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Air Force awards KC-46A tanker training system contract

The U.S. Air Force awarded a $78 million contract to Flight Safety Services Corporation for engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) of the KC-46A Aircrew Training System (ATS) -- technology which will be utilized to prepare the flight-crews to operate the services’ next generation tanker.

“The KC-46A Aircrew Training System will develop, produce and sustain a complete aircrew training system including simulators, coursework, software, etc.,” said Ed Gulick, Air Force spokesman.

The deal calls for delivery of the first aircrew training device by February 2016. The $787 million contract contains options for production, training, operations and sustainment, according to an Air Force press statement.

"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,” the statement reads.

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, according to an Air Force press statement.

"This is a vital step in the development of KC-46A," Maj. Gen. John Thompson, Program Executive Officer for Tankers, said in a written statement from the service. "We have reached an award that is the product of a disciplined, meticulous and transparent source selection and delivers real value for the warfighter."

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