The US Air Force has awarded Boeing a $1.7 billion contract for the delivery of 12 KC-46A tanker aircraft.
The latest contract for the sixth production lot brings the total number of KC-46A tankers on order to 79.
Boeing delivered the first KC-46A to the Air Force in January 2019. Since then, it has delivered 42 tankers to four different bases.
“The investments Boeing is making in the KC-46 today will benefit generations of service members,” said Jamie Burgess, Boeing KC-46 tanker vice president and program manager. “I believe the partnership between Boeing and the Air Force will also produce additional KC-46 innovations that will carry the warfighter well into the future.”
Boeing began developing the KC-46A for the US Air Force in 2011 and delivered the first tanker in January 2019, following a two-year delay.
The KC-46A is a derivative of the commercial 767-2C. While based on a proven airframe in service as an airliner and freighter, the KC-46A has been plagued by a multitude of issues ranging from integrated fuel systems and refueling booms to its remote vision system which is crucial for safe air-to-air refueling in all lighting conditions.
Boeing received its first two production lots from the US Air Force, for seven 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 and the fifth lot for 15 aircraft in September 2019.
Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft at its Everett, Wash. facility where it also continues production of the KC-46 tanker for Japan.