Boeing Maps Export Strategy With U.S. Air Force on Jet Tankers
“We would anticipate international orders for the KC-46A
tanker will line up with the Air Force production profile,”
Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s defense chief, said today in London
at a briefing on the eve of the Farnborough air show. Overseas
shipments may come as soon as 2017, after U.S. handovers.
Discussions with the Air Force’s international affairs
office are under way to market the plane and prepare export
licenses for overseas sales campaigns, said Chris Raymond, vice
president for business development at Boeing’s defense unit.
Export deals for the new tanker would follow similar sales
for the C-17 military transport. The Air Force and Boeing worked
jointly to drum up interest, and in some cases the service
agreed to cede near-term production slots to help satisfy
overseas demand for the plane. India, Singapore, and Brazil are
among the countries that have expressed interest in tankers.
Boeing’s chief competitor for international tanker orders
is Airbus SAS, which has sold its model, based on the A330
jetliner, to Australia, the U.K., United Arab Emirates and Saudi
Arabia. Toulouse, France-based Airbus lost to Boeing in February
2011 for the right to build the initial batch of U.S. tankers.
KC-46A production is planned at a rate of 15 planes a year,
with a possible boost to about 24 jets annually if demand
warrants, Muilenburg said. The Boeing tanker is based on the
Chicago-based planemaker’s 767 model.
Boeing expects to meet the U.S. military’s demands for the
tanker on cost and schedule, Muilenburg said. “My confidence on
that continues to grow,” he said.
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Robert Wall in London at
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Ed Dufner at
Benedikt Kammel at
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