The US Air Force has released draft acquisition documents showing plans to buy up to 116 new wing sets for the Fairchild Republic A-10 fleet that call for reviving production after March 2019 with a new contractor.

The service’s intentions for equipping the remainder of the A-10 fleet seemed uncertain after a contract with Boeing to re-wing the fleet lapsed last month with more than 100 of the tank-killing aircraft still in the queue for the structural upgrade.

But hundreds of pages of draft acquisition documents released on 8 February appear to back up the Air Force’s statement that it will move forward with the upgrade after a new contractor is selected

The documents released on 8 February are marked “draft” and do not commit the Air Force to completing the acquisition.

A draft version of the schedule says the Air Force will release a solicitation on 3 April. Bidders would have a deadline on 5 June to submit responses. The contract award would follow on 25 March next year, according to the draft acquisition documents.

The Air Force plans to buy the first four wing sets for the A-10s under a low-rate initial production contract, then buy up to 112 more over a seven-year period, the documents state.

The USAF launched the re-winging programme for the A-10 fleet in 2006 with a contract award to Boeing. The contractor completed upgrades on six of the nine A-10 squadrons still in operations in January, but made a business decision not to continue working on the programme, according to the USAF.