Meta Aerospace buys former Singaporean KC-135R Stratotankers

Meta Aerospace buys Singapore KC135
Meta Aerospace buys former Republic of Singapore Air Force KC-135R Stratotankers.

U.S. defense contractor Meta Aerospace announced that it has purchased four former Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing KC-135R Stratotankers, September 30, 2020.

On September 29, the company received the first aircraft that was ferried from Changi International Airport, Singapore, to March Air Reserve Base (ARB) in Riverside County, California. The second aircraft was delivered on October 22 while the remaining two are expected to be taken over by November. This acquisition was boosted by USAF's intention to lease tanker aircraft due to the ongoing delays of the new Boeing KC-46A Pegasus.

"With its extensive defence-as-a-service offerings and air mobility experience, this addition of four KC-135R aircraft enables Meta to deliver turnkey aerial refuelling services to meet our US government customer’s requirement," Meta Aerospace said.

Singapore put the four tankers up for sale following their official withdrawal from the RSAF fleet in June 2019. They served at 112 SQN for 19 years before being replaced by six new Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker/Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

The RSAF acquired a fleet of KC-135 tankers from the US in 1997. Originally built as the KC-135A for the United States Air Force, these aircraft were refurbished and modified into the KC-135R Stratotankers.

These upgraded KC-135Rs were delivered by Boeing to the RSAF's Peace Guardian Detachment in McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, in 1999. In 2000, the first KC-135R returned to Singapore, with 112 SQN being inaugurated later that year on December 12.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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