EADS has been in discussions with several aerospace companies in the hopes of securing a key US partner—such as a military aircraft integrator—if it decides to compete for the Air Force’s KC-X tanker contract. Reuters news service reported Tuesday that EADS has reached out to companies including L-3 Communications, Raytheon, and the US unit of Britain’s BAE Systems. Raytheon is definitely out, while L-3 appears to be the most likely player, according to Reuters, citing industry sources and analysts. L-3 is already prime contractor for the Air Force’s C-27J transport. EADS is still mulling whether or not to submit a bid in the aftermath of Northrop Grumman pulling out as leader of the KC-X team they had formed previously. Proposals are due May 10, but the Pentagon has offered to extend the due date by 60 days if EADS is serious about bidding.
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.