News that Boeing will secure a license from AgustaWestland for production of a medium-lift helicopter for the U.S. Navy’s VXX Presidential Helicopter Program got a fast response from EADS North America. AgustaWestland is owned by Italy’s Finmeccanica.
EADS plans to bid against Boeing on a tanker for the U.S. Air Force.
Here is EADS response: "We're pleased that Boeing has openly acknowledged the contribution that international teams, products and platforms make to U.S. national security. For several years, Boeing and its allies have been harshly critical of the participation of EADS North America in the KC-X tanker competition. With this announcement, we now expect Boeing to cease its shrill rhetoric and finally allow the KC-X competition to focus on the merits of the tanker offerings."
The license from AgustaWestland will give Boeing the intellectual property, data and production rights for a helicopter to support the presidential helicopter program. Under the arrangement, Boeing would build the aircraft in the U.S. Boeing plans to submit information about the helicopter in response to the Navy’s request for information by the June 18 deadline, the company said.
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Boeing is calling the helicopter Boeing 101. If Boeing is selected, it would be the prime contractor and would design, build and deliver the aircrat. AgustaWestland would be a subcontractor on the program.