Boeing has been awarded a contract modification, worth around $2.6 billion, by the U.S. Air Force for Lot 5 production KC-46 Pegasus tanker aircraft, initial spares, and support equipment.
The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 15 KC-46 aircraft, data, two spare engines, five wing refueling pod kits, initial spares, support equipment, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file being produced under the basic contract. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by March 2023.
“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.”
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.
The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is a multirole tanker designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. The first flight of the fully-provisioned KC-46 tanker took place in September 2015.
Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility.
KC-46’s main operator is the U.S. Air Force which took delivery of the first aircraft earlier this year. Boeing plans to build 179 of the refueling aircraft for the Air Force to replace its legacy KC-135 Stratotanker fleet.
The aircraft is also ordered by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), making it the aircraft’s first international customer. The $279 million contract for the first aircraft and logistics support was awarded to Boeing in 2017 under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and the $159 million contract modification for the second aircraft was awarded in 2018.