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Arlington, VA, 12 January 2005

EADS North America will select a site for a Military Modification and Assembly Line (MMAL) for the production of aerial refueling aircraft in the United States. This site would be the center of industrial activity for the KC-330 advanced tanker aircraft, which the company plans to offer the U.S. Air Force. It also will be the location of a new Airbus Long-Range Aircraft Engineering Center in the United States, with operation beginning in early 2006.

A request for information (RFI) on potential center locations was issued today to all 50 states by EADS North America. Today’s RFI release initiates a site search process that will result in a selection in the fourth quarter of 2005. The company has chosen The Staubach Company, a national real estate firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas, to manage the site selection process.

“The expansion of EADS’ aircraft engineering and production capability in the U.S. is a significant strategic milestone for the company,” said Ralph Crosby, EADS North America’s Chairman and CEO. “We are selecting a Military Modification and Assembly Line site in order to be fully prepared to respond to a U.S. Air Force tanker modernization competition. Future U.S. tankers will be produced in America, and the EADS North America MMAL production site will be complemented by a strong U.S. tanker industrial team. The new Airbus Long-Range Aircraft Engineering Center, the first phase in our industrial preparation, will begin operations at the chosen site in early 2006.”

When a tanker program competition is held, EADS North America intends to offer the KC-330 advanced tanker to meet the USAF’s next-generation in-flight refueling requirements. The company previously announced that it will team with U.S. industrial partners, and has committed to developing assembly and support facilities in the United States that could eventually employ more than 1,100 persons.

EADS North America envisions a multi-step process to create facilities for the KC-330 program. The company will begin with the establishment of an Airbus Long-Range Aircraft Engineering Center to support A330, A340 and A350 aircraft technical needs, and will begin operation in the first quarter of 2006. This new center, which will employ more than 100 skilled aerospace engineers, is in addition to the Airbus engineering facility located in Wichita, Kansas.

The next step would be the creation of an MMAL if the KC-330 advanced tanker is selected for U.S. Air Force mission requirements. A substantial KC-330 order from the U.S. government would lead to the expansion of these facilities and would include tanker final assembly.

It is expected that all of the facilities will be established at – or near – the same site. Requirements for the location include an airport with a minimum 9,000-ft.-long runway; the area to accommodate a total of 1.5 million sq. ft. of production, hangar and office space; a transportation infrastructure with good access via rail and road, and a means of large volume transport to a deep-water seaport.

A key consideration in site selection will be a potential employment base that is able to meet the demands of world-class aircraft manufacturing. Another factor will be the location’s ability to establish a cooperative relationship with a nearby university or other institute of higher education with a strong aerospace department and research capability.

The total ramp-up of employment – which is highly dependent on delivery rates for the KC-330 – may reach 1,150 by 2012. Based on U.S. Department of Commerce estimations, each of these positions could generate an estimated three additional new jobs for related services. Added to this number would be employment generated by the industrial teammates in support of program requirements.

Representatives from interested states will be invited to an “information day” event planned for February 15th in the Washington, D.C. area to answer questions and provide additional data on the site selection process. It is envisioned that a smaller number of qualifying states will be issued a request for proposal (RFP) in the second quarter leading to a final selection by year end. Further details on the aircraft engineering center RFI and information day will be accessible through the KC-330 advanced tanker website:

About EADS North America ( )
EADS North America is the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $6 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 100,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. With 12 operating companies located in 39 cities and 21 states, EADS offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets. In 2003, EADS generated revenues of 30.1 billion euros and employed a workforce of approximately 109,000. The EADS Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the world's largest helicopter supplier, Eurocopter.

EADS North America Subsidiaries: EADS North America Defense Company, Arlington, VA; ARC Information Assurance Institute, San Antonio, TX; American Eurocopter LLC, Grand Prairie, TX; EADS Aeroframe Services, LLC, Lake Charles, LA; EADS CASA North America, Chantilly, VA; Socata Aircraft, Inc., Pembroke Pines, FL; EADS Sogerma Barfield, Inc., Miami, FL; Fairchild Controls Corporation, Frederick, MD; Racal Instruments, Irvine, CA; EADS Supply & Services, Rockville, MD; EADS TELECOM North America, Frisco, TX; TYX, Reston, VA.

About Airbus ( )
A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.

For more information about EADS North America, visit or contact Guy Hicks, Vice President –Communications, Tel: 703 236-3300, e-mail:

Additional information on the KC-330 advanced tanker is available at:

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