Boeing has awarded a contract to UK aerospace and defence company Cobham to provide hose and drogue aerial refuelling systems for use on the new US Air Force KC-46A tanker aircraft.

Under the contract, Cobham will equip each of the 179 KC-46A tankers with a centreline drogue system.

In addition, Cobham will provide a pair of wing-mounted aerial refuelling pods for approximately 30 tankers.

The systems will be manufactured by Cobham Mission Equipment at its new air-to-air refuelling facilities in Davenport, Iowa, US.

Boeing awarded the contract after it won the first phase of the KC-46A deal, worth $3.5bn, beating French consortium EADS.

Cobham would have been benefited even if the contract had been awarded to EADS as the company had two fire-walled teams working with Boeing and EADS.

Financial details of the contract have not been disclosed.