Boeing has won a $2.1 billion contract from US Air Force for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits.
This order is the third low-rate initial production lot for Boeing. The first two came in August 2016 and included seven and 12 planes, respectively, as well as spare parts, the company announced Friday.
Boeing plans to build 179 of the 767-based refueling 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 program," said Col. John Newberry, Air Force KC-46 System program manager. "I know the warfighter 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 KC-46A tankers. Those test aircraft, along with the first production plane, have completed nearly 1,500 flight hours to date.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility.
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The first Boeing KC-46A tanker that will be delivered to the U.S
Boeing has been awarded a $101.8 million modification contract for initial common spares and readiness spares packages in support of production aircraft lots 1 and 2 for the KC-46 modernization program
Boeing has been awarded a $7.4 million modification contract for Phase III KC-46 tanker/receiver aerial refueling airplane simulator qualification data collection study
Boeing will likely push delivery of the US Air Forces first KC-46 air-to-air refueling tanker to early 2018 from this year, as various problems have emerged during flight tests. In May, KC-46 program manager Mike Gibbons said the first tanker would fly around October 2017 and soon after would be delivered to the Air Force
A new Boeing aerial refueling tanker KC-46A Pegasus is undergoing series of avionics tests in Benefield Anechoic Facility (BAF) to demonstrate that it meets Federal Aviation Administration certification requirements. The company wants the tanker aircraft to meet DOD electromagnetic environmental effects requirements for systems
Boeing has lodged legal action against Denmark Defense officials for refusing to fully disclose documents, showing how it evaluated competing fighter jets before it selected Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet. “Its been almost six months since we requested the documents, and the ministry has not responded as required,” said Tom Bell, a senior vice-president of global sales and marketing with Boeing's Defense, Space and Security unit
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