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23 octobre 2015 5 23 /10 /octobre /2015 16:35
photo Boeing

photo Boeing


23 October, 2015 By James Drew – FG


Washington DC  - Just months after being rejected by South Korea and weeks after first flight, Boeing’s KC-46A has been selected by Japan to supplement the nation’s KC-767 tanker fleet.


The announcement came from Japanese defence minister Gen Nakatani on Friday, and constitutes a significant win for Boeing after a troubled start to the next-generation tanker development programme with the US Air Force. The Pegasus tanker can almost see the end of its development phase, after achieving first flight 25 September from Paine Field in Washington, following a roughly nine-month delay. According to Boeing, KC-46 is particularly attractive to Japan as it will be capable of refuelling the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s planned fleet of Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey helicopters. Japan intends to procure three tankers for fielding in the 2020 time frame, at a cost of more ¥20.8 billion – about $173 million per tanker.

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8 octobre 2015 4 08 /10 /octobre /2015 11:20
Avion ravitailleur KC-46 de Boeing développé pour l’US Air Force qui en a commandé 179 – photo Boeing

Avion ravitailleur KC-46 de Boeing développé pour l’US Air Force qui en a commandé 179 – photo Boeing


07 octobre 2015 Par Julien Bonnet – Usine Nouvelle


Le futur ravitailleur de l’US Air Force, le KC-46 Pegasus de Boeing, a effectué son premier vol le 25 septembre dernier entre Everett et Seattle au nord-ouest des Etats-Unis. L’armée américaine en a commandé 179 exemplaires. Objectif : remplacer ses (KC-135) Stratotanker développés dans les années 50 et qui lui coûte plusieurs milliards de dollars chaque année pour les maintenir en service.

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17 septembre 2015 4 17 /09 /septembre /2015 16:20
A Boeing KC-46A tanker aircraft depicted in aerial refueling. Photo Boeing

A Boeing KC-46A tanker aircraft depicted in aerial refueling. Photo Boeing




As the budget deadline for fiscal year 2016 quickly approaches for U.S. lawmakers, the Pentagon reports operations under a continuing resolution may force the Air Force to end its contract with Boeing for the KC-46 tanker.

Under the current contract, Boeing supplements the cost for engineering and manufacturing for the tanker program, capped by the Air Force at $4.9 billion. Thus far, technical issues over the past 18 months have had Boeing paying $1.2 billion in tax overages. Should a continuing resolution continue, further services will require a waiver from Congress.

Top U.S. military officials have expressed concern over the potential end of the KC-46 contract.


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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 11:20
KC-46 Refueling Tanker to Make First Flight This Month


September 15, 2015 by Bryant Jordan - defensetech.org


The U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46A aerial refueling tanker made by Boeing Co. is scheduled to make its first flight on Sept. 25, a general said.


The date was announced Tuesday by Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson during the Air & Space Conference near Washington, D.C. The milestone for the eventual successor to the KC-135 and KC-10 was initially planned for the spring.


“Once that first flight occurs we’ll go into initial air worthiness,” he said. That means the second flight will begin testing the boom, hose and drogue systems, he said.


Richardson, the program executive officer for tankers with the Air Force Material Command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, said the subsequent flights will involve a variety of aircraft flying with the KC-46 and culminate with actual refueling flights in January.


Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the recent cost overrun on the aircraft, known as the Pegasus and based on the 767 twin-engine commercial airliner, is “deeply unfortunate” and that he’s concerned about delays to the program.


McCain said he detailed the concerns in a recent letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. He and Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, sent a similar letter over issues with the Air Force’s new bomber program.


“While the recently announced cost overrun on the Air Force’s KC-46A tanker is deeply unfortunate, it is encouraging that the contractor, and not the taxpayer, will bear this expense,” McCain said.


“That said, the resulting delays to the program’s internal deadlines for completing key qualification and planned ground and flight testing activities are indicative of a program at risk of not meeting its planned delivery milestones,” he said.


Boeing plans to deliver the first 18 KC-46As to the Air Force by August 2017. The service estimates it will spend $49 billion to develop and build 149 of the planes to replace its aging fleet of KC-135s, according to Pentagon budget documents. Boeing forecasts an $80 billion global market for the new tankers, according to Trading Alpha.

