Lockheed Martin has confirmed that its LMXT strategic tanker aircraft’s aerial boom refuelling system will be manufactured by Airbus in western Arkansas, US.
The manufacturing facility’s exact location has not yet been determined.
The confirmation comes after both companies recently announced plans to expand their presence in Georgia and Alabama to support the configuration and assembling of LMXT.
Based on the design of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, the LMXT offers a variety of capabilities customised to the needs of the US Air Force (USAF).
The LMXT aircraft will offer an established fly-by-wire aerial refuelling boom, which is being used by allied nations to refuel USAF aircraft during global missions.
Airbus Americas chairman and CEO C Jeffrey Knittel said: “We are excited to continue expanding our US footprint by partnering with the state of Arkansas to create the LMXT refuelling boom production site and centre of excellence.
“The state-of-the-art boom system is a vital aspect of the overall LMXT offering, and we are proud to be working with Arkansans to build this best-in-class solution for the USAF.”
Lockheed Martin introduced the LMXT aircraft last September for the US Air Force’s (USAF) KC-Y strategic tanker programme.
The tanker will be constructed in two phases, which include the production of LMXT as an A330 airliner at Airbus’ facility in Mobile, Alabama.
In the second phase, the commercial aircraft will be converted into the LMXT tanker at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ facility in Marietta, Georgia.
This phase will also involve the assembly, configuration and integration of the Arkansas-built boom.