Northrop Gumman press release:
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC) first KC-30 Tanker aircraft completed initial airframe assembly in July, illustrating an efficient and low-risk approach for quickly replacing the U.S. Air Force’s KC-135 tanker fleet.
The first developmental KC-30 aircraft, designated SDD-1, entered final assembly a month earlier at the EADS commercial aircraft center when technicians began fitting together large subassemblies to create the commercial A330 airframe.
“If we’re successful in our bid to provide the Air Force with the more capable tanker — we’re ready immediately,” said Paul Meyer, Northrop Grumman vice president and general manager of the KC-30 program. “Having the very first KC-30 already completing airframe assembly clearly shows the advantage in leveraging a current and efficient production line, which we feel offers a competitive advantage. We’re absolutely committed to meeting and exceeding the Air Force’s need to quickly replace its mission-critical tanker aircraft.”
Sooner or later a decision on the new tanker needs to made, doesn’t it?