EADS submitted its bid for a $35bn contract to build aerial tankers for the US Air Force on 8 July 2010.

EADS North America chairman Ralph Crosby said the company had submitted an 8,000-plus-page proposal to the US Air Force that met all the 372 requirements specified by the US Government.

The firm will offer its KC-45 tanker, an USAF configuration of the Airbus Military A330 multirole tanker transport (MRTT) for the competition.

KC-45 can carry more fuel, cargo and passengers over greater ranges compared with Boeing’s NewGen 767 tanker aircraft.

The aircraft has been validated by over 1,000 boom / hose-and-drogue contacts and refuelling tests involving a wide range of aircraft, including F-16 and F/A-18 fighters, E-3 AWACS and other A330 tankers.

The air force plans to award a contract by November 2010 for 179 airplanes to replace its currently aging fleet.