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USAF tanker bids in…again

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 11, 2010
A USAF KC-135R refuels an RAF Tornado GR.4. (USAF)

For the third time in almost a decade, the USAF has received bids for its much delayed KC-X tanker program for 179 new tankers to replace 45+ year old KC-135E/Rs.

Bids from three companies were delivered to the USAF’s KC-X project office at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio by the noon deadline on July 9.

Not surprisingly, Boeing has bid an advanced development of its 767-200 airliner with elements of the 787’s cockpit dubbed KC-767NG, while EADS North America has gone it alone without previous partner Northrop Grumman in submitting its KC-45 (KC-30 MRTT) development of the A330-200 airliner.

More surprising however is a bid by Los Angeles based US Aerospace Inc in partnership with Antonov for the An-112, a twin turbofan development of the An-70 quad turboprop transport. The An-112 has been proposed with two GEnx turbofans of the same specification as those planned for Boeing’s 787-9, and will feature wingtip hose and drogue and a centreline boom refuelling systems, and dual deck seating for up to 300 passengers.

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