Boeing has received the lot five production contract for KC-46A tanker aircraft from the US Air Force (USAF).

Valued at $2.6bn, the contract will see the production of 15 KC-46A. Under the contract, Boeing will also provide spares, support equipment, spare engines and wing air refuelling pod kits.

The fifth production lot brings the total KC-46 tankers under contract to 67.

Boeing KC-46A tanker vice-president and programme manager Jamie Burgess said: “We’re honoured to build the airforce’s next-generation tanker and appreciate the importance of this programme for our nation.

“This has been a milestone year for KC-46 and a big reason for that is our great partnership with the airforce. We expect to accomplish great things together in the years to come.”

The company received the first two production lots in August 2016. The third and fourth lots were awarded in January 2017 and September 2018 respectively.

It has plans to build a total of 179 refuelling aircraft for the USAF.

Based on Boeing 767, the KC-46A is a multirole tanker intended to replace the USAF’s legacy tanker aircraft fleet.

The service received the first tankers in January. Boeing was awarded an initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the tanker.

The KC-46A has the ability to refuel allied and coalition military aircraft. It can also carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Boeing assembles the tankers at its Everett, Washington, facility. Last month, the firm began assembling the first KC-46 tanker for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).