Antonov is to jointly compete with Boeing and EADS for the multibillion-dollar contract to supply 180 airborne refuelling tankers to the US Air Force (USAF).

In January 2007, the USAF launched the tender with an estimated value of between $25bn and $50bn to replace its aging Boeing KC-135 refuelling tankers, in service since the 1950s.

In July 2010, Antonov and US Aerospace filed a joint application to participate in the tender, according to RIA Novosti.

The companies plan to supply three aircraft types to the USAF, such as the four-engined Antonov An-124, a twin-engined variant of the aircraft, the An-122 and the An-112.