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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) ï¿½ The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. will manage a U.S. military helicopter assembly operation potentially worth $3 billion out of Huntsville, the company announced Friday.
The contract to build up to 352 UH-145 helicopters for the military's light utility helicopter program was awarded to the EADS Friday. The helicopters will be assembled by the company's American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss.
It's the company's first major military contract.
"When EADS North America was created four years ago, we committed to in-source U.S. jobs of high value, bring the best technology to America, and contribute to homeland security," said Ralph D. Crosby Jr., EADS North America's Chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. "The UH-145 will enable us to deliver once again on all three promises."
It's becoming more and more clear that the US military is allowing real competition for its contracts. In the long run this is good news as it will force US companies to be more innovative and efficient.
The tanker competition could be very interesting. An EADS win for that would bring Alabama up to 3 major EADS facilities. Definitely not something I would have predicted a few years ago.