At the beginning of last March, the US Air Force announced its decision to reduce the KCy program, which aims to replace part of the oldest KC-135 and KC-10 Extender tanker aircraft still in service, to only 75 aircraft . , compared to 160 devices initially planned .
This program, which was to give rise to a competition between the KC-46 Pegasus from Boeing, already chosen by the USAF in 2011 as part of the KCx program, and the LMXT tanker from Lockheed-Martin based on the A330 MRTT from Airbus was then reduced in volume so as to free up credits and resources for the KCz program, to follow, which should enable it to design a new generation tanker aircraft capable of operating in a contested environment .
In any case, concomitantly with the reduction in volume of the KCy program, the US Air Force also announced that it intended not to launch a competition around this program, and to turn directly to Boeing's KC-46 , so as to maintain a homogeneous fleet that is easier to maintain.
This decision is, obviously, far from satisfying Lockheed-Martin, which apparently has not said its last word on this subject, to get the Pentagon to choose its champion rather than that of Boeing.
Indeed, to the great surprise of many informed observers, through the voice of the director of the LMXT program, Larry Gallogly, Lockheed-Martin announced that it had selected General Electric's CF6 turbojet to power its LMXT, and thus signify US Air Force that the American aeronautical giant did not intend to be satisfied with a decision without competition from the Pentagon in this area, while according to LM, its aircraft offers better performance and reliability than those of its competitor Boeing .
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