The U.S. Department of Defense and Boeing announced on Tuesday an agreement worth about $1.7 billion for 12 KC-46A tanker aircraft, growing the fleet to 79 Pegasus tankers.
American plane-maker Boeing was awarded a $1.7 billion contract modification for Lot Six production of KC-46 Pegasus aircraft, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file.
“The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 12 KC-46 aircraft, data, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file being produced under the basic contract,” the Department of Defense said in a statement.
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Boeing delivered the first KC-46A to the Air Force in January 2019. Since then, Boeing has delivered 42 tankers to four different bases. The next-generation KC-46 brings new capabilities and operational flexibility to the U.S. Air Force and international customers.
“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 received its first two production lots from the U.S. 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.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker designed to refuel allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. It’s also equipped to carry passengers, cargo and patients on any mission at any time.
Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft at its Everett, Wash. facility where it also continues production of the KC-46 tanker for Japan.