Sept. 21, 2021, © Leeham News: Lockheed Martin (LMT) last week revealed its dedicated product launch web site page of the LMXT aerial refuel tanker. The LMXT uses the Airbus A330 MRTT as the platform for the US Air Force’s KC-Y competition for which initial information requests have been issued.
LMT and Airbus partnered in 2018 in anticipation of the KC-Y program, originally intended to replace the aging Boeing (nee McDonnell Douglas) KC-10. KC-Z was to follow, an entirely new concept in aerial refueling tankers.
KC-Y is now recast as a replacement for 140-160 Boeing KC-135s. It will be a follow-on to the original KC-X program, which was won by Boeing after three tries. Boeing has 179 orders for the 767-200ER-based KC-46.
LMT’s web page touts the LMXT as “Built in America by Americans.” Although LMT doesn’t have the contract, and the phrase is in the present tense, it’s clear what the intent is.
Spokesperson Stephanie Stinn tells LNA the final assembly site location hasn’t been selected.
The web page’s illustrations show the LMXT with GE and Rolls-Royce engines. The KC-X offered first by Northrop Grumman/EADS (Airbus) and later, Airbus alone, would use the GE powerplant. The current A330 MRTT uses either engine.
“Due to the ongoing assessments and the evolving requirements of the KC-Y tanker per the U.S. Air Force, we continue to explore and discuss about the final choice for the LMXT’s engine. We can definitively say the engine will be produced in the US,” she told LNA.