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Tanker Takes Shape

The future of the U.S. Air Force’s airborne tanker fleet took shape recently with the unveiling of the first forward fuselage component for the KC-46A in Wichita, Kan.

The forward fuselage, manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, includes the cockpit for the KC-46A. In June 2011, Spirit was announced as a supplier on the KC-46 program. Not only does Spirit produce the forward fuselage, it is also responsible for the production of other major components on the tanker. Spirit will ship the forward fuselage to Boeing’s production line in Seattle, where it will be integrated with the rest of the aircraft.

Boeing also began wing spar loading in June. The wing spar is the main structural component of the aircraft’s wing.

In 2011,the Air Force awarded Boeing a contract to produce 179 KC-46As. Boeing is on track to produce and deliver the first 18 aircraft by 2017.

For more information on the tanker program, please check here and

and here.