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DUBAI: Boeing gears up to talk tankers

Boeing will use this week’s show to hold discussions with potential customers of the KC-46A tanker, citing strong interest in the 767 derivative.

Speaking at a press conference, Boeing Defense, Space & Security chief executive Leanne Caret said international interest is strong in the type.

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Max Kingsley-Jones / FlightGlobal

In June, Boeing said that the UAE was interested in adding three additional tankers. Caret declined to discuss specific countries, but acknowledged that meetings will be held this week on the KC-46A capability.

“We try not to get in front of our customers or potential customers,” she said.

“I can share that there is significant interest in the region and around the globe, and again it just reinforces that the community at large sees the great capability of the KC-46A. We're very excited about that. We'll have some bilaterals this week here in Dubai, and we have a team that's actively meeting customers around the world.”

Caret was also asked about Boeing’s view on the possibility that Lockheed Martin and Airbus could work together to offer the A330 multi-role tanker transport as a potential replacement for the US Air Force’s McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender.

“[The KC-46A] is demonstrating in every aspect that she is the right tanker for the future for the USAF, and we see a lot of demand internationally. I'm all about competition, so that's all right. I'm proud and confident of the KC-46A.”

The KC-46A has had a troubled service entry. Key remaining challenges include its remote vision system, refuelling boom, and cargo floor restraint locks –issues the airframer has said it is working to address.

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