Northrop Grumman has delivered the 150th KC-10 Extender air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft to the US after providing major improvements.
The aircraft received product reliability improvements as part of its CF6-50 engine overhaul programme, offering a 15-year high in engine fleet performance.
In addition, the programme saw advancements in system modernisation and engineering and depot production. These upgrades offered a three-year sustained mission-capable rate that exceeds the Air Force’s 85% standard.
Northrop Grumman Technical Services weapon systems operations director Matt Emerson said: "The delivery of the 150th KC-10 depot aircraft contributes to the critical mission requirements of the United States Air Force by ensuring that the KC-10 is operational when the customer needs it.
"The aircraft was accepted with zero defects, further contributing to the company’s proven track record for helping the Air Force achieve the KC-10’s highest fleet mission capable rates in more than 16 years."
The KC-10 Extender can refuel aircraft midair while transporting personnel, equipment and patients on overseas deployments and aeromedical evacuations.
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The aircraft will be able to perform refuelling through the boom method or a hose and drogue centerline system.
In collaboration with Line Care, AAR, Chromalloy and MTU Maintenance, Northrop Grumman offers contractor logistics support, depot maintenance, engine management and overhaul, and supply chain management for the aircraft.
Northrop Grumman Technical Services integrated logistics and modernisation division vice-president and general manager John Parker said: "Deliveries were made on or ahead of schedule and met or exceeded quality expectations, which has been instrumental in the Air Force’s production of an untold number of combat refuelling sorties."
Image: A KC-10 Extender leaves Northrop Grumman’s depot in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corporation.