Boeing’s KC-46A tanker will use Pratt & Whitney’s PW4062 engines, already flying on commercial Boeing 767s and Airbus A300s, and about to fly on Boeing 747s, according to Warren Boley, Pratt’s president of military engines. Pratt was on Boeing’s winning team that won the rights to supply the Air Force’s KC-X tanker. Pratt will tweak the PW4062 to provide an increase in fuel burn efficiency and maximum gross takeoff weight, Boley said in an interview last week. For the 179-aircraft KC-X program, Pratt will build about 450 engines; the first ones are slated for delivery in 2013, and deliveries would continue through 2027, based on initial projections, he said. Boley said there’s been no decision yet if Boeing will be the pass-through for engine money or if the Air Force will award Pratt contracts to provide the engines to Boeing as government-furnished equipment. Also unresolved is who will maintain the engines. Boley said Pratt has a “solid relationship” with Tinker AFB, Okla., where its F117 engines for the C-17 and F119 engines for the F-22 undergo depot work. If USAF wants an organic depot capability, it likely would be there. Pratt could also maintain the powerplants within its own worldwide network of facilities, he said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.