The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced that Florida will benefit from an estimated 1,100 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 Florida will exceed an estimated $45 million annually.
„The Florida Chamber is excited at the prospect of so many high-tech, high-wage jobs being brought to Florida. Florida’s economy and communities will benefit greatly if Boeing’s KC-767 Advanced Tanker is selected as the next-generation tanker,“ said Frank M. Ryll, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
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.
„We have to deliver the most capable, efficient tanker to win the U.S. Air Force’s KC-X competition, and adding Florida’s highly skilled workforce to our KC-767 Advanced Tanker team will help us achieve that goal,“ said Ron Marcotte, vice president and general manager of Boeing Global Mobility Systems.
Florida industry will produce a significant share of the KC-767 Advanced Tanker. Smiths Aerospace in Clearwater will provide multi-function control display units for the Mission Control System. Vought Aircraft in Stuart will provide major structural assemblies. In addition to Smiths and Vought, Florida industry also will provide crew seats, wire bundles, interiors, and electrical, hydraulic and mechanical components for the aircraft systems.
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 Vought Aircraft Industries, Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell Collins, 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.