Boeing Sees Asian Market for KC-46

Paris—The KC-46 is the “right solution” to meet South Korea’s aerial refueling tanker requirement, said Boeing executives at the company’s office here on the eve of the 51st Paris Air Show. The KC-46 fits all the receivers in the South Korean air force’s fleet and has a great deal of “landing field flexibility,” said Chris Raymond, vice president of business development and strategy for Boeing’s defense unit, during the June 14 meeting with reporters. South Korean defense officials are in the midst of reviewing the tanker bids; the South Korean program calls for the acquisition of four tankers, with deliveries anticipated between 2018 and 2019. Raymond said he expects the KC-46 to be competitive in the broader Asian market. Japan is expected to issue a request for proposals soon for a new tanker, he noted. Boeing has already spoken to a few unnamed customers seeking information on the KC-46, said Jeff Kohler, Boeing’s vice president of international sales for defense. The Air Force’s KC-46A program will run through 2027. It “will be around for a long time and it will prove itself going forward,” he said.