KC-10 Extender

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Product Type:

Aerial Refueling Aircraft

Service (US):

Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

Sustainment and Upgrades

Prime Contractors:

Boeing (McDonnell Douglas)

The KC-10 Extender

About the KC-10:





The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) KC-10 Extender is an advanced tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for U.S. armed forces. The KC-10's primary mission is aerial refueling, however, the aircraft is able to transport cargo and passengers - all at the same time. For example, the KC-10 can combine the tasks of a tanker and cargo aircraft by refueling fighters and simultaneously carry fighter support personnel and equipment on overseas deployments. Furthermore, the KC-10 is capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations.

The KC-10 is based on McDonnell Douglas' commercial DC-10 Series 30 and, although it retains 88% systems commonality, it has additional systems and equipment necessary to perform aerial refueling missions. These additions include military avionics; aerial refueling boom and aerial refueling hose and drogue; seated aerial refueling operator station; aerial refueling receptacle; and satellite communications.

The KC-10A is powered by three General-Electric CF6-50C2 turbofan engines, each delivering 52,500 pounds of thrust.

The KC-10 can transport up to 75 people and nearly 170,000 pounds (77,110 kilograms) of cargo a distance of about 4,400 miles (7,040 kilometers) unrefueled. In addition to the three main wing fuel tanks on the DC-10, the KC-10 has three large fuel tanks under the cargo floor, one under the forward lower cargo compartment, one in the center wing area, and one under the rear compartment. In total, the six tanks carry more than 356,000 pounds (161,500 kg) of fuel, which is 78% more than the KC-135 Stratotanker.

The KC-10's boom operator, seated in the rear of the aircraft, can physically see the receiver aircraft through a wide window and controls refueling operations through a digital computer system. During busy refueling operations, fuel can be transferred at a maximum rate of 1,100 gallons (4,180 liters) per minute, while The hose and drogue refueling maximum rate is 470 gallons (1,786 liters) per minute. The KC-10 itself can be refueled in the air by a KC-135 or another KC-10A to increase its delivery range.

The KC-10A is operated by the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base in California. Air Force Reserve units are assigned to the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB, and the 514th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

The KC-10 was built by McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach, CA, from 1979 to 1987 and a total of 60 KC-10s were delivered to the U.S. Air Force - the 60th and final aircraft was delivered in 1990.



Armament/Weapons:

None.



Mission/Role:

The KC-10 Extender is an advanced tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for U.S. armed forces. Although the KC-10's primary mission is aerial refueling, it is able to combine the tasks of a tanker and cargo aircraft by refueling fighters and simultaneously carry fighter support personnel and equipment on overseas deployments. The KC-10 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.



FY 2017 DoD KC-10 Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides historic KC-10 spending figures and quantities as well as a unique 10-Year Budget Forecast.



FY 2018 DoD KC-10 Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides historic KC-10 spending figures and quantities as well as a unique 10-Year Budget Forecast.




Sources: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), General Electric Co.,
and The Boeing Company.

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Forecast International Budget Data:

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DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 10-year forecast

Military Aircraft Forecast:

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