The U.S. Air Force today awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $2.6 billion contract for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spares, support equipment, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits. With this fifth production lot, Boeing now is on contract for 67 KC-46 tankers.
Boeing received its first two production lots, for 7 and 12 aircraft, in August 2016. The third lot, for 15 aircraft, was awarded in January 2017; the fourth lot for 18 aircraft in September 2018.
“We’re honored to build the Air Force’s next-generation tanker and appreciate the importance of this program for our nation,” said Jamie Burgess, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “This has been a milestone year for KC-46 and a big reason for that is our great partnership with the Air Force. We expect to accomplish great things together in the years to come.”
Boeing plans to build 179 of the 767-based refueling aircraft for the Air Force to replace its legacy tanker fleet. The company delivered the first tankers to the Air Force in January 2019.
Boeing received its initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the Air Force’s newest tanker aircraft. The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility and recently started production of the first KC-46 for Japan.