CINCINNATI, 17 July 2012. Tanker aircraft designers at the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis needed a mission control system for the company's KC-46A tanker -- a large military refueling aircraft based on the Boeing 767 passenger jet. They found their solution from GE Aviation in Cincinnati.
GE Aviation officials announced Monday that they signed an agreement with Boeing potentially worth as much as $180 million to provide the mission control system avionics for the U.S. Air Force KC-46A tanker, which is scheduled to enter service in 2017. The agreement includes design, development, and production throughout the life of the program.
"These systems will enable the aircraft to perform with navigation precision not currently available to the tanker fleet and will help enable efficient operations in our future airspace," says Lorraine Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems.
In addition to the mission control system for the KC-46, GE Aviation also will provide the tanker's flight management system (FMS), which will help the aircraft fly relatively short flight paths and idle-thrust descents to reduce fuel consumption, while lowering emissions and reducing community noise impact, GE Aviation officials say.
GE's mission control system will provide integrated communications management to support air traffic management data link.
Boeing will build as many as 179 next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft that will begin to replace the Air Force's fleet of 416 KC-135 tankers.