The European consortium that is the parent of Airbus said on Apr. 20 that it plans to bid on a $35 billion contract to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. There had been speculation that EADS might drop out of the contest after its junior partner, Northrop Grumman (NOC), pulled out in March. The pair beat out rival Boeing (BA) in a 2008 tender for the same contract, but the result was annulled after Boeing complained it had been unfairly disadvantaged. EADS has plans to build a plane assembly plant in Alabama as part of an effort to create a larger presence in the U.S.