Boeing Defense, Space & Security (Boeing Co. IW500/9) has drawn a U.S. Air Force contract worth $2.1 billion for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spare engines, and wing air refueling pod kits, representing the third low-rate initial production lot for the refueling aircraft. Last August, the USAF granted two LRIP contracts to Boeing, totaling $2.8-billion, for seven and 12 aircraft, respectively, plus spare parts.
"Placing an order for another 15 aircraft is another important milestone for the KC-46 program," according to Col. John Newberry, KC-46 System program manager. "I know the warfighter is excited about bringing this next generation capability into the inventory."
The KC-46 Pegasus was developed by Boeing for military aerial refueling and strategic military transport, and is based on the twin-engine, wide-body platform long occupied by the 767 passenger jet program. In 2011, the design was selected by the USAF in a competition to replace its KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.
In addition to refueling, the aircraft can be deployed for cargo or passenger (or patient) transport.