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Boeing lands $2.1bn USAF contract for 15 KC-46A multirole tanker aircraft

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World Aviation Defense & Security Industry News - Boeing Defense
 
 
Boeing lands $2.1bn USAF contract for 15 KC-46A multirole tanker aircraft
 
The U.S. Air Force yesterday Jna. 27, 2017, awarded Boeing $2.1 billion for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits, the US-based defense giant announced on its website. 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.
     
Boeing lands 2 1bn USAF contract for 15 KC 46A multirole anker aircraft 640 001A KC-46 Pegasus took to the skies for its first flight at Paine Field in Everett, Wa., Sept. 25, 2015
(Credit: USAF/Jet Fabara)
     
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 will be able to refuel any fixed-wing receiver capable aircraft on any mission. This aircraft is equipped with a modernized KC-10 refueling boom integrated with proven fly-by-wire control system and delivering a fuel offload rate required for large aircraft. In addition, the hose and drogue system adds additional mission capability that is independently operable from the refueling boom system.

Two high-bypass turbofans, mounted under 34-degree swept wings, power the KC-46A to takeoff at gross weights up to 415,000 pounds. Nearly all internal fuel can be pumped through the boom, drogue and wing aerial refueling pods. The centerline drogue and wing aerial refueling pods are used to refuel aircraft fitted with probes. All aircraft will be configured for the installation of a multipoint refueling system.

A cargo deck above the refueling system can accommodate a mix load of passengers, patients and cargo. The KC-46A can carry up to 18 463L cargo pallets. Seat tracks and the onboard cargo handling system make it possible to simultaneously carry palletized cargo, seats, and patient support pallets in a variety of combinations.

Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility.

 

 

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