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11 septembre 2015 5 11 /09 /septembre /2015 18:20
photo LM - Boeingphoto LM - Boeing

photo LM - Boeing


Sept. 11, 2015 Defense.org


The Air Force will give an update next week at the annual Air and Space Conference on its two most needed yet controversial aircraft programs — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the KC-46 Pegasus refueling tanker.

Both projects have recently come under fire from Congress – again. In addition to cost overruns on the $400 billion F-35 program, the fighter’s ability to perform close air support has come into question compared to the aging A-10 Thunderbolt.

The KC-46, developed by Boeing from its 767 series jetliner, has also been hit by cost overruns and questions about Boeing’s ability to meet a deadline to have the aircraft on the ramp and ready for missions by August 2017.

In an Aug. 31 letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote that “I am concerned that the recent problems with the tanker modernization program could prevent the Department of Defense from delivering this critical capability to our warfighters as promised and on schedule.”

The lineup for the Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at National Harbor, Maryland, on Tuesday includes a panel on the F-35 and the KC-46 led by the main officers in charge of getting both programs back on track – Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan for the F-35, and Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson for the KC-46.

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23 juillet 2015 4 23 /07 /juillet /2015 16:20
Boeing’s first KC-46 tanker test aircraft takes off from Paine Field, Washington, on its inaugural flight in Dec. 28, 2014.(Photo Paul Gordon/Boeing)

Boeing’s first KC-46 tanker test aircraft takes off from Paine Field, Washington, on its inaugural flight in Dec. 28, 2014.(Photo Paul Gordon/Boeing)


22.07.2015 LaTribune.fr


Boeing a enregistré une charge 536 millions de dollars lié à des problèmes de test du KC-46 et vu ses profits chuter de 33% au deuxième trimestre. Mais le groupe connait un chiffre d'affaire en hausse de 11%, sa plus forte croissance en deux ans grâce ses ventes d'avions de ligne.


Boeing a annoncé mercredi 22 juillet un bénéfice en baisse pour le deuxième trimestre, affecté par une lourde charge sur un projet d'avion ravitailleur militaire. Il est ainsi ressorti en baisse de 33% à 1,11 milliard de dollars (1,02 milliard d'euros), soit 1,59 dollar par action, au deuxième trimestre, contre 1,65 milliard, soit 2,24 dollars par action, un an auparavant.

Les profits réalisés sont toutefois meilleurs que prévu grâce à une demande toujours aussi forte pour les avions de ligne. Les livraisons d'avions de ligne du groupe américain d'aéronautique et de défense ont augmenté de 9% pour atteindre 197 appareils et son chiffre d'affaires a progressé de 11%, soit la plus forte hausse en deux ans, à 24,54 milliards de dollars.


Les charges s'accumulent pour le K-46

Les profits de Boeing ont été affectés par une charge après impôt de 536 millions de dollars sur ses comptes du deuxième trimestre, liée à des problèmes ayant émergé pendant les tests du circuit carburant de son avion de ravitaillement en vol KC-46 destiné à l'U.S. Air Force.

C'est la deuxième charge passée sur cet avion qui est l'un de ses plus gros projets dans l'aéronautique militaire, ce qui porte les charges totales après impôt sur ce projet à un peu plus de 800 millions de dollars et à près de 1,3 milliard avant impôts.



Suite de l'article

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
SecAF: KC-46 First Flight 'Hopefully' Summer


March 19, 2015 By AARON MEHTA – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The Air Force secretary expects the KC-46A tanker to have its first flight sometime over the summer, a "several month" delay for a milestone on the program.


The timeline laid out for Defense News by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James clarifies comments made Tuesday by Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, program executive officer for tankers, that the tanker was going to miss the expected first flight date of mid-April.


"It is concerning me," James said in a Thursday interview. "My best belief, at this point, is it will be a several-month delay. So hopefully summertime is when it would occur."


This is not the first delay of a major test point on the tanker. The first test flight of a Boeing 767-2C, a test version of the KC-46A without the refueling boom and other tanker equipment, was scheduled for June 2014; it eventually occurred just before the New Year.


