Boeing KC-46 Tanker $3b Production Decision Slips to June

May 3, 2016
By Tony Capaccio

(Bloomberg) — Decision to approve Low-Rate Initial Production contracts for 19 tankers delayed again, by one month, as Boeing verifies fix to refueling system glitches needed to transfer fuel to heavy aircraft.

  • “Milestone C review is expected to occur in June, subject to completion of flight test verification” of fix, Air Force spokesman Daryl Mayer says in e-mail
    • “Problem is well understood,” Mayer says
  • Boeing spokesman Charles Ramey in e-mail says “we plan to complete flight tests of fix in coming weeks”
  • NOTE: Production award was to occur in August 2016, slipped to April, then this month, now June
  • Jan. 26 test refueling of C-17 transport revealed “load issues” with device that controls “extension and retraction” of boom used to pass fuel “while receiver aircraft is in contact with the tanker,” Mayer said
    • “Control loop must maintain enough contact pressure to keep refueling nozzle connected, but not so much pressure as to place excessive force on tanker or receiver aircraft structure,” Mayer says
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