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Defense Department Awards Commercial Air Lift Contracts

Over the last ten years for a variety of reasons the U.S. has heavily used their strategic and tactical airlift to move men and supplies around Afghanistan and Iraq. The geography, location and threat have dictated the heavy use of both fixed and rotary wing assets to conduct this mission.

To further support these efforts commercial air lift and transportation providers have also been used. This includes traditional suppliers such as DHL, UPS (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) as well as charter flights to move troops and their equipment. These commercial providers supplement the available U.S. Air Force C-17, C-5 and C-130 transports.

To continue this kind of support in 2011 the Defense Department awarded a team of airlines a contract worth about $800 million. They also awarded a team led by UPS and JetBlue (JBLU) another contract that could be worth up to $180 million if all options are exercised a contract for international airlift services.

This almost billion dollars of services illustrates the need the U.S. military has for this kind of support. A vast amount of material and personnel is moved every day to all areas of the globe. The internal assets available to the U.S. military cannot support this and the use of commercial capabilities is required.

The support also necessitates a series of support contracts across the world including the controversial fuel contracts in Kazakhstan. When forces are globally deployed this type of support is necessary.

Photo from cliff1066 flickr photostream.

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EADS Announces Contract Win At Paris Airshow

EADS subsidiary EADS Astrium announced at the Paris Air Show that they had won a contract from Kazakhstan. No amount was provided for the award. EADS Astrium was able to win out against Thales SA which is another major French defense conglomerate.

The company will build a satellite integration center in the capital of the Former Soviet Republic. Kazakhstan has a great deal of oil wealth to support these kinds of expenditures. EADS Astrium said eventually the country will build its own satellite program with their help. So more to come on this in the future as that is a fairly ambitious program.

EADS is looking at using the Air Show as a background to announce good news in a year where it has struggled due to the economic crisis across the world.

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