Executives for Boeing have emphasized that its focus is on a contractual obligation to provide 18 ready-to-go tankers on the ramp by 2017, and noted that first flight dates are targets, not obligations.


James did say that the KC-46 program has some good news, noting that the costs are capped and the company is largely on track for its major contractual requirements.


However, Richardson warned on Tuesday that the margin built into the schedule was essentially gone, and that any delay in getting that first flight up was a concern because of the need to get air worthiness certifications.


James echoed Richardson's concern about the lack of margin, and added that Boeing has submitted a new integrated master schedule, laying out its internal target dates, for review by the Air Force.


"The worrying news is that underneath those contractual and milestone requirements, there are a whole lot of other milestones," James said. "This is the internal plan for how do you get from here to there to meet the milestones. That's where there have been challenges and slippages and so forth, so that is the worrying part."


The KC-46A will replace the majority of the service's tanker fleet with 179 new planes, based on a Boeing commercial design.

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7 janvier 2015 3 07 /01 /janvier /2015 08:20
Premier vol du ravitailleur KC-46 de Boeing

Avion ravitailleur KC-46 de Boeing développé pour l’US Air Force qui en a commandé 179 – photo Boeing


30 décembre 2014 Aerobuzz.fr


Boeing annonce que l’avion-ravitailleur KC-46 a effectué son premier vol, le 28 décembre 2014, à Paine Field (Washington). L’avion, un Boeing 767-2C qui a volé 3 heures et 32 minutes, sera doté de ses systèmes militaires après certification. Ce premier vol s’inscrit dans le programme de l’avion ravitailleur de nouvelle génération destiné à l’US Air Force. Le contrat a été remporté par Boeing en 2011 après un épique combat à rebondissements multiples mené contre Airbus et son A330 MRTT.


Boeing prévoit d’utiliser 4 avions d’essais : deux 767-2C et deux KC-46A. Les 767-2C seront utilisés pour la certification de la version cargo, avant de recevoir les systèmes de ravitaillement en vol. Dans le même temps, les KC-46, entièrement équipés, seront utilisés pour les certifications militaire et civile (FAA). Boeing doit livrer à l’US Air Force, les 18 premiers KC-46 en 2017. Le contrat total porte sur 179 avions.

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
Avion ravitailleur : le KC-46 de Boeing devrait coûter plus cher


15 juillet 2014 Usinenouvelle.com


Boeing pourrait devoir assumer des coûts de développement nettement supérieurs à ses prévisions pour le KC-46, le futur avion ravitailleur de l'armée de l'air américaine, même si le contrat prévoit que le constructeur assume seul ces dépassements, a déclaré le responsables des achats du Pentagone.


Frank Kendall, secrétaire adjoint à la Défense des Etats-Unis, a déclaré à des journalistes dimanche soir que le programme évoluait convenablement mais que plusieurs événements imprévus se traduisaient par une augmentation de son coût.


Boeing et le Pentagone sont en désaccord sur le montant du dépassement potentiel, notamment parce que le constructeur estime que les coûts des essais en vol seront inférieurs aux prévisions de l'administration.


"Nous nous attendons bien à un dépassement que Boeing devra assumer", a dit Frank Kendall. "C'est simplement une question d'amplitude du dépassement. Nous considérons que le chiffre sera nettement plus élevé qu'ils ne l'ont admis jusqu'à présent."


Boeing n'a pas fait de commentaire dans l'immédiat sur le montant du dépassement.

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2 juillet 2014 3 02 /07 /juillet /2014 17:35
Boeing offers KC-46 for South Korea tanker requirement


30 Jun 2014 By: Craig Hoyle - FG


Boeing has submitted its response to a request for proposals to supply South Korea’s first in-flight refuelling capability, pitching the 767-based KC-46 for the four-aircraft deal.

In development for the US Air Force, which plans to acquire 179 examples via its KC-X tanker programme, the KC-46 could support Seoul’s Boeing F-15K strike aircraft and Lockheed Martin F-16C fighters if selected, along with its Korea Aerospace Industries TA-50s and future 60 Lockheed Martin F-35s. It also would provide “the ability to operate seamlessly with the US Air Force during combat and humanitarian relief operations”, the company adds.


