Manufacturer details workshare proposals as it goes head-to-head with Boeing

EADS Casa is offering early delivery of an unmodified Airbus A330-200 to the Royal Australian Air Force to enable earlier withdrawal of its Boeing 707-320Cs from service as part of its bid for the Project Air 5402 new generation tanker-transport requirement.

Australia is also being offered work packages on the global A330-200 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) programme, and in-country modification of four out of the five aircraft that would be acquired. EADS claims the total cost of the five aircraft acquisition and the first three years of maintenance will be less than the published A$1.7 billion ($1.2 billion) the government has budgeted for the project. It is competing against Boeing, offering new-build 767-200s.

EADS bid documents released to Flight International show the first fully modified MRTT is due to be delivered to the RAAF in July 2007, with the rest in December 2007, July 2008, February 2009 and September 2009.

The early delivery option is based on one green aircraft being provided to the RAAF 18 months after firm orders are placed. The Australian Defence Materiel Organisation is hoping to finalise a source selection and contract signature by July 2004, meaning the lead aircraft would enter service in late 2005. That aircraft would be temporarily withdrawn from service later for modification to MRTT configuration, re-entering service as the last delivered aircraft.

EADS is teamed with Qantas Defence Services, which would fit air-to-air refuelling equipment to aircraft 2-5 in Australia and provide through-life support. Australian Aerospace, an EADS subsidiary, would provide through-life support of air-to-air refuelling systems on the aircraft. The team includes ADI, GKN Aerospace Engineering Services Australia and CAE.

Source: Flight International