The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that the people of Connecticut will benefit from an estimated 4,000 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 Connecticut will exceed an estimated $185 million annually.
„The Connecticut aerospace industry has always played a key role in supporting America’s armed forces,“ said Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell. „I am excited that Boeing has selected our talented and experienced workforce to help produce the KC-767 Advanced Tanker. Our nation’s sons and daughters deserve the most capable, efficient aircraft available, and Connecticut-based companies can help deliver that. This would be terrific for our military and terrific for Connecticut’s economy.“
Boeing formally submitted its proposal to the Air Force on April 10. The offering, the KC-767 Advanced Tanker (AT), 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.
„Connecticut’s highly skilled aerospace workers are a valuable addition to our KC-767 Advanced Tanker team,“ said Ron Marcotte, vice president and general manager of Boeing Global Mobility Systems. „If we are selected to build the Air Force’s next generation tanker, Connecticut will be a vital partner.“
In addition to Pratt & Whitney providing the engines that power the KC-767 AT, suppliers in Connecticut also will provide electrical, hydraulic and mechanical components as well as avionics for additional aircraft systems.
Nationwide, 44,000 Americans and 300 U.S. 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 Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell Collins, Vought Aircraft Industries, GE Aviation, 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.