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Northrop Grumman KC-45: Why We Won -- Superior Air Refueling

Highlighting Reasons the U.S. Air Force Selected the KC-45 Tanker as Best for Our Men and Women in Uniform.

WASHINGTON -- June 12, 2008 -- The U.S. Air Force found Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) bid to build the next generation of aerial refueling tankers superior to Boeing's in four of the five most important selection criteria. Despite this fact, the losing bidder wants the Government Accountability Office to overturn the Air Force decision to award the contract to Northrop Grumman even though the Air Force conducted what even Boeing described as a fair, open and transparent bidding process. Here is another reason Northrop Grumman won, drawn from a list of facts included in a redacted version of a protected Air Force selection document.

Fuel Offload

When it published its Request For Proposal (RFP) for America's next generation of aerial refueling tankers, the Air Force clearly stated it was placing a priority on superior refueling capacity, the number-one mission for a tanker, even as it sought an aircraft more versatile than the one it was replacing. In the document in which it explained to both companies why Northrop Grumman's bid was superior, the Air Force concluded that Northrop Grumman was better able to transfer fuel to other aircraft -- and receive fuel from other tankers -- than Boeing, earning Northrop Grumman a clear win in this vital evaluation category.

Northrop Grumman "provides better fuel offload at all distances from bases," the document noted. "Benefit: A single (Northrop Grumman tanker) can refuel more receivers and/or provide more fuel per receiver than" Boeing's aircraft.

The reason for this is that Boeing's proposed aircraft would be smaller and would be able to carry less fuel than Northrop Grumman's. Boeing's smaller, less-flexible proposed aircraft left it behind Northrop Grumman in a variety of categories.

"Northrop Grumman offered a superior fuel offload and receive rate...compared to Boeing's," the document notes.

The Air Force also made clear that it found Northrop Grumman's fuel offload capability to be more efficient than Boeing's.

"The (Northrop Grumman aircraft) also provides more pounds of fuel offload per pound of fuel used compared to the (proposed Boeing aircraft) at all ranges."

In its written summary, the Air Force said Northrop Grumman's "Aerial refueling capability was compelling" to its decision. "Northrop Grumman's offer was a superior solution to the air refueling requirement, which is a key performance parameter."

About the KC-45

The KC-45 Tanker aircraft will be assembled in Mobile, Ala., and the KC-45 team will employ 48,000 American workers at 230 U.S. companies in 49 states. It will be built by a world-class industrial team led by Northrop Grumman, and includes EADS North America, General Electric Aviation and Sargent Fletcher.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

CONTACT: Tim Paynter
         (321) 961-1101

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