The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced that Utah will benefit from an estimated 600 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 Utah will exceed an estimated $22 million annually.
„America needs a new air refueling aircraft, and Utah’s talented, experienced workforce will make it happen,“ said Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. „Our citizens have long been dedicated to the efforts of the U.S. military and continue to serve alongside Boeing in bringing online the KC-767 Tanker.“
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.
„As we move toward the end of the KC-X tanker competition, Boeing’s team gets stronger with the addition of Utah suppliers. Their work on the KC-767 Advanced Tanker will have a significant impact on future aircrews and their defense of our nation,“ said Mark McGraw, vice president, Boeing tanker programs.
Utah industry will provide aerospace components, including electrical and hydro-mechanical systems, for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker.
Nationwide, 44,000 Americans and 300 suppliers will design, build and support the Boeing KC-767 Advanced Tanker.
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. Recently, Boeing 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.