not Northrop’s larger A330-based model. EADS’ Airbus unit builds the A330 in France now, but would have established a manufacturing presence in Mobile, Ala., together with Northrop, to turn out Air Force tankers. EADS might have also built A330 commercial freighters there. Gallois said such plans for a US plant are off the table now.