TALLAHASSEE, Fla. --- The Boeing Company today announced that the state of Florida will benefit from an estimated 1,900 total jobs with 14 suppliers and generate an estimated $95 million annual economic impact if the Boeing NewGen Tanker is selected as the U.S. Air Force's next tanker aircraft.
The NewGen Tanker is a widebody, multi-mission aircraft based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial airplane and updated with the latest and most advanced technology. Capable of fulfilling the Air Force's needs for transport of fuel, cargo, passengers and patients, the combat-ready NewGen Tanker is being offered as a replacement for 179 KC-135 aircraft. Boeing is writing a proposal to meet or exceed the 372 mandatory requirements described in the service's final KC-X Request for Proposal released on Feb. 24. The Air Force is expected to award a contract later this year.
"During these challenging economic times, the citizens of Florida value any opportunity to work in high-tech jobs," said Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. "Our state is proud to be part of Boeing's NewGen Tanker team and looks forward to the NewGen's selection as the next air refueling aircraft for America."
Florida manufacturers ready to produce critical components on the NewGen Tanker include:
-- Vought Aircraft, Stuart -- doors, wing center sections, aft wheel well bulkheads, crown and side fittings
-- Goodrich Lighting Systems, Oldsmar -- interior lighting products
-- Pall Aeropower, New Port Richey -- filtration products
-- Parker Fluid Systems, Naples -- propulsion, hydraulic and fuel components
-- Radiant Power Corp., Sarasota -- electrical components and batteries.
"With unemployment rates across the state topping 12 percent, awarding the U.S. Air Force Tanker contract to Boeing will ensure that hundreds of hardworking, skilled Floridians have well-paying, meaningful jobs," said Frank Ortis, mayor of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and president of the Florida State Council of Machinists and the Broward County AFL-CIO.
The NewGen Tanker will be made with a low-risk approach to manufacturing that relies on existing Boeing facilities in Washington State and Kansas as well as U.S. suppliers throughout the nation, with decades of experience delivering dependable military tanker and derivative aircraft. Nationwide, the NewGen Tanker program will support approximately 50,000 total U.S. jobs with Boeing and more than 800 suppliers in more than 40 states.
The Boeing NewGen Tanker will also be more cost-effective to own and operate than a larger, heavier tanker. It will save American taxpayers more than $10 billion in fuel costs over its 40-year service life because it burns 24 percent less fuel than the competitor's airplane.
Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for decades. These include the KC-135 that will be replaced in the KC-X competition, and the KC-10 fleet. The company also has delivered four KC-767Js to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and is on contract to deliver four KC-767s to the Italian Air Force. Three of the four Italian tankers are in flight test, with the fourth airplane in production.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.