EADS CEO Louis Gallois has said the company has found US partners to bid for the US Air Force tanker contract worth €29bn ($35bn).

Gallois is confident that the Airbus-designed militarised version of the A330 aircraft can beat its US rival Boeing in the bidding process.

EADS has not disclosed the names of the partners citing that pressure could force them to pull out of the deal, according to AFP.

EADS had previously held talks with US companies Raytheon and L-3 and the US arm of UK firm BAE Systems for the tanker deal.

In February 2008, EADS and its former partner, Northrop Grumman, won the contract, but it was cancelled due to objections from Boeing.