The Air Force awarded a contract to FlightSafety Services Corporation on May 1, taking a major step forward in achieving the service’s top acquisition priority – delivering a new aerial refueling capability to the warfighter.
The contract, a Fixed Price Incentive Firm and Firm Fixed Price contract of $78,369,818 which includes an initial obligation of $1 million, is for engineering, manufacturing, and development of the KC-46A Aircrew Training System.
The remaining amount will be incrementally funded. The contract contains options for production, training, operations and sustainment that if exercised will increase the value of the contract.
The aircrew training devices and courseware are scheduled to begin arriving at the formal training unit and operational air bases in 2016 and will be used to prepare flight crews to operate the new tanker.
Work under this contract is expected to be completed by 2026 if options are exercised.
“This is a vital step in the development of KC-46A,” said Maj. Gen. John Thompson, Program Executive Officer for Tankers. “We have reached an award that is the product of a disciplined, meticulous and transparent source selection and delivers real value for the warfighter.”
Like the KC-46A contract itself, this contract is the product of robust competition and uses fixed pricing and incentives to share risk between the Air Force and industry.
“Everyone recognizes the need to get value for our money,” Thompson said. “Strong competition clearly benefits the taxpayer and, I think, benefits our industry partners as well. Effectively managing costs and schedule puts everyone in a winning situation.”
The Air Force contracted with Boeing in February 2011 for 179 KC-46A tankers to begin recapitalizing the KC-135 Stratotanker fleet by 2028. The program is working toward completion of the critical design review later this year, setting the stage to build and fly the first KC-46A Tanker in 2015.
The first aircrew training device delivery, as required by the contract, is anticipated for February 2016.