The US Air Force has awarded Boeing a $2.6 billion contract for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spares, support equipment, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits.

With this fifth production lot, Boeing now is on contract for 67 KC-46 tankers.

Boeing received its first two production lots, for 7 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.

“We’re honored to build the Air Force’s next-generation tanker and appreciate the importance of this program for our nation,” said Jamie Burgess, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager.

“This has been a milestone year for KC-46 and a big reason for that is our great partnership with the Air Force. We expect to accomplish great things together in the years to come.”

Boeing plans to build 179 of the 767-based refueling aircraft for the Air Force to replace its legacy tanker fleet. The company delivered the first tankers to the Air Force in January 2019.

Boeing received its initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the US Air Force’s newest tanker aircraft.

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Peter Crisp

After all the delays and controversy about the Airbus bid how have these aircraft turned out? Are they considered better or worse than the Airbus Tanker?
Can they work well together as part of a multinational force?


Have to wonder if this isn’t a form of state subsidy given that the US Air Force are still finding issues with these tankers.


Not operationally capable for another 3-4 years.
Low build/delivery quality
Unable to refuel certain aircraft in the USAF inventory
Boeing out of pocket to the sum of around 3 bil Dollars.

So all in all, and placed alongside the 737max, its another great project by Boeing


Yet on the other side of the coin Boeing appears to deliver Super Hornets, Growlers and P-8As with no apparent problems (and 737NG too), go figure??

And talking of P-8A, the RAAFs order for 12 airframes is now almost complete, 10 here in Oz, the 11th delivered to the RAAF in the US recently and the 12th not far away too, the last two (11 and 12) are due here in Oz by end of January next year.

Just leaves the possible option for another three, if it does happen the RAAF will have 15 P-8As.


737NG may have a problem with pickle forks …


It looks like they have it all in one sock on legacy projects but have an issue with new work.