Release Details

Northrop Grumman KC-45: Why We Won - Takeoff Performance

April 30, 2008

Highlighting reasons the U.S. Air Force selected the KC-45 Tanker as best for our men and women in uniform.

WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The U.S. Air Force found Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) bid to build the next generation of aerial refueling tankers superior to Boeing's in four of the five most important selection criteria. Despite this fact, the losing bidder wants the Government Accountability Office to overturn the Air Force decision to award the contract to Northrop Grumman even though the Air Force conducted what even Boeing described as a fair, open and transparent bidding process. Here is another reason Northrop Grumman won, drawn from a list of facts included in the Mission Capability section of a redacted version of a protected Air Force selection document.

Takeoff Performance

The Air Force concluded that the more capable Northrop Grumman KC-45 featured better takeoff performance. This capability, in combination with the other characteristics of this modern airframe, provides the Air Force with greater basing and operational flexibility than Boeing's proposed KC-767.

Specifically, the Air Force found that Northrop Grumman's superior aircraft "Can take off with more fuel load from a 7,000 foot runway" than the KC-767.

Superior takeoff performance provides many operational advantages.

Compared to Boeing's KC-767, the KC-45 can launch with more fuel from the same length of runway, providing longer range, more time aloft, and the ability to refuel more aircraft per sortie.

In military operations, the KC-45 can launch with a fuel load equal to the KC-767's maximum fuel load using a takeoff roll over 1,000 feet shorter.

The KC-45 can take off from more airfields around the world than the KC-767 carrying a fuel load equal to or greater than Boeing's maximum. Greater airfield availability increases the Air Force's future basing and operational flexibility.

This means that in the critical matter of refueling -- the primary mission of a tanker -- Northrop Grumman's plane can carry more fuel, fly greater distances, stay airborne longer, and refuel more aircraft in combat operations than Boeing's proposed aircraft, providing what the Air Force termed "Significant refueling advantages" over Boeing.

Northrop Grumman's takeoff superiority is one reason why Gen. Duncan McNabb, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, told reporters when Northrop Grumman's win was announced Feb. 29 that the KC-45 "Will provide global reach."

"In short, these new tankers will keep us global by extending the range and persistence of our aircraft and those of our joint and coalition partners," McNabb said.

About the KC-45

The KC-45 Tanker aircraft will be assembled in Mobile, Ala., and the KC-45 team will employ 48,000 American workers at 230 U.S. companies in 49 states. It will be built by a world-class industrial team led by Northrop Grumman, and includes EADS North America, General Electric Aviation and Sargent Fletcher.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

SOURCE Northrop Grumman Corporation
CONTACT: Randy Belote, +1-703-875-8525,, or Tim Paynter, +1-321-961-1101,, both of Northrop Grumman Corporation
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