14 Dec 2018

Lockheed Martin and Airbus to explore aerial refuelling opportunities

Lockheed Martin is joining forces with Airbus to explore aerial refuelling opportunities for the US defence sector.

It is thought that this joined up approach will allow the two giants to pool knowledge and experience to address an apparent shortfall in aerial refuelling capability. The move will also ensure that the industry is better equipped to meet the needs of the next generation of tankers.

“Reliable and modernized aerial refuelling is an essential capability for our customers to maintain their global reach and strategic advantage,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson.

“By combining the innovation and expertise of Airbus and Lockheed Martin, we will be well positioned to provide the United States Air Force and allies around the world with the advanced refuelling solutions needed to meet 21st century security challenges.”

Airbus CEO Tom Enders added: “The US Air Force deserves the best aerial-refuelling technology and performance available under the sun and this great industry team, Lockheed Martin and Airbus, will offer exactly that.”

Both companies are said to be adopting a cooperative approach – with the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport at its core – to consider a broad spectrum of opportunities. These range from ways to support critical near-term air-refuelling needs, such as a fee-for-service structure, to conceptualizing the tanker of tomorrow.

Michele Evans, Executive Vice President at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, concluded. “This is a great opportunity for our two companies to combine our expertise – cooperating to develop world-class solutions for critical needs around the world.”

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