Issue 70  
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Agenda
12.01.2019 14:11

US Air Force Accepts First KC-46A Tanker Aircraft

The US Air Force (USAF) accepted the first Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling on 10 January which is more than two years late, and despite major technical deficiencies.  USAF said it will withhold payment of $28 million per aircraft until the faults are fixed.

The service is scheduled to take physical delivery of the first KC-46A at McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), Kansas, as early as late January, according to USAF. 

USAF spokesperson Captain Hope Cronin said  “We have identified, and Boeing has agreed to fix at its expense, deficiencies discovered in developmental testing of the remote vision system.”

Boeing spokesperson Kelly Kaplan said on 10 January that the company has more than 40 tankers in build and assembly. Nine aircraft are undergoing customer acceptance testing.

One of the KC-46A’s big problems is with the remote vision system (RVS) and the refuelling boom. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in an April 2018 report that there were many instances where the boom nozzle contacted the receiver aircraft outside the refuelling receptacle and, in many cases, aerial refuelling operators were unaware that those contacts had occurred.

Boom nozzle contact outside the receptacle can damage antennae or other nearby structures. This is problematic for low observable aircraft, such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, because it can damage radar-absorbing coatings.

 

 

 

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