Like politicians running for public office, the KC-30's nationality seems to change with what ever constituency it is pandering to at the moment.
In case you missed it, last month EADS won an in-name-only competition to lease 14 tankers to the British Air Force for $26 billion dollars. (We will save our commentary for later on how crazy this price is even if it does include infrastructure, training and maintenance services. BTW: In the US we are buying 179 of them for $35 billion. Talk about king of all lease rip offs!)
The interesting thing is that when the British government names the contractors working on the tankers, which we are told are near identical to those the US Air Force wants to buy, Northrop Grumman is not mentioned:
The contract,...was handed to AirTanker Ltd, a consortium led by Franco-German group EADS which includes Cobham, Rolls-Royce and VT Group of Britain as well as Thales of France, the government said.
But some how that same plane is then marketed as America's tanker and has Northrop Grumman listed as the prime contractor here in the good old USA. As we have said on other occasions, "we couldn't make this up if we tried."
We at Tanker War Blog refuse to suspend our disbelief on the nationality of the KC-30, especially when the first of tanker scheduled to be deliver as part of the contract is currently sitting in a hanger in Germany just waiting for the resolution of Boeing's protest. (See photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman above.)
Any nominations for this first EADS tanker delivered to the US be named "The Spirit of Mobile"? It might be fitting given all the phantom Alabama jobs it is supposedly creating.