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The 40-Year Plan

February 21, 2008— As we’ve reported before, the Air Force plan to replace its elderly KC-135 tanker fleet comprises three increments: KC-X, followed by Y and Z, with each representing about one-third of the overall buy of some 479 aircraft. The service expects to make a contract award announcement early next week for the KC-X portion, giving the total contract for 179 tankers to either Boeing or the Northrop Grumman-EADS team. The entire replacement program would extend to 2051 at the expected rate of purchase of only up to 18 aircraft per year.