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EADS Believes Established A330 Program Will Offset Possible Cost Disadvantages

by: Matthew Potter
April 21, 2010

Category: Alabama, Boeing, EADS, KC-X, KC-X Tanker News, Syndicated Industry News | RSS 2.0

In an article at the Seattle Times, Dominic Gates writes that EADS (EADS:P) is planning on offsetting some of their cost disadvantages related to the bigger aircraft and establishing a new production facility with less development. The aircraft they will offer again for the KC-X program is a modified version of the A330 MRTT already planned for Australia, Great Britain, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The aircraft is a little behind schedule but is in test flights and will deploy the first of five aircraft to Australia this year. The U.K. ones are slated for 2011 and the two oil states will get there aircraft soon after. There will have to be some modifications to the A330 to meet U.S. Air Force needs but they should be minor. EADS feels that Boeing (BA) will have to spend more money to get their 767 based tanker ready as it does incorporate the 787 cockpit and parts of other 767 models. This means that it is not identical to the 767 tankers ordered by Japan and Italy. Japan has received three of their four aircraft while Italy has seen developmental delays and has not received any.

It is expected that the A330 will cost more to manufacture due to its size and the shipping involved to send the components to the U.S. from overseas. The bigger aircraft while capable of carrying more fuel and having a longer range then the 767 will cost more to operate and may require infrastructure investment as it is much larger then the KC-135 tankers being replaced.

Once the proposals are in it will be seen if EADS can do their pricing correctly.

Read the original post here.

From KC-X Tanker News

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