Northrop Grumman Stands Ready to Support Air Force Tanker Decision
GAO Analysis Does Not Alter the Air Force Finding that the KC-45 is the Superior Tanker
WASHINGTON -- June 25, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) said, today, that it continues to support the United States Air Force and looks forward to its next steps regarding the direction of the KC-45 tanker program. This follows today's public release of the full Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis of the original tanker contract award to Northrop Grumman.
"The document makes clear that the GAO's issues with the contract do not reflect on the tankers' capabilities. In fact, in several areas key to the selection decision the GAO found no basis to object to the Air Force evaluation," said Paul Meyer, Northrop Grumman vice president of Air Mobility Systems and KC-45 program manager. "We look forward to a prompt assessment from the Air Force concerning what happens next."
On Feb. 29, the Air Force selected Northrop Grumman to provide the next generation of aerial refueling tanker, the KC-45. The Air Force has an urgent need to replace its aging tanker fleet.
"The KC-45 is needed now, and Northrop Grumman is ready now to provide it," said Meyer. "Should the Air Force choose to proceed with our existing contract, we are ready to get to work. Northrop Grumman offered the superior tanker and nothing in the GAO analysis contradicts this essential truth.
"Northrop Grumman remains the only company in this competition that has built, tested and flown its plane. In addition, our refueling boom has just completed its 100th flight test. At this point, our competitor has offered only a paper plane," Meyer said. "For our men and women in uniform, the most important thing is to field the new tanker as soon as possible. Only Northrop Grumman is ready to do that."
About the KC-45
The KC-45 Tanker aircraft will be assembled in Mobile, Ala. - establishing Mobile as the new cornerstone of the Southern Aerospace Corridor. The program will employ 48,000 American workers at 230 U.S. companies in 49 states; and 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.
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