Partnership grows for Rockwell Collins and Boeing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Partnership grows for Rockwell Collins and Boeing

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins and Boeing have had a strong partnership over the years that has helped forge some of our country's biggest moments. Now, the latest product of their partnership could benefit Iowans in more ways than one.

Cedar Rapids' largest employer Rockwell Collins is partnering with Boeing in creating the NewGen Tanker. It's a refueling aircraft and the United States Air Force is considering purchasing a fleet of 179 aircrafts.

Boeing says it's actually a matter of national security.

''Refueling enables our ability to project power, to deliver humanitarian aid,'' said William Barksdale of Boeing.

It's also something that would serve as an economic boost for Cedar Rapids and beyond.

''After the devastating floods of 2008, we need jobs more than ever,'' said Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett.

If selected, Boeing projects the undertaking will support 800 Iowa jobs and carry with it an economic benefit to the tune of $40 million.

Boeing says it's the solution for an Air Force looking to replace some of its older tankers.

''It's combat ready, and it's low-cost. It's the right-size tanker to minimize fuel burn which will save the U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars over the life of the program,'' said Chuck Woods of Boeing.

Rockwell Collins will provide various air traffic management software and the aircraft's flight deck technology, all designed with the pilot's needs in mind.

''It really allows the user to centralize the information and to keep their head up, focused on the mission,'' said David Nieuwsna of Rockwell Collins.

Online Reporter: Jason Epner


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