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15 avril 2014 2 15 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
KC-135 Versus Planned KC-46 Performance Capabilities - source GAO photo Boeing

KC-135 Versus Planned KC-46 Performance Capabilities - source GAO photo Boeing


April 14th, 2014 By USGovernment - defencetalk.com


The KC-46 program has made good progress over the past year—acquisition costs have remained relatively stable, the critical design review was successfully completed, the program is on track to meet performance parameters, and the contractor started building development aircraft. As shown, total program acquisition costs—which include development, production, and military construction costs—and unit costs have changed less than 1 percent since February 2011.


As of December 2013, Boeing had about $75 million of its management reserves remaining to address identified, but unresolved development risks. There are indications that the start of initial operational test and evaluation, which is scheduled for May 2016, may slip 6 to 12 months. According to the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, more time may be needed to train aircrew and maintenance personnel and verify maintenance procedures.


The program released over 90 percent of the KC-46 design drawings at the critical design review, indicating that the design is stable. Overall, development of about 15.8 million lines of software code is progressing mostly according to plan. The next 12 months will be challenging as the program must complete software development, verify that the software works as intended, finalize developmental flight test planning, and begin developmental flight tests.


Software problem reports are increasing and Boeing could have difficulty completing all testing if more retests are needed than expected. Developmental flight testing activities are also a concern due to the need for extensive coordination among government agencies, the need for timely access to receiver aircraft (aircraft the KC-46 will refuel while in flight), and the aggressive test pace. The program office is conducting test exercises to mitigate risks and working with Navy and United Kingdom officials to finalize agreements to have access to necessary receiver aircraft.


The program has also made progress in ensuring that the KC-46 is ready for low rate initial production in 2015. Boeing has started manufacturing all four development aircraft on schedule. The program office has identified its critical manufacturing processes and verified that the processes are capable of producing key military subsystems in a production representative environment.


In addition, the program has established a reliability growth curve and will begin tracking its progress towards reaching reliability goals once testing begins. Boeing is experiencing some manufacturing delays due to late supplier deliveries on the first aircraft and parts delays for a test article of a critical aerial refueling subsystem, but the program has not missed any major milestones.


View Report (PDF, 38 pages)

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
The future of European AAR


Thursday 10 April EATC


At the 10th of April 2014 the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training - the first of its kind - celebrated its Distinguished Visitors Day (DVD). VIPs out of whole Europe found its way to Eindhoven Air Base in order to find out more about this EDA initiative, orchestrated with EATC assets and planning, conducted by the Eindhoven Air Base.

It was first Base Commander and Colonel von Soest to welcome his guests and to “prepare the floor” for the following speakers by introducing the VIPs and further guests into the programme.

Dutch Air Commodore Luyt took over and welcomed the audience on behalf of the Dutch Air Chief. In his welcome words he congratulated Eindhoven Air Base for its success within EART 2014 and remarked that the Netherlands - as a small country - have a comparably wide experience in Air-to-Air Refuelling matters.


EDA takes the floor

The future belongs to multirole capable aircraft


Giampaolo Lillo, EDA Director of Cooperation, Planning and Support, took the words to emphasize the necessity to overcome the EU Tanker shortfall. While the US - as a comparison - operate with more than 500 tankers, the EU works with rather than 50. Therefore EDA recommended to the nations four initiatives under one EDA umbrella that aims to remain Europes capabilitiy to assist worldwide remote airborne operations and deployments: with MRTT AAR solutions.

Major General Valentin, Commander of the EATC, described the European Air Transport Command as the heart and engine of the military Air Transport as well as Air-to-Air Refuelling within Europe. Though EATC runs actually just a dozen of tankers, this number will rise definitely with Spains accession this year and the potential accession of Italy the years after. With regard to the number of new MRTT aircraft, that France plans to introduce as well as the 29 AAR-kits for the A400M - while this aircraft will anyway been driven by the EATC under operational command - the amount of available tankers/MRTT can rise to more than fifty aircraft by the end of the decade - solely within EATC Participating Nations.

