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Mobile tanker contract could bring millions

A Northrop Grumman official says the construction of a new Air Force tanker in Mobile, Ala., could have an economic impact in south Mississippi of more than $12 million annually.

Leroy Barnidge, vice president for state and local government relations in Melbourne, Fla., where Northrop’s tanker program headquarters is located, spoke Wednesday to a Pascagoula civic club.

If the Northrop and EADS North America’s joint tanker contract survives a protest by rival Boeing Co., Barnidge said a couple of hundred new jobs could come with the contract to Mississippi.

Northrop-EADS plans an aircraft assembly center in Mobile estimated to cost $600 million and create more than 1,000 jobs.