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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

GE Aviation on Boeing's Tanker Team

GE Aviation will provide flight management systems (FMS) for Boeing's recently awarded KC-46A U.S. Air Force (USAF) refueling tanker program, the companies announced Monday.

GE Aviation, based in Cincinnati, will provide its TrueCourse FMS and other mission control systems for the tanker.

"We are committed to bringing our next-generation technologies to this new tanker platform," said Lorraine Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems. "The flight management system will enable the aircraft to perform with navigation precision not currently available to the tanker fleet. Our technologies will help enhance operational efficiencies and will enable the aircraft to perform to the demanding mission requirements of the USAF tanker."

On Feb. 24, Boeing was awarded the $35 billion tanker contract over European rival EADS to design, develop, manufacture and deliver 179 Boeing 767-based aerial refueling aircraft to replace the service's 400 KC-135s. The tanker program has undergone a series of bidding rounds. In 2008, EADS and its partner Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract, but after complaints about the bidding process, the Defense Department reopened the contract.

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