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Boeing awarded $2.85Bn order for Lot 4 KC-46 delivery


Boeing has been awarded a US$2,85 billion contract for lot 4 production KC-46 aerial refueling aircraft, initial spares, and support equipment, the US Department of Defense said on September 10, 2018.


Boeing awarded 2.85Bn order for Lot 4 KC 46 delivery 001 Boeing’s KC-46 program received $2.9 billion from the U.S. Air Force for 18 tanker aircraft, support equipment, spare engines and wing air refueling pods
(Credit: Boeing)


According to the Pentagon, the contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 18 KC-46 aircraft, data, two spare engines, five wing refueling pod kits, initial spares, and support equipment being produced under the basic contract.  

"Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by Jan 2022. (...) Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity," the US DoD added.

Boeing received its first two production lots, for 7 and 12 aircraft, in August 2016. The third lot, for 15 aircraft, was awarded in January 2017.Boeing received its first two production lots, for 7 and 12 aircraft, in August 2016. The third lot, for 15 aircraft, was awarded in January 2017.

We’re excited to partner with the Air Force on an aircraft that will provide its fleet unmatched capabilities and versatility,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “This is another big milestone for the team and we look forward to delivering this next-generation, multi-role tanker for years to come.

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

Last week, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Boeing’s KC-46 tanker program a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), verifying that its refueling and mission avionics systems meet FAA requirements. 

Overall six aircraft have completed 3,500 flight hours and offloaded more than three million pounds of fuel during refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10, KC-135 and KC-46 aircraft.

The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in the company’s Everett, Wash., facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

When in service, the multi-role KC-46 will refuel U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft using its boom and hose and drogue systems, but also must be able to take on fuel to extend its operational range. The boom allows the tanker to transfer up to 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, while the hose and drogue systems, located on both the plane’s wing and centerline, enables the KC-46 to refuel smaller aircraft with up to 400 gallons of fuel per minute.