Boeing to ramp-up full-scale development of KC-X NewGen aerial refueling tanker jet in $3.5 billion contract
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 25 Feb. 2011. The U.S. Air Force is asking the Boeing Co. in Seattle to start full-scale development of the KC-X NewGen aerial refueling tanker jet under terms of a $3.5 billion contract awarded Thursday. Boeing build 18 combat-ready KC-X tanker aircraft by 2017 in the initial phases of a major defense program to replace 179 of the Air Force’s 400 KC-135 tankers.
The KC-46A tanker is a widebody, multi-mission aircraft updated with the latest and most advanced technology, Boeing officials say. It will be able to carry fuel, cargo, passengers, and patients. The new aerial refueler will have a digital flight deck featuring Boeing 787 Dreamliner electronic displays.
Awarding the contract to Boeing [NYSE: BA] were officials of the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The Boeing KC-X NewGen tanker is a modified version of the Boeing 767 widebody passenger jetliner. Boeing calls the new tanker jet the KC-46A.
Aircraft designers from Boeing's Commercial Airplanes; Defense, Space & Security; and Engineering, Operations & Technology organizations will build the NewGen tanker aircraft. The KC-X will replace the Air Force's venerable KC-135 tanker, a modified version of the 707 passenger jet. The 707 was designed in the 1950s, and production of the passenger version ended in 1978.
The NewGen Tanker also features an advanced KC-10 boom with an expanded refueling envelope, increased fuel offload rate and fly-by-wire control system.