Boeing receives $2.1bn LRIP contract for KC-46A tanker aircraft


Boeing has secured a $2.1bn contract to supply components for the third low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot of KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft.

Awarded by the US Air Force (USAF), the contract covers the production and supply of 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spare engines and wing air refuelling pod kits.

USAF KC-46 System programme manager colonel John Newberry said: "Placing an order for another 15 aircraft is another important milestone for the KC-46 programme.

"I know the warfighter is excited about bringing this next generation capability into the inventory."

Boeing would manufacture 179 units of the 767-based refuelling aircraft in total which are intended to replace the USAF's existing tanker fleet.

Deliveries of the tanker aircraft are expected to begin later this year. Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its facility in Everett, Washington.

"The widebody, multi-role tanker has been designed to refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft that are compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures."

The latest order is the third LRIP for Boeing. The first two orders were awarded in August last year and included seven and 12 planes, respectively, as well as spare parts, Boeing said in a statement.

The widebody, multi-role tanker has been designed to refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft that are compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures.

In addition to carrying passengers, cargo and patients, the aircraft is capable of detecting and defeating threats using multiple layers of protection, which will enable it to operate safely in medium-threat environments.


Image: The KC-46A. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.