The Air Force on Oct. 26 released a request for information to industry for 10 commercial off-the-shelf aircraft to be adapted for military use, though the service is quiet on the possible mission of the aircraft. According to the RFI, the aircraft would need a cockpit for two crew members, and a cabin for a minimum of five workstations along with a jump seat. The cabin must have a minimum of 664 cubic feet, and a primary mission equipment weight of 13,000 pounds, states the RFI. The aircraft would need to be able to loiter for a minimum of 3.5 hours at 41,000 feet mean sea level. Air Force Materiel Command, in a statement to Air Force Magazine, said it is “prohibited from mentioning any USAF mission or aircraft associated with this RFI.” The request “is absolutely not a solicitation and merely represents market research. The information received could be used on several programs or none at all,” AFMC said in the statement.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.