KC-46A Supplier Summit Highlights Partnerships in 42 states
- The KC-46 supply chain employs 40,000 American workers from more than 500 businesses
- Boeing’s integrated supplier partnership ensures quality, consistency and continuity for the U.S. Air Force customer

EVERETT, WA., Feb. 14, 2022— Boeing’s [NYSE: BA] KC-46A tanker supply base gathered virtually last week for the 2022 KC-46A supplier summit. Boeing’s team members engaged representatives from the KC-46A supply chain, which includes more than 500 businesses—including many small, women-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses—and employs more than 40,000 American workers across 42 states.

“This is about creating value for our U.S. Air Force customer,” said James Burgess, Boeing vice president and KC-46 program manager. “Our full Boeing team—defense, commercial airplanes and global services—takes an integrated approach and partners with suppliers for the production quality, consistency and continuity that our customer depends on.”

Boeing’s leaders cited the company’s partnership with established, U.S.-based KC-46A suppliers as critical to the success of building the world’s most advanced aerial refueler and ensuring mission readiness for agile combat support and rapid global mobility.

“Our suppliers are important and essential partners for our Tanker program,” said Janene Collins, vice president, contracts & sourcing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ supply chain. “By focusing on quality and stability throughout the entire production system, Boeing and its supplier partners can deliver incredible capability and outstanding value to the customer.”

Boeing builds the FAA-certified KC-46A aircraft on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington. Because it is built to be a tanker as part of its in-line production—designed and built as a tanker, not a post-production conversion—the KC-46 is uniquely suited to integrate combat-ready defensive features as well as new capabilities and advanced technology. That in-line production of the KC-46 tanker also enables hundreds of millions of dollars in life-cycle savings through lower maintenance, depot and repair costs.

The KC-46A is the only tanker that meets the stringent airworthiness and performance requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force.

“We partner closely with our suppliers on proactive fleet support for repairs and spare parts to ensure mission readiness for our customers,” added Penny White, vice president, space and supply chain, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “This, along with improved production and efficiency, is important when it comes to lowering lifecycle costs for customers.”

Boeing has delivered 55 KC-46A aircraft to date to the Air Force. The KC-46A is cleared to refuel nearly seventy-percent of the receivers requesting support from U.S. Transportation Command, and is supporting the highest of priority missions including presidential support.

Boeing also delivered the first KC-46 to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force last year. The growing global fleet of KC-46As increases the interoperability and mutual learning within countries and among users of the platform.

The KC-46 is built on the proven Boeing 767 airframe, the most fuel-efficient aircraft in its wide-body class.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at

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Jerry Drelling
BDS Supply Chain Communications

Will Wilson
KC-46 Communications