European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADS), looking for ways to increase its presence in the world's largest defense market, will team...

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PARIS — European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADS), looking for ways to increase its presence in the world’s largest defense market, will team up with Raytheon to bid on a contract for new U.S. Army transport planes.

The two companies announced yesterday that Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon would be prime contractor in the bid to oversee the program’s management, while EADS would assemble and deliver the planes in the United States.

“Our team offers the Army a complete, proven cargo-aircraft solution, tailored to meet its demanding mission requirements, while also returning best value to the U.S. taxpayer,” said Ralph Crosby, chairman and CEO of EADS North America.

Raytheon spokeswoman Sabrina Steele said the company is teaming with EADS in part because no U.S.-based aircraft maker can fulfill the requirements for a midsized transport smaller than the Army’s C-130 but larger than the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

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The contract would involve about 33 aircraft at a total cost of around $1 billion, Steele said.

The Raytheon-EADS team will compete with a 50-50 joint venture formed by L-3 Communications Holdings and Italy’s Alenia Aeronautics, a unit of Finmeccanica, with no U.S.-designed aircraft in the running yet.

EADS is offering its light and medium cargo planes, the CN-235 and C-295. About 250 of those propeller-driven models have been sold in 24 countries, with the U.S. Coast Guard among the customers.

EADS, parent of Boeing rival Airbus, is raising its profile in the United States. Besides trying for the Army transport contract, it is seeking a U.S. partner to bid for a major contract to supply mid-air refueling tankers to the Air Force.

Congress last year nullified a potential $23 billion deal with Boeing amid an ethics scandal that led to guilty pleas by two top Boeing executives. The Pentagon is expected to reopen the deal to competition later this year.

Information from Reuters is included in this report.