The US Air Force has awarded Boeing
a $2.1 billion contract for 15 KC-46A tankers, expanding its fleet of aircraft that will not only set the standard for aerial refuelling but also help enable ‘the integrated digital battlespace’ by connecting air forces to data needed to ‘maintain the decision advantage’.
The KC-46 is a wide-body multi-role tanker designed for ‘state of the art’ air refuelling, cargo and medical transport. Boeing is now on contract for 94 KC-46A tankers. Boeing delivered the first KC-46A to the US Air Force in January 2019.
Since then, the company has delivered 42 tankers to McConnell Air Force base in Kansas, Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Pease Air National Guard base in New Jersey and Seymour Johnson Air Force base in North Carolina. Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft at its Everett, Washington, facility, where it also continues production of the KC-46 tanker for Japan.
Meanwhile, the aircraft leasing and management company BBAM has announced that it is expanding its 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter fleet with six firm orders and six options. The agreement brings BBAM’s 737-800BCF orders and commitments to 15 and highlights the continued strength of the e-commerce and express cargo market.
Steve Zissis, BBAM’s CEO, said: “As we look ahead to expanding our cargo fleet, the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter provides the performance and efficiency our customers need. Adding these highly capable freighters to the 276 Boeing airplanes in our managed fleet helps to further strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace.”
Based on the Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF is meeting customer demand for a newer-generation freighter that offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per trip compared to other standard body freighters.
Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane can carry up to 23.9 tonnes and fly up to 2,025 nautical miles. Since entering service in 2018, the 737-800BCF has won more than 150 orders and commitments.