The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that Oklahoma will benefit from an estimated 400 direct and indirect jobs if it is selected to build the U.S. Air Force's new tanker aircraft fleet. The economic activity generated in Oklahoma will exceed an estimated $15 million annually.
"Altus Air Force Base has trained tanker aircrews for years, and Oklahoma is thrilled to help build their next tanker if the KC-767 is selected," said Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry. "It would be magnificent if our aerospace professionals could see their work flying over the skies of Oklahoma as new pilots and boom operators operate the most advanced aerial refueling aircraft ever created."
Boeing formally submitted its proposal to the Air Force on April 10. The offering, the KC-767 Advanced Tanker, is designed for aerial refueling of other aircraft, but also is able to move cargo, passengers, patients and medical crewmembers. These capabilities, combined with best-in-competition fuel efficiency, global flexibility and space usage, provide a strong value proposition to the Air Force.
"Oklahoma has an outstanding reputation for a hard working aerospace industry that can conquer any challenge," said Mark McGraw, vice president, Boeing Tanker Programs. "Their contributions to our KC-767 Advanced Tanker team are very valuable as we compete for the honor of building America's tanker fleet."
Oklahoma industry will provide electrical systems, wire bundles, sheet metal and other aerospace components for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker.
Boeing also is developing a partnering agreement with the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base that will streamline a process to deliver future Boeing work into that facility.
Nationwide, the Boeing KC-767 Advanced Tanker program will support 44,000 American jobs and 300 suppliers.
Boeing will assemble the tanker at its facilities in Everett, Wash., using many of the same manufacturing processes that produced almost 1,000 highly reliable and maintainable commercial Boeing 767s. Installation of military refueling systems and flight test activities will take place at the company's finishing center in Wichita, Kan.
The Boeing Global Tanker Team producing the KC-767 Advanced Tanker includes Rockwell Collins, Vought Aircraft Industries, Pratt & Whitney, Smiths Aerospace, Honeywell, Spirit AeroSystems and Delta TechOps. This experienced group of partners has proven expertise in aerial refueling systems, network centric operations, integrated avionics solutions and lean manufacturing concepts, which will offer the Air Force high levels of reliability and unique technical advancements.
Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for nearly 75 years, with hundreds of KC-135s and KC-10s currently in service with the Air Force. The company is flying KC-767s today and has logged nearly 1,000 hours on the tanker platform. This year Boeing has demonstrated its advanced air refueling systems by transferring fuel through its fifth-generation boom and extending and retracting the fuselage-mounted and wing-mounted air refueling hoses, both critical milestones for the KC-767 program.