GRAND RAPIDS — GE Aviation announced Monday that they signed an agreement with The Boeing Co. potentially worth up to $180 million to provide the mission control system for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46A tanker.
The agreement includes design, development and production throughout the life of the program.
“We are committed to bringing our next-generation technologies to this new tanker platform,” said Lorraine Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems. “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.”
GE Aviation was selected for the mission control system including the flight management system. The FMS provides the ability to fly shorter flight paths and idle-thrust descents which reduce fuel consumption, while lowering emissions and reducing community noise impact. GE’s mission control system will provide the integrated communications management function to support air traffic management data link, including the first implementation of the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network on a US DoD air vehicle to facilitate efficient operations in the future NextGen airspace infrastructure.
GE spokeswoman Jennifer Villareal said a majority of the work will be conducted at GE Aviation’s Grand Rapids plant. She said the flight management system is being manufactured in Grand Rapids, while communications management and displays involved in the project will be manufactured in Clearwater, Fla.
Boeing will build up to 179 next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft that will begin to replace the Air Force’s fleet of 416 KC-135 tankers. To learn more about the KC-46A Tanker, visit www.UnitedStatesTanker.com.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For more information, visit us at www.ge.com/aviation.