Omega Air expects both growth, competition for US commercial air refueling services

by Pat Host

The world’s only provider of commercial aerial refueling services expects both the market and competition to provide aerial refueling services to the Pentagon to grow as the US Air Force (USAF) plans to reduce its aerial refueling tanker fleet.

Tom Swiderek, Omega Air president, told Jane’s on 3 March that the USAF has been discussing a requirement of between 5,000 and 20,000 flying hours per year and a programme value of about USD500 million per year. Air Mobility Command (AMC) held an industry day on 17 December and roughly 40 participants and 14 companies attended to discuss contracting boom-type air-to-air refueling, according to a service statement.

An Omega Air DC-10 (left) refuels an F-35B. The company expects the market for commercial aerial refueling services to grow as the US Air Force wants to reduce its tanker fleet, but an expert warns of high barriers to entry and unpredictable procurement signals. (Omega Air Refueling Services)

An Omega Air DC-10 (left) refuels an F-35B. The company expects the market for commercial aerial refueling services to grow as the US Air Force wants to reduce its tanker fleet, but an expert warns of high barriers to entry and unpredictable procurement signals. (Omega Air Refueling Services)

The USAF, in its fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget request, proposed a total fleet of 493 platforms, reducing its total tanker fleet by 13 aircraft. The active USAF would reduce its McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender capacity from 56 to 40 aircraft and cut its Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker fleet from 167 to 159 aircraft, while increasing its Boeing KC-46A Pegasus inventory from 40 to 44 aircraft.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/omega-air-expects-both-growth-competition-for-us-commercial-air-refueling-services

The world’s only provider of commercial aerial refueling services expects both the market and compet...

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