Boeing has received a contract to provide the US Air Force (USAF) with 15 additional KC-46A widebody multi-mission aerial refuelling tankers.
Valued at around $2.1bn, the latest contract is a modification to the original contract awarded to the company in February 2011.
The modification allows the USAF to exercise an option for an additional quantity of the aircraft. It is for the Lot 7 production of the aircraft, data, subscriptions and licences, and G081 flat file.
Currently, Boeing is under contract for the delivery of 94 KC-46A tankers to the USAF.
The KC-46 multirole tanker is designed to refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft, as well as perform cargo and medical transport missions.
The aircraft was developed based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial aeroplane. It features advanced technologies, such as a digital flight deck, an advanced KC-10 boom with an expanded refuelling envelope and a fly-by-wire control system.
Boeing KC-46 tanker vice-president and programme manager Jamie Burgess said: “The KC-46’s adaptability is going to be a game-changer for the US Air Force.
“We know our defence customers will need to transform how they fight and win in the modern era. That’s why Boeing is focused on making sure the KC-46 grows and changes with them.”
Boeing is carrying out KC-46A aircraft assembly work at its Everett facility in Washington, expected for completion by 31 May 2024.
The first KC-46A was delivered to the USAF in January 2019. The next-generation aircraft will replace the service’s KC-135 tanker.
So far, 42 tankers have been delivered to McConnell AFB in Kansas, Altus AFB in Oklahoma, Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina and Pease Air National Guard Base in New Jersey.
US Air Force KC-46 System programme manager colonel Jason Lindsey said: “Our KC-46 fleet is growing, and we’re ready to extend the reach of next-generation air refuelling to more of our airmen.”