U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein on Friday said he was concerned about a delay in Boeing Co’s $49 billion KC-46A refueling tanker program but remained confident that the company would be able to resolve the issue, that reported by Andrea Shalal / reuters.com.
The Air Force last month said it would seek compensation from Boeing for a five-month delay in delivering the KC-46A Pegasus tanker.
Boeing and the Air Force announced in May that delivery of the first batch of 18 tankers would be pushed back to January 2018 from a previous deadline of August 2017, and that the planes would lack some capability until October 2018.
The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner.
In February 2011, the tanker was selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older KC-135 Stratotankers. The first 18 combat-ready aircraft are to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force by August 2017 under the terms of the development contract.
Two high-bypass turbofans, mounted under 34-degree swept wings, power the KC-46A to takeoff at gross weights up to 415,000 pounds. Nearly all internal fuel can be pumped through the boom, drogue and wing aerial refueling pods. The centerline drogue and wing aerial refueling pods are used to refuel aircraft fitted with probes. All aircraft will be configured for the installation of a multipoint refueling system.
MPRS configured aircraft will be capable of refueling two receiver aircraft simultaneously from special “pods” mounted under the wing. One crewmember known as the boom operator controls the boom, centerline drogue, and wing refueling pods during refueling operations. This new tanker utilizes an advanced KC-10 boom, a center mounted drogue and wing aerial refueling pods allowing it to refuel multiple types of receiver aircraft as well as foreign national aircraft on the same mission.
A cargo deck above the refueling system can accommodate a mix load of passengers, patients and cargo. The KC-46A can carry up to 18 463L cargo pallets. Seat tracks and the onboard cargo handling system make it possible to simultaneously carry palletized cargo, seats, and patient support pallets in a variety of combinations.