US Air Force Seeks Proposals to Power Next-Gen Tanker Fleet

The US Air Force is asking industry partners for engines to power its Next-Generation Air Refueling System (NGAS) aircraft.

A request for information released Monday states that the service will accept new or existing propulsion systems provided they meet all requirements.

It will also consider options to modify or upgrade existing aircraft engines to achieve government and military objectives.

The request said interested vendors should assume a program would kick off by the third quarter of 2025 so they must ensure they can provide their solutions should the service begin requesting actual proposals.

No other details were made available to the public, but reports noted that one of the requirements for the NGAS propulsion system is “reduced runway takeoff distance.”

The US Air Force will accept responses until April 30.

The NGAS Program

In January 2023, the US Air Force issued a request for information for a cutting-edge aircraft that can receive and provide fuel to American warplanes in flight.

The service wanted interested firms to provide detailed performance characteristics of potential solutions and identify the level of maturity of their designs.

Respondents should also explain how their solutions might revolutionize the way aerial refueling operations are executed.

The NGAS will replace the air force’s KC-46 and KC-135 tankers manufactured by Boeing. It is expected to be delivered by the mid-2030s.

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