Air Force Faces Delays on Boeing KC-46 Refueling Plane

The U.S. Air Force expects Boeing to meet the target set for 2017 by delivering 18 new KC-46A refueling planes. Smaller schedule delays at Boeing’s end will reduce the margin for dealing with future issues.

Boeing was expected to carry out the first flight of the new aerial tanker by the end December. The aircraft manufacture expected to finalize a revamped overall schedule by February, after a series of technical and integration challenges in recent times. The Air Force still hopes to have the KC-46A as “required assets available or RAA by August 2017.

Boeing KC-46 refueling the B-2 Spirit

Boeing KC-46 refueling the B-2 Spirit

The near-term schedule had been affected by wiring issue, testing and integration of various systems.

The highlighted issues were eating up more time than what was factored in before. Further, delays could hurt the August 2017 date, if faced.

The Air Force aims to incur $52 billion to purchase and operate 179 new 767-based refueling tankers from Boeing. These new planes will be replacing the current fleet of KC-135 tankers.

The cost of the development program will exceed a $4.9 billion cost cap by about $1 billion. The terms and conditions in the contract are such that Boeing would be responsible for the added costs.

Source: STLT Today

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