Could the KC-46 face competition from Airbus’ A330neo

EVERETT — Could Airbus’ A330neo give the European airplane maker a chance at winning the next contract from the U.S. Air Force for aerial refueling tankers?

It is certainly possible, says aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton of Issaquah-based Leeham Co.

Boeing’s KC-46 won the first contract to provide the USAF with 179 tankers after a procurement scandal. The tankers are assembled at its Everett facility. Airbus’ A330-200-based tanker lost that round because, in part, it was more expensive.

The Air Force will bid out the next contract sometime early next decade.

“A competition is all but certain,” Hamilton said in his company’s blog, Leeham News and Comment.

The A330neo could offer lower operating costs than the KC-46, which is slated to soon start test flights, he said.

Boeing’s KC-46 program has lost several overseas sales to Airbus’ A330-200-based tanker. An A330neo version could mean even tougher competition.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454;; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

More in Herald Business Journal

Housing boom in Puget Sound region missing crucial element: Condos

Developers are only building high-end condos where there’s enough margins to cover potential litigation.

Somers sees Paine Field as focal point of a thriving county

In an annual speech, he also acknowledged challenges such as opioid addiction, crime and homelessness.

Trump orders huge tariffs on China, raises trade war worries

Business groups worry China will target U.S. exports of aircraft, soybeans and other products.

Can Zuckerberg’s media blitz take the pressure off Facebook?

The generally reclusive CEO sat for an interview on CNN and gave another to the publication Wired.

Professor: Workplace is 5th leading cause of death in the US

Long hours, lack of health insurance, little autonomy and high job demands are killing us.

Will thousands of new apartments in Snohomish County mean lower rents?

Experts debate the meaning of a recent price drop, one of the biggest decreases in more than a decade.

Airbnb listings: Learn how to read between the lines

Places close to nightlife aren’t for everyone.

Few retired people expect to pay off mortgages, survey finds

32% predict that they will be paying their mortgage for at least eight more years.

I’m worried about my young black males’s economic prospects

Black males are at the bottom of the economic ladder. That’s why I’m a helicopter parent.

Most Read