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US Air Force launches KC-Y tanker competition

Zarvan

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US Air Force launches KC-Y tanker competition
by Gareth Jennings



The US Air Force (USAF) has formally launched its KC-Y tanker competition, with a request for information (RFI) issued on 16 June.

Known also as Bridge Tanker, the KC-Y requirement is for a commercially derived aerial refuelling aircraft to supplement the USAF's fleet once deliveries of the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus are complete at the end of the decade.

The US Air Force is looking at KC-Y as a bridging solution between the KC-X requirement now being delivered and the future KC-Z. It aims to supplement the service's existing tanker fleet, which includes the KC-10A Extender (pictured). (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The US Air Force is looking at KC-Y as a bridging solution between the KC-X requirement now being delivered and the future KC-Z. It aims to supplement the service's existing tanker fleet, which includes the KC-10A Extender (pictured). (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

“The new aircraft will bridge the gap [from KC-X] to the next Advanced Air Refueling Tanker recapitalisation phase, previously referred to as KC-Z. The existing KC-46A firm-fixed price contract is limited to 13 production lots, with the last planned procurement in 2027 and delivery in 2029,” the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) said. “The requirements for Bridge Tanker are currently being defined and the necessary capabilities will be incorporated into the final request for proposal (RFP) once it is validated through the Department of Defense's joint staffing process. The [US] Air Force plans to release the final RFP by the end of 2022.”

With KC-Y deliveries set to commence in 2029, the USAF is looking to receive between 140 and 160 new tankers at a rate of 12 to 15 per year. As noted by the AFLCMC, as a commercially derivede aircraft, the Bridge Tanker will be based on existing and emerging technologies with a full and open acquisition competition. Neither developmental stealth nor unmanned capability is planned.



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US Air Force launches KC-Y tanker competition (janes.com)
 

Moon

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They just purchased AW139s, I’m sure if airbus agrees to manufacture them in the US it’s not impossible
Agusta Westland makes a lot of their products in USA, AW139s include.
Airbus has an assembly plant in USA (A-220s), I believe for a system to be inducted into US Military, a large percentage needs to be built in USA (Buy American Act).
We need something like that as well tbh.

And yes Airbus might agree to it, but Boeing has an advantage over them in this race.
 

Imran Khan

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I don't think US Military buys equipment not made in USA (barring Israeli)
global express made by canada used by USAF
DESSAULT FALCON made by france used by USAF
CN-235 made by spain used by USAF
B DASH-8 made by canada used by USAF
DHC-8 made by canada used by USAF
M28 SKYTRUCK made by spain used by USAF
D328 made by germany used by USAF
grob d 120 made by germany used by USAF
EMBRAER 314 made in brazil used by usaf
 

Moon

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global express made by canada used by USAF
DESSAULT FALCON made by france used by USAF
CN-235 made by spain used by USAF
B DASH-8 made by canada used by USAF
DHC-8 made by canada used by USAF
M28 SKYTRUCK made by spain used by USAF
D328 made by germany used by USAF
grob d 120 made by germany used by USAF
EMBRAER 314 made in brazil used by usaf
Literally all of them use American off the shelf components, including avionics, engines.

Embraer literally built an entire production line in USA to get government contracts for the 314.

Dornier's parent company at time was Fairchild, a US based firm, the plane was again using the aforementioned US components.

Skytrucks are made by Sikorsky, and again the aforementioned rule applies to them.
Same with Dassault Falcon, Grob etc...


The point is Americans aren't going to buy a platform that they don't control the supply chains of, this is the very reason, British platforms such as B-57s and Harriers were entirely made in USA, even though they could've been purchased.
 

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