Boeing and U.S. Air Force adjust KC-46 Tanker schedule

USAF KC-46 Tanker

As detailed in its statement released today, the U.S. Air Force is moving its formal production decision on the KC-46 tanker program, known as Milestone C, from June 2016 to August 2016 to allow additional time to implement the solution to a refueling boom loads issue identified during flight testing earlier this year.

The Air Force also released an updated projection from Boeing for initial KC-46 deliveries and the expected timing for delivery of the first 18 certified tanker aircraft, a milestone known as Required Assets Available (RAA). Due to ongoing complexities associated with qualification and certification of the aircraft’s centerline drogue and wing-aerial refueling pod (WARP) systems, and the previously announced higher volume of change incorporation to bring the first 18 aircraft up to the certification configuration, the first tanker delivery will move from March 2017 to August 2017 with the 18th aircraft delivered in January 2018.

The underlying production system remains on track, and Boeing will have more than 18 aircraft through the factory line and in various stages of final change incorporation and certification by August 2017. The first 18 aircraft will be equipped with refueling boom and centerline drogue refueling capabilities as well as all other contract required capability except WARPs. The WARP systems required to complete full contractual RAA will be delivered separately in October 2018.

Boeing continues to demonstrate its commitment to the USAF and the Tanker program with 5 aircraft now in test (including the first production aircraft), 7 aircraft in final production build, and 8 aircraft in the supply chain – up to tail number 20. The KC-46 Tanker will play a vital role in America’s Air Mobility Forces providing both global power projection and unrivaled global reach for decades to come.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gerald Eastman

    May 28, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Boeing’s CEO lying to investors? Par for the course for corrupt Boeing Management. Why anyone risks their hard earned money on the performance of the crooks in Boeing Management I’ll never know. The Air Force should have went with safer Airbus jets for this contract, especially considering Boeing Management’s criminal conduct on the original contract. There was no real consequences for Boeing because of that fraud. The 8-1-06 GSA left Boeing’s Management just as addled with corruption to this day. Boeing will still do anything, legal or not, to gain or keep an advantage in the marketplace.

    At least there will only be Air Force conscripts on these unsafe planes and not the unknowing public, although being in the U.S. military shouldn’t mean having to fly on unsafe airplanes just because of where they were built. Airbus planes are much more structurally sound than Boeing planes because Airbus won’t pare safety margins to save weight. And Airbus planes are actually completed and inspected before delivery.

    Why did Boeing and the Air Force decide to announce this on the Friday before the holiday weekend? Minimize the attention to media coverage of this and obscure the related dead cat bounce to the stock? Seems like Air Force management is still just as far in bed with corrupt Boeing Management as Druyun was. SMH.


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