Boe­ing awarded $2.1 bil­lion for third KC-46A tanker pro­duc­tion lot


The US Air Force has awarded Boe­ing $2.1 bil­lion for 15 KC-46A tanker air­craft, spare en­gines and wing air re­fu­elling pod kits. This or­der is the third lowrate ini­tial pro­duc­tion lot for Boe­ing. The first two came in Au­gust 2016 and in­cluded seven and 12 planes, re­spec­tively, as well as spare parts.

Boe­ing plans to build 179 of the 767based re­fu­elling air­craft for the Air Force to re­place its legacy tanker fleet. Tanker de­liv­er­ies will be­gin later this year.

“This award is great news for the joint Boe­ing-Air Force team and re­in­forces the need for this highly ef­fi­cient and ca­pa­ble tanker air­craft,” said Mike Gib­bons, Boe­ing KC-46A tanker Vice Pres­i­dent and Pro­gram Man­ager. “Our Boe­ing in­dus­try team is hard at work build­ing and test­ing KC-46 air­craft, and we look for­ward to first de­liv­ery.”

“Plac­ing an or­der for an­other 15 air­craft is an­other im­por­tant mile­stone for the KC-46 pro­gramme,” said Colonel John Newberry, Air Force KC-46 Sys­tem Pro­gram Man­ager. “I know the war-fighter is ex­cited about bring­ing this next-gen­er­a­tion ca­pa­bil­ity into the in­ven­tory.”

Boe­ing re­ceived an ini­tial con­tract in 2011 to de­sign and de­velop the Air Force’s next-gen­er­a­tion tanker air­craft. As part of that con­tract, Boe­ing built four test air­craft — two con­fig­ured as 767-2Cs and two as KC46A tankers. Those test air­craft, along with the first pro­duc­tion plane, have com­pleted nearly 1,500 flight hours to date.

The KC-46A is a multi-role tanker that can re­fuel all al­lied and coali­tion mil­i­tary air­craft com­pat­i­ble with in­ter­na­tional aerial re­fu­elling pro­ce­dures and can carry pas­sen­gers and cargo. Boe­ing is as­sem­bling KC-46 air­craft at its Everett, Wash­ing­ton, fa­cil­ity.

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