C-17 on tarmac

U.S. Air Force Services

Lifecycle Sustainment and Modernization Delivers Ongoing Mission Readiness

Boeing is helping the U.S. Air Force shape its future by offering innovative, affordable products and solutions that ensures aircraft are ready when needed and extends platform life. As a manufacturer and a leader in both the commercial and defense markets, we are able to apply best practices that continue our long history of reliable services and support for the U.S. Air Force.


Boeing has partnered with the U.S. Air Force on sustainment since delivery of the first C-17 Globemaster III in 1993, and provides lifecycle sustainment, modernization and training for pilots and loadmasters. The fleet, which achieved three million flight hours faster than any other U.S. Air Force platform, has a best-in-class combined dollar per flight hour and mission capability rate.

C-17 Globemaster III page


C-17 Globemaster taking off


Boeing Air Force Services hangar and worker

Since 1988, Boeing has built more than 1,600 of the F-15 fighter, providing sustainment and modifications for all of them and ensuring the fleet will perform for another 30 years. Future sustainment support and services includes the T-X pilot training program, the U.S. Air Force’s newest jet and simulator training generations of future fighter and bomber pilots.

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Tanker Modifications & Sustainment

Boeing has been the primary or associate provider of maintenance, logistics, and spares support for the KC-10 and KC-135 tankers since delivery to the U.S. Air Force. Tanker support continues with the KC-46A tanker, with Boeing responsible for repairs, logistics support and engine management.


The KC-135 Stratotanker’s aerial refueling capability enables the U.S. Air Force’s global reach, providing support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and allied nation aircraft. It is highly versatile, with the capability to transport personnel and complete medevac missions. It can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo. Boeing’s onsite teams and global experts provide sustainment, parts, maintenance, and modernization support to the U.S. Air Force’s KC-135 fleet, ensuring mission readiness and extend its service life. The Air Force has completed studies that indicate the Stratotanker can remain in service beyond 2040. The first KC-135 entered service in 1957.


Enabling increased mobility for U.S. armed forces, the KC-10 Extender’s primary mission is aerial refueling, but can also serve as a cargo aircraft. It has been used to simultaneously carry fighter support personnel and equipment, while completing mission-critical refueling. The Air Force has also used the KC-10 to perform aeromedical operations. It has six refueling tanks that carry up to 356,000 pounds of fuel – almost twice as much as the KC-135’s refueling capacity. Boeing provides sustainment engineering, parts support, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, as well as modernization upgrades to ensure the Extender is ready when needed and enhance its operational capability. The first KC-10 entered service in 1981.


The KC-46A Pegasus is a widebody, multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. Boeing designed the KC-46 to carry passengers, cargo and patients. The aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection, which will enable it to operate safely in medium-threat environments. In addition to standing up base operations on behalf of our customer, Boeing onsite experts provide maintenance training to help support frontline maintainers. Boeing also provides a full suite of logistics products and services designed to maximize performance, minimize lifecycle costs and ensure aircraft readiness.

Tanker undergoing modification

Other Platforms

Mechanics inspecting landing gear

Boeing’s sustainment, support and modernization experience extends to non-Boeing platforms. This experience includes working with the U.S. Air Force for almost 20 years to ensure T-38C has a reliable avionics suite to support the training mission, providing the most effective approach to re-winging the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, and upgrading the F-16 fighter with advanced cockpit modernization, radar capability and sustainment.