Airbus is bringing A330 Freighter assembly to Mobile, but only if they get the tanker. This story broke on Friday when it was first reported by George Talbot of the Mobile Press Register. The on-going battle between Airbus and Boeing ratchets up another notch with this new development from EADS and Airbus.
There are important questions that come along with this, mainly, what happens if Northrop Grumman and EADS don't get (at least part) of the contract? With the A350 coming down the line, there is a finite amount of production capacity in Toulouse. Airbus says that the A330 is a complimentary product to the A350 and the production equation has to balance out eventually. This has the potential so soften the Euro-Zone pain Airbus and EADS have been enduring, so A330F production may be coming to the US after all if the tanker goes to Boeing.
Much more on this as the day progresses.
Airbus A330 Freighters to be Assembled at Mobile, Alabama Facility
Mobile, Alabama; Arlington, Virginia, January 14, 2008 – EADS will co-locate the production of the Northrop Grumman KC-30 Tanker platform and the Airbus A330 civilian freighter aircraft at its Mobile, Alabama aerospace center of excellence, resulting in a robust final assembly line that ensures low risk, high efficiency and increased capacity for both military and commercial customers.
This decision – which is dependent on U.S. Air Force selection of Northrop Grumman’s KC-30 Tanker as its new aerial refueling platform – will further leverage EADS’ investment in its future Alabama facility, located on Mobile’s Brookley Field, and significantly increase its industrial presence in the U.S. market.
Both the KC-30 Tanker and A330 commercial freighter are based on the best-selling, industry-favored Airbus A330 twin-engine jetliner. Co-locating production of these aircraft will add to the efficiency of the Mobile assembly facility, and ensure a smooth and continuing production flow. It will enable EADS to provide its customers more flexibility in the assignment of final assembly slots at Brookley Field for the military aerial refueling platform or the civilian freighter, depending on demand. The site would be expanded to support the production of up to four aircraft per month, ensuring ready capacity to meet the Air Force’s delivery requirements at no risk, while fulfilling the A330 Freighter’s growing order book which is already at 66 aircraft.
Read the complete post at http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/2008/01/airbus-sweetens-the-deal.html
Mon, Jan 14 2008 3:00 PM
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