WASHINGTON -- Northrop Grumman Corp. and its key subcontractor, EADS North America, will join local, state and federal officials and the citizens of Mobile, Ala., in a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, June 28.
Ground will be broken at Mobile's Brookley Field, where two adjacent manufacturing facilities will be built to produce the nation's new fleet of aerial refueling tanker aircraft.
The ceremony has been scheduled pending the outcome of the Government Accountability Office review of the tanker contract award. "We anticipate a favorable decision and look forward to starting construction on this historic facility," said Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer. "We're committed to transforming Mobile into the centerpiece of an expanding aerospace corridor."
"We are excited that Brookley Field will once again be a hub of American military aircraft manufacturing," said Rep. Jo Bonner of Alabama's 1st Congressional District. "There is no doubt that Mobile is poised to be the crown jewel of a rapidly growing aerospace center of excellence in the Southeastern United States, bringing thousands of jobs and creating endless opportunities for our entire region."
EADS North America will deliver the KC-45 aircraft platform to Northrop Grumman.
Airbus, an EADS company, is responsible for manufacturing at its Mobile final assembly facility and will assemble, test and certify the aircraft before delivery.
Following delivery to Northrop Grumman, the aircraft will receive the necessary military modifications to turn the commercial airframe into a U.S. Air Force KC-45 Tanker. In keeping with U.S. Department of Defense requirements, only Northrop Grumman and U.S. government employees with appropriate security clearances will militarize the tanker aircraft.
Northrop Grumman's facility is scheduled for completion and initial operation late next year.