Northrop Grumman has been selected by the US Air Force to provide the KC-45A aerial refuelling tanker for the KC-135 tanker replacement program. The air force’s KC-45A is based on the A330 commercial airframe, produced by EADS.
The initial KC-45A contract calls for four system design and development aircraft and is valued at $1.5bn. The first KC-45A airframe completed its first flight on September 25, 2007 and will now begin military conversion to the tanker configuration. The KC-45A’s aerial refuelling boom system is currently in flight test and is said to have successfully performed numerous in-flight contacts with receiver aircraft.
The KC-45A Tanker aircraft will be assembled at new manufacturing facilities in
The KC-45A will be built by a team led by Northrop Grumman, and includes primary subcontractor EADS North America and General Electric Aviation, Sargent Fletcher, Honeywell, Parker, AAR Cargo Systems, Telephonics and Knight Aerospace.