Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tanker Acquisition

The very public, high-stakes competition between the Boeing Co. and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) is expected to come to an end today. Later this afternoon a long-awaited decision is to be made by the US Air Force on the acquisition of the tanker contract.

Whatever the outcome may be, the Air Force Association strongly welcomes the beginning of a new tanker development process. For nearly a decade, the replacement of KC-135 Stratotankers has been a procurement priority for the Air Force. The need to replace the Eisenhower-era aircraft has only continued to gain urgency with each passing year.

The aircraft of the KC-135 fleet average 46 years old already and the Air Force will depend on KC-135s for decades to come, even as we begin to build new tankers. Current KC-135s hold a vital role in aiding our military by refueling fighter planes and other aircraft in mid-flight, extending the abilities of military operations.

AFA is excited to see the process moving along so production can officially begin.

Top Pentagon officials are expected to announce a winner for the potential $35 billion deal around 1700 EST. Follow the announcement live here:, where you can also check back later for the transcript.

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