9 octobre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

USAF Receives Nine KC-46As In Third Quarter

Boeing delivered nine KC-46A tankers to the U.S. Air Force in the third quarter and 21 overall so far this year despite a series of quality control issues and a newly discovered design flaw, the company announced on Oct. 8. 

The Air Force could receive a total of 30 KC-46As this year if Boeing matches third-quarter deliveries during the last three months of 2019. 

That delivery total still falls short of Boeing’s original plan to deliver at least 36 aircraft this year, but it is possible the company could deliver aircraft at an even faster rate in the fourth quarter. 

The Air Force had planned to receive KC-46As at an annual rate of 15 aircraft, but an impasse over assigning financial responsibility for fixing two design flaws delayed first delivery more than two years. As negotiations continued, Boeing built up a large backlog of undelivered KC-46As. 

The two sides finally came to an agreement on Jan. 29, allowing Boeing to deliver the first aircraft by the end of that month. Boeing agreed to pay for a redesign of the remote vision system (RVS), which is still being defined. The Air Force funded the redesign of a new actuator for the KC-46A refueling boom. The service is also withholding 20% of the payment for each aircraft until the RVS redesign is complete. 

In the meantime, the Air Force has restricted the KC-46A fleet from carrying cargo and passengers after finding a new design flaw during initial operational test and evaluation. The devices that hold cargo and passenger seats in place became unlocked in flight.



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