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KC-46A Program Moving Forward

The Air Force and Boeing (BA) have been working hard on the KC-46A contract since its award. There have been some major developments including Boeing’s decision to move most of the work to Washington with plans to close their Wichita, KS military aircraft facility.

At the same time there is progress being made. Boeing has opened one of five simulation laboratories (SIL). This one is in Washington and will focus on avionics and software development. The use of the SIL will aid in risk reduction and program development.

There has also begun discussions of possible basing sites across the U.S. The first one chosen will be for crew conversion and training but ultimately the 767 based tanker will have several operational bases as well as flying from overseas locations such as Guam.

Bases also will be selected depending on how many aircraft the National Guard will operate. Already states like Vermont, Maine and Kansas are talking about being used.

“Burlington mentioned as basing possibility for new Air Force tanker” — Burlington Free Press

“McConnell awaiting decision on home for Air Force tankers” — The Wichita Eagle

“Military brass, state delegates christen new hangar for MAINEiacs” — Bangor Daily News

Backers of Two Tanker Contracts Want To Stay Anonymous

The Wichita Eagle reports that the a group backing building both the Boeing and EADs tankers, doesn’t want to reveal its backers:
The investors backing a campaign asking the government to split its contract for aerial refueling tankers between Boeing and Northrop Grumman want to remain anonymous for now. The campaign is called Build Them Both. “We are funded by a group of investors who have asked to remain nameless at this time,” said the effort’s campaign manager, Carrie Giddens. The group is not union sponsored and does not have ties to either Northrop or Boeing, Giddens said in an e-mail exchange. However, “we have sought out funding from both companies, their suppliers and unions who would be impacted by building them both.” The requests went out in the past two weeks. On Monday, Giddens called Northrop’s decision to pull out of the bidding process “bad news for American workers, our men and women in uniform, and for the taxpayer.” With only one company seeking a contract, 50,000 jobs that would have been created won’t be, Giddens said in the statement. “Without an ongoing competition there is no way to control costs, to the detriment of our military and taxpayer.”

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