ST. LOUIS, June 22, 2011 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced the supplier team that will provide key components for the U.S. Air Force's KC-46 Tanker. The Air Force selected Boeing on Feb. 24 to replace 179 Eisenhower-era KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft.
"Delivering 18 combat-ready tankers to the U.S. Air Force in 78 months is our priority as a company, and it will take a talented, committed supplier team to help get that done," said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing KC-46 vice president and program manager. "We're fortunate to have a strong defense industry team of domain experts working side-by-side to provide a new generation of aerial refueling."
The KC-46 Tanker team will include more than 800 suppliers in more than 40 states and support approximately 50,000 total U.S. jobs. Major suppliers include:
- Cobham (Davenport, Iowa): Refueling systems, including wing aerial refueling pods and centerline drogue system
- DRS Laurel Technologies Inc. (Johnstown, Pa.): Aerial Refueling Operator Station (AROS)
- Eaton Aerospace: Electromechanical and cargo door actuation systems (Grand Rapids, Mich.); hydraulic and fuel distribution subcomponents (Jackson, Mich.)
- GE Aviation Systems (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Clearwater, Fla.): Mission control system
- Goodrich: Interiors (Colorado); landing gear (Ontario, Canada)
- Honeywell: Auxiliary power unit (Phoenix); cabin pressure control system (Tucson, Ariz.), air data inertial navigation (Coon Rapids, Minn.); lighting (Urbana, Ohio)
- Moog Inc.: Electro-hydraulic servo valves, actuators, stabilize trim controls, leading edge slat actuator, inboard/outboard leading edge rotary actuators, autopilot actuators, elevator feel system (East Aurora, N.Y.; Wolverhampton, UK); refueling boom actuators (Torrance, Calif.)
- Northrop Grumman (Rolling Meadows, Ill.): Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM)
- Parker Aerospace (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Utah): Refueling components including the receptacle door actuator, aerial refueling interface control system, and wing refueling pod hydraulic power packs; primary flight controls and fuel equipment; pneumatic, fluid conveyance, and hydraulic equipment
- Pratt & Whitney (Middletown, Conn.): Engines
- Raytheon Company (El Segundo, Calif.): Digital radar warning receiver and digital anti-jam receiver GPS
- Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, Iowa): Integrated display system featuring 15.1-inch diagonal crystal displays built on proven technology from the commercial 787; tactical situational awareness system; remote vision system 3-D and 2-D technology for the boom operator; communications, navigation, surveillance, networking and flight control systems
- Spirit: Forward fuselage section; strut; nacelle components to include inlet, fan cowl and core cowl; fixed fan duct (Wichita, Kan.); fixed leading edge (Prestwick, Scotland)
- Triumph Group Inc.: Horizontal stabilizer and aft body section, including pressure bulkhead; wing center section, doors, nacelles and other components including cowl doors, seal depressor panels, acoustic panels and aft wheel well bulkhead
- Woodward Inc. (Skokie, Ill.): Several elements of the aerial refueling boom, including the sensor system, control unit, and telescopic and flight control sticks.
Based on the proven Boeing 767-200ER commercial aircraft, the KC-46 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines and will be flown by three aircrew members (pilot, co-pilot, boom operator) with additional permanent seating for 12 aircrew.
The KC-46 has a maximum fuel capacity of 212,000 pounds and is equipped with a flush-mounted, air-to-air refueling receptacle that is capable of onloading fuel at 1,200 gallons per minute.
Boom operators will control the refueling systems from the crew compartment via the AROS and a series of cameras mounted on the tanker’s fuselage that provide a 185-degree field of view, as well as a camera on the boom that captures 3-D video. This advanced system allows the boom operator to refuel all fixed-wing receiver aircraft, anytime, on every mission, to include simultaneous multi-point refueling from the wing air refueling pods. The KC-46 refueling systems include a digital fly-by-wire boom capable of offloading 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, as well as a permanent centerline drogue system and removable wing air refueling pods that can each offload 400 gallons of fuel per minute.
Featuring a maximum takeoff weight of 415,000 pounds, the tanker will carry 18 463L cargo pallets (the same number of pallets as the Air Force’s Boeing C-17 airlifter) and is capable of transporting 58 passengers normally and up to 114 passengers during contingency operations. This multi-mission tanker aircraft also will provide urgent aeromedical evacuation by transporting 58 medical patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory).
Boeing will build the KC-46 Tanker using a low-risk approach to manufacturing by a trained and experienced workforce at existing facilities in Everett, Wash., and Wichita.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 65,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.
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Boeing Defense, Space & Security