Lockheed Martin and Airbus have announced that they will work together to pitch various aerial refueling solutions to the U.S. military. The two companies say the will explore everything from contracting out aerial refueling tankers to collaborating on the development of a next-generation tanker aircraft.
The American defense giant and European aerospace consortium revealed their new partnership in a joint press release on Nov. 4, 2018. The memorandum of understanding between the two firms comes after the U.S. Air Force announced a desire to add 14 new aerial refueling squadrons as part of a larger proposed increase in its overall force structure. The service has also suffered repeated setbacks in getting the first of its new Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers. In addition, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps have increasingly turned to contractors to provide aerial refueling services for training as well as developmental and operational test and evaluation activities in recent years.