The Boeing Company delivered the first of four re-engined KC-135R Stratotankers to the Republic of Singapore Air Force. The delivery took place at ceremonies here today attended by representatives of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, the U.S. Air Force and Boeing.
This KC-135R, which originally was built as a KC-135A for the U.S. Air Force, was modified with reliable, fuel-efficient CFM56 engines and the Boeing-developed Multi-Point Refueling System. This is the first aircraft to receive both modifications concurrently at the Military Programs - Wichita Division, part of the Boeing Aerospace Support business.
Boeing has modified more than 425 KC-135 tankers to the "R" configuration. The CFM56 engines burn 15-25 percent less fuel at cruising speeds and provide greater thrust than engines on previous models. This enables the KC-135R to offload 50 percent more fuel payload on a medium radius mission. The new engines also enable increase to gross weight of 25,500 pounds, reduce runway takeoff requirements by 2,400 feet and reduce the noise impact "footprint" by 90 percent. Engine maintenance time is reduced by 90 percent as well.
The Boeing-produced Multi-Point Refueling System provides interservice operability between U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, along with those of NATO. The wing-mounted pods provide the flexibility to refuel probe-equipped aircraft - as well as receptacle equipped receivers with the standard KC-135 boom - on the same mission. Two probe-equipped aircraft can be refueled simultaneously using the system's 400 gallon-per-minute offload capability.
Approximately 550 KC-135 tankers remain in U.S. service. In addition to Singapore, the newest international customer, they are used in the armed forces of France and Turkey.
Boeing Military Programs - Wichita Division has extensive experience in aircraft modifications requiring high engineering content, including the 757 Flying Testbed for the F-22 program, the 737 Avionics Flying Laboratory for the Joint Strike Fighter program, the 767 Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft, as well as the KC-135 re-engine and multi-point refueling programs.
It is one of five maintenance and modification centers operated by Boeing Aerospace Support. Other locations include San Antonio; Shreveport, La.; Jacksonville, Fla; and Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz.
These centers are major elements in the overall Aerospace Support focus. Combined with its logistics support services and training and support systems competencies, Boeing is the only major airframe manufacturer with an integrated organization structured to provide total life-cycle customer support.