The US Air Force has awarded Boeing another contract modification for the delivery of additional KC-46A tanker aircraft, bringing the total value of contracts awarded for the program in January to almost $4 billion.
The January 20 Lot 7 contract for 15 aircraft is worth $2.1 billion and comes just a week after Boeing received $1.7 billion for 12 KC-46A tankers.
It is worth noting that the latest modification brings the total number of airframes on order to 94. Work under the January 20 contract is expected to be completed by May 2024.
KC-46 is a widebody, multirole tanker designed for refueling, cargo and medical transport. While based on the commercial 767-2C airframe, 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 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 US Air Force expects the aircraft to achieve full operational capability by 2023.