Mil News EADS closes in on RAF tanker deal

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The UK government has named a European consortium as its preferred bidder for a £13bn ($25bn; 19bn euro) contract to build refuelling aircraft for the RAF.
The AirTanker group, led by European defence giant EADS, includes British firms Rolls-Royce and Cobham.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said the government would now "move on with the negotiations on the contract".

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funded project is the biggest so far undertaken by the Ministry of Defence.

Under the PFI scheme, the private sector will own and maintain the refuelling tankers on behalf of the RAF.

The decision is expected to safeguard thousands of jobs in the UK.

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