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Aerospace and Defense

Shelby lauds Airbus-Lockheed announcement

Airbus Americas and Lockheed Martin in Mobile, Alabama, intend to compete in the U.S. Air Force KC-Y aerial refueler competition.

A photo from inside Airbus's factory.

Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee on defense, praised the announcement by Airbus Americas and Lockheed Martin in Mobile, Alabama, regarding their intention to compete in the U.S. Air Force KC-Y aerial refueler competition.

“I commend Airbus and Lockheed Martin for continuing to recognize Alabama’s commitment to excellence in manufacturing and engineering.  Across the state, our workforce produces world-class products that serve to strengthen national security and maintain military readiness.  The LMXT is yet another opportunity to demonstrate our staunch devotion to the warfighter.  Alabama knows aerospace, and I trust Airbus and Lockheed to harness the talent Mobile has to offer to deliver the product our Air Force deserves,” said Shelby.

If the Airbus-Lockheed Martin LMXT aircraft is selected by the Air Force, Lockheed Martin will be the prime contractor and base its LMXT offering on the Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport, which is currently in service with 13 U.S. allies around the world.  The baseline Airbus A330 aircraft will be built in Mobile, Alabama, and converted to the LMXT military tanker in Marietta, Georgia.  The A330ceo (current engine option) Final Assembly Line will involve the construction of a new $400 million facility located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley with more than 300 direct employees. 

The Request for Proposal for the competition is expected in 2023, with the projection that the Air Force will award the contract in 2024.

Congressman Jerry Carl, R-Mobile, issued the following statement regarding Airbus and Lockheed Martin’s partnership to build the LMXT tanker for the United States Air Force. Airbus 330s would be built in Mobile and then converted into tankers in Marietta, Georgia: “I applaud Airbus and Lockheed Martin for choosing Mobile to produce an aircraft that is already known to be a proven solution for the Air Force. I’m proud my colleagues in the Alabama delegation and I were able to work together and get this project moving so Alabama can continue supporting the defense needs of the United States. Alabama has always been at the forefront when it comes to the aerospace industry and providing for our national defense, and thanks to the partnership between Airbus and Lockheed Martin, Alabamians will have the opportunity to provide an Alabama-built aircraft for all Americans.”

The LMXT is an Air Force-unique platform, building on the proven airframe of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport tanker that serves 13 nations today.  The tanker aircraft is already proven and capable, as it has been refueling U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft in combat since 2015. Further, the LMXT has the greatest flight range, carries the most fuel of any tanker in the world, and completes automated aerial refuelings – giving the U.S. Air Force even more capability.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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