[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The USAF's decade-long battle to acquire new tankers to replace its ageing KC-135E fleet has resulted in the naming of the Boeing 767 NewGen Tanker as the winner of its KC-X competition on February 24.
It awarded the contractor an engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract valued at more than $3.5 billion that includes the delivery of 18 KC-46As by 2017. The initial EMD phase includes a total of four tankers. According to the Secretary of the Air Force, although both Boeing and EADS met all 372 mandatory requirements, the selection 'took into account mission effectiveness in wartime and life cycle costs as embodied in fuel efficiency and military construction costs'.
The first KC-46A is expected to fly in 2018. Based on Boeing's 767-200ER, the multi-mission KC-46A will feature four wide field-of-view digital electronic cockpit displays developed for the Boeing 787 and an advanced fly-by-wire boom with an expanded refueling envelope and increased fuel offload rate. It will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines that will each deliver 62,000 lb st (275.8kN) of thrust