This week the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing $2.8 billion for the KC-46A tanker low-rate initial production.
Included in this award are the first two "production lots" of seven and 12 planes, future options, and spare parts. The plan is to build 179 of the 767-based aircraft, which will replace the Air Force’s KC-135 fleet.
“The KC-46 tanker will provide the Air Force unprecedented refueling capabilities, operational flexibility and combat readiness,” Leanne Caret, Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and CEO, said. “It’s an important day for the company and program. We’re excited about building low-rate initial production aircraft, and it’s only possible because of the hard work of the joint Boeing-Air Force team.”
The test aircraft, which Boeing built after receiving the initial contract in 2011, were two 767-2Cs and two KC-46A tankers, which now have more than 1,000 flight hours.
Boeing maintains a major production and assembly base in North Charleston.