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Move Over, Boeing And Airbus. Third Bidder Looks To Submit KC-X Proposal

US Aerospace And Antonov To Bid On USAF Tanker Program

A third group has announced that it plans to bid on the USAF's KC-X aerial tanker replacement, and the consortium includes another well-known foreign aircraft manufacturer. Aerospace and defense contractor U.S. Aerospace said Tuesday that it has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Antonov to bid on the request for proposal to supply 179 aerial refueling tankers to the U.S. Air Force.

The airframes would be built in Ukraine by Antonov, with final assembly at a new U.S. Aerospace, Inc. facility in the United States. The KC-X Tanker Modernization Program, expected to be the largest contract in Pentagon history, represents the first step of the strategic cooperation between Antonov and U.S. Aerospace, Inc. to supply and service aircraft to the U.S. military and commercial aircraft markets.

Antonov designed, built and operates the world's largest aircraft, the AN-225, which provides strategic airlift capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense and others. Antonov and U.S. Aerospace, Inc. will bid three models for the KC-X program, the AN-124-KC, AN-122-KC, a twin-engine variant of the AN-124-100 with advanced engines, electronics and avionics, and AN-112-KC, an updated airframe designed specifically to meet the tanker program requirements.

"Antonov's participation in the U.S. Air Force tanker bid with U.S. Aerospace, Inc. is an historic opportunity for Antonov to showcase its premier design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities to the world," said Dmytro S. Kiva, President and General Designer of Antonov. "We are extremely pleased to have entered into this agreement with U.S. Aerospace, Inc., and are looking forward to the long-term mutual benefits of our partnership."

"We are honored to be partnering with the world's premier designer and manufacturer of large transport aircraft," said Jerrold S. Pressman, Chairman of U.S. Aerospace, Inc. "We are particularly impressed by Mr. Kiva's strong leadership and vision for the future. Together we can deliver the U.S. Air Force a superior tanker at the most competitive price."

FMI: www.af.mil

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