Boeing KC-46 award hits MSR for manufacturer and signifies further delays, says GlobalData
Following the news that Boeing was awarded a contract for 12 more KC-46 tankers, Mathew George, Ph.D., Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view: “While the KC-46 contract will be welcome news for Boeing’s long-term development plans - and the sustainment of the KC-46 production line – there has been a significant delay in this award that can only be attributed to uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
"The United States Air Force’s (USAF) latest $1.7bn award shows that the new delivery schedule outlined between the USAF and Boeing may not be entirely on track. Earlier plans by the USAF had suggested that the present Lot 6 order for 12 aircraft would have been placed by May 2020 and a Lot 7 for 15 aircraft were earmarked to be ordered with FY21 funds in January 2021.
“The number ‘12’ is quite significant for Boeing, as it is the minimum sustaining rate (MSR) for production. With 100 aircraft still left for the USAF to purchase, it was quite important that the USAF confirmed the award for Boeing to continue with the production.”