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Northrop CEO: Airbus Deal Will Build 4 US Plants

Northrop Grumman CEO Ronald Sugar says his company plans to build four factories in the United States as part of a partnership with European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS).

"We are putting in, together, jointly, four new factories in the United States," Sugar told CNBC. "We're putting together a significant assembly and military modernization facility in Alabama."

In addition, he said, EADS plans to move production of its commercial freighter planes to Alabama.

Sugar also defended the company's $40 billion contract to build refueling tanker planes in co-operation with EADS unit Airbus.

The deal is being appealed by rival planemaker Boeing.

"This airplane is going to have very substantial American content...more than 60 percent American content," he said. "To simplistically say, or jingoistically say, that one is an American tanker and one is not is absolutely untrue."