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EADS could partner with L-3 for tanker contract

Airbus parent EADS might partner with L-3 Communications Holdings if it decides to bid on a contract to supply aerial refueling tankers to the U.S. Air Force, according to a Reuter’s news report.

Analysts say a strong teaming agreement could help EADS in its bid against Boeing, should it decide to bid. EADS has been in several discussions with potential partners, the Reuter’s report said, including L3, Raytheon Co. and the U.S. unit of Britain’s BAE Systems.

Northrop Grumman pulled out of the tanker competition last month, saying the Air Force’s request for proposal has changed to favor a smaller tanker. Northrop would have offered an Airbus plane as the tanker’s platform. Its departure left Boeing as the sole bidder.