While the Air Force originally planned to begin basing the new tankers – highly modified Boeing-767 aircraft – in North Carolina as soon as 2019, aircraft delivery is now subject to when KC-46A prime contractor Boeing delivers the new aircraft.
The Air Force today locked in plans to base KC-46A aircraft at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC, a move that comes following completion of an environmental impact study that found no significant impacts associated with establishing the service’s third main operating base for the new aerial refueling tanker in the Tar Heel state.
Boeing military rotorcraft expertise, combined with the non-developmental, multi-mission helicopter, will provide exceptional value and capability to the Air Force and taxpayers.
The Air Force said it is working with Boeing on a follow-on contract modification for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase, which will continue the program through detailed design, aircraft modification, test and delivery of two mission-ready presidential aircraft. The jets should be in use by 2024.
Because the planes were already built and sitting in storage, the Air Force said it was able to get a good deal. A Boeing spokeswoman said at the time that the aircraft were sold to the Air Force “at a substantial discount from the company’s existing inventory”.
On August 1, Sputnik reported the US Air Force was on track to purchase the pair of jets for a almost 50 percent discount as President Donald Trump seeks to trim costs for Air Force One.
One cost-cutting decision as the new Air Force One planes will not have the capability of mid-air refueling as a way to cut costs, according to the Washington Examiner.