As the Boeing [BA] KC-46A tanker program faces DoD procurement challenges, including timely resolution of six critical Category 1 deficiencies, the aircraft is getting a shot in the arm from overseas sales.
On Oct. 29, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $342.1 million contract for the delivery to Japan of two KC-46As–the third and fourth planes for that nation.
In March, the State Department approved the potential sale of eight KC-46As to Israel for $2.4 billion (Defense Daily, March 3).
The foreign military sale would include eight KC-46 tankers and related equipment, including up to 17 Pratt & Whitney [UTX] PW4062 turbofan engines – 16 installed and one spare – and up to 18 Raytheon [RTN]-built MAGR 2K-GPS SAASM receivers, to include two spares. Also included are AN/ARC-210 U/VHF radios built by Rockwell Collins [UTX], APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe responders built by Raytheon and associated spares, repair parts and other equipment.
The U.S. Air Force KC-46 program of record includes 179 tankers, while Japan had previously committed to buying at least two of the tankers for its fleet. Boeing was awarded an FMS contract for one Japanese KC-46A aircraft in 2017, and exercised an option for a second aircraft in December 2018, per the company.