US Air Force Receives First Two Boeing KC-46 Tankers Written 29 January 2019

CNBC reported that the US Air Force’s first two Boeing KC-46 tankers “touched down at McConnell Air Force base in Kansas on Friday after departing the company’s Everett, Washington, facility.” The delivery marks a “major milestone for the program, which is two years behind schedule and more than $3 billion over budget.” Boeing is expected to deliver around three tankers per month to the Air Force, which would total “approximately 36 aircraft by the end of the year.” Boeing plans to build a “total of 179 refueling aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging tanker fleet.” The Air Force accepted the delivery “despite outstanding issues with the aircraft.” As a result, Boeing has “agreed to foot the bill for software and hardware upgrades for the camera system used in refueling operations, and the Air Force will finance the redesign of the tankers’ boom, which is used to deliver fuel to an aircraft.” The Air Force plans to withhold 20 percent of Boeing’s payment “until progress is made on aircraft deficiencies.” Speaking in an interview, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said that there are “always technical issues when you take a new weapons system like this, and actually there are fewer technical issues than there are on most major procurements that we do.” Wilson added that with Boeing’s corrective actions, the Air Force is “ready to take the next step, which is operational test and evaluation, and get these aircraft in the hands of our airmen.”
More Info (CNBC)