Home Air Lockheed, Airbus introduce solution for US Air Force XC-Y bridge tanker

Lockheed, Airbus introduce solution for US Air Force XC-Y bridge tanker

Lockheed Martin-Airbus LMXT
LMXT graphic. Photo: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin and Airbus have introduced the LMXT as the next strategic tanker for the US Air Force.

Offered in response to the US Air Force’s bridge tanker KC-Y Program, the LMXT is based on the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) model.

MRTT has already logged more than 250,000 flight hours refueling US and allied forces and is the strategic tanker of choice for 13 nations.

The LMXT complements the US Air Force’s tanker capabilities by providing the most advanced aerial refueler to meet America’s immediate and long-term mission requirements, Lockheed Martin said.

LMXT was unveiled after the US Air Force released sources sought notice for a new tanker that will bridge the gap between the KC-46A and the next advanced air refueling tanker recapitalization phase, previously referred to as “KC-Z.”

The service assessed it needs the KC-Y program as the existing KC-46A firm-fixed price contract is limited to 13 production lots, with the last planned procurement in 2027 and delivered in 2029.

“Lockheed Martin has a long and successful track record of producing aircraft for the US Air Force, and we understand the critical role tankers play in ensuring America’s total mission success,” said Greg Ulmer, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “The LMXT combines proven performance and operator-specific capabilities to meet the Air Force’s refueling requirements in support of America’s National Defense Strategy.”

As outlined by Lockheed, LMXT offers a proven fly-by-wire boom currently certified and used by allies to refuel US Air Force receiver aircraft, the world’s first fully automatic boom/air-to-air refueling (A3R) system, and operational camera and vision system, and open system architecture JADC2 systems.