NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Airbus parent EADS will compete head-to-head with Boeing ( BA) for a U.S. military refueling plane contract worth up to $50 billion and said it's in discussions with potential U.S. partners.

EADS North America said it intends to submit a proposal in July.

EADS CEO Louis Gallois said Wednesday "it is indispensable to have a partner," Reuters reports.

EADS, along with Northrop Grumman ( NOC), won a previous contest in 2008 for the refueling plane contract. Boeing appealed the award, the award was overturned and Northrop Grumman pulled out of the bidding.

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