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Sun, Apr 11, 2010

Boeing: Florida Aerospace Industry Would Benefit From NewGen Tanker

Components Manufactured In Florida Would Range From Structural To Electronic

The state of Florida would benefit from an estimated 1,900 total jobs with 14 suppliers and generate an estimated $95 million annual economic impact if the Boeing NewGen Tanker is selected as the U.S. Air Force's next tanker aircraft, the company said in the state capital of Tallahassee Tuesday.

File Photo

The NewGen Tanker, based on the commercial Boeing 767, is being offered as a replacement for 179 KC-135 aircraft. Boeing is writing a proposal to meet or exceed the 372 mandatory requirements described in the service's final KC-X Request for Proposal released on February 24. The Air Force is expected to award a contract later this year.

"During these challenging economic times, the citizens of Florida value any opportunity to work in high-tech jobs," said Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. "Our state is proud to be part of Boeing's NewGen Tanker team and looks forward to the NewGen's selection as the next air refueling aircraft for America."

Florida manufacturers ready to produce critical components on the NewGen Tanker include:

  • Vought Aircraft, Stuart -- doors, wing center sections, aft wheel well bulkheads, crown and side fittings.
  • Goodrich Lighting Systems, Oldsmar -- interior lighting products.
  • Pall Aeropower, New Port Richey -- filtration products.
  • Parker Fluid Systems, Naples -- propulsion, hydraulic and fuel components.
  • Radiant Power Corp., Sarasota -- electrical components and batteries.

"With unemployment rates across the state topping 12 percent, awarding the U.S. Air Force Tanker contract to Boeing will ensure that hundreds of hardworking, skilled Floridians have well-paying, meaningful jobs," said Frank Ortis, mayor of Pembroke Pines, FL, and president of the Florida State Council of Machinists and the Broward County AFL-CIO.

Boeing says the NewGen Tanker will be made with a low-risk approach to manufacturing that relies on existing Boeing facilities in Washington state and Kansas as well as U.S. suppliers throughout the nation, with decades of experience delivering dependable military tanker and derivative aircraft. Nationwide, the NewGen Tanker program will support approximately 50,000 total U.S. jobs with Boeing and more than 800 suppliers in more than 40 states.

Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for decades. These include the KC-135 that will be replaced in the KC-X competition, and the KC-10 fleet. The company also has delivered four KC-767Js to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and is on contract to deliver four KC-767s to the Italian Air Force. Three of the four Italian tankers are in flight test, with the fourth airplane in production.

FMI: www.UnitedStatesTanker.com

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