The KC-46A Pegasus tanker can refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft. Photo: Paul Weatherman, Boeing.
EVERETT (BNS): The US Air Force awarded Boeing $2.8 billion for KC-46A tanker low-rate initial production.
The award includes the first two "production lots" of 7 and 12 planes respectively, as well as spare parts. Including future options, Boeing plans to build a total of 179 of the 767-based refueling aircraft for the Air Force to replace their KC-135 fleet.
"The KC-46 tanker will provide the Air Force unprecedented refueling capabilities, operational flexibility and combat readiness," Leanne Caret, Boeing Defence, Space & Security president and CEO was quoted as saying in the Company news release.
The Defence Acquisition Board has recently reviewed and announced that the KC-46 programme completed "Milestone C" - a set of required ground - and flight-test tests - and is approved for initial production. Those tests included refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, KC-10, C-17 and A-10 aircraft and a cargo handling demo, the release added.
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.