Colonel Lokman, as chairman of one EDA initiated important pillar to overcome the EU tanker shortfall, took now the floor and explained several strategies to fulfill the “Optimisation of existing assets and organizations”, answered afterwards the journalists questions, why and how the EART training was created for. He emphasized the need of a concept of better use of current and future TT assets and focused also on the establishment of a European AAR planners course. As a direct result, representatives of the JAPCC within the delegation announced, that this course will take place in the near future.

The long term search for the ultimate future MRTT aircraft was again Colonel van Soests responsibility. “His” project - also an EDA pillar - combines the need of not less than ten European nations to enhance their AAR-capabilities. Nations signed in 2012 already a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire a new MRTT aircraft by end of this decade/ beginning next decade.


Two multirole capable aircraft

EART in theory and praxis

Finally it was Major Frölichs turn on the stage, Exercise Director of EART and surely also the focal person between EART and Frisian Flag. He introduced the audience into the training objectives and mentioned the advantages to merge both training and exercise. As both locations (Air Base Leeuwarden and Eindhoven Air Base) are not far away from each other, the tanker formations of the Dutch, German and Italian AAR-fleet were able to operate two missions a day within the exercise, making the whole sequence of AAR-actions very efficient. No wonder, that he recommends to repeat EART next year – again with connection to Frisian Flag.

After this marathon of speakers and speeches the event turned over to the practical part: Meanwhile all tankers were back from their first (morning) missions – and presented each a static display for the audience out on the tanker platform.
As final part of the DVD the guests took part in an AAR-mission within the Dutch KDC-10, where the astonished audience watched several F-16 aircraft approaching to be supplied. Moreover the German and Italian Tanker performed several formation maneuvers along the KDC-10, making the scenario the first of its kind within European skies.


FInd out more about EART here


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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 11:35



2 April 2014 airforce-technology.com


South Korea has started a process to acquire its long-desired four in-flight refuelling tanker aircraft in an effort to enhance the national air defence.


The estimated KRW1.4tn ($1.31bn) deal forms part of the country's attempts to augment its air defence in wake of escalating tension in morth-east Asia over the maritime interests of Japan, China and North Korea, Reuters reports.


The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement that the purchase will be made through a competitive bid process and bids will be accepted by the end of June 2014.


Two unnamed industry sources were quoted by the news agency as saying that Boeing is expected to bid with a model that is based on a Boeing 767-level aircraft, such as the KC-46 Pegasus, while Airbus Group is likely to offer its A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT).



Boeing KC-46 tanker

Boeing KC-46 tanker

Other companies are also anticipated to enter the competition with commercial aircraft overhauled as tankers, the sources added.


A closed briefing is scheduled to be held by DAPA on 08 April to brief the bidders regarding the contract requirements.


Another source with direct knowledge of its requirements said the country aims to close a deal by the end of 2014.


The in-flight refuelling tankers are anticipated to enhance the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) fighter aircraft airborne operation time by more than one hour, the source added.


Scheduled to be acquired between 2017 and 2019, the new tankers will help extend the operational range of ROKAF's F-15K and KF-16 fighter aircraft fleet, as reported earlier by Yonhap News Agency.

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
USAF: Boeing KC-46 Tanker on Track

The Boeing KC-46 tanker is expected to meet its cost and schedule obligations, a U.S. Air Force general said. (Boeing illustration)


Sep. 17, 2013 - By MARCUS WEISGERBER – Defense News


WASHINGTON — Boeing should be able to meet the cost and schedule terms of the US Air Force’s KC-46 aerial tanker program, the general in charge of the much-watched effort said.


“Right now, based on this year’s government schedule risk assessment, it looks like with greater than a 90 percent probability the Boeing team will deliver the 18 tankers by 2017 as laid out in the contract,” Maj. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force program executive officer for tankers, said during a Tuesday briefing at the Air Force Association’s annual convention.


Boeing has met most of its contractual requirements early and is about 40 percent finished with the tanker’s development program, Thompson said.


The Air Force selected the Boeing 767-based tanker over an EADS A330 rival in February 2011. The contract for 179 of the aircraft is valued at $35 billion.


Low-rate initial production is scheduled to begin in 2015. Production is scheduled to ramp up to 15 tankers per year in 2017 and is expected to run though 2017, Thompson said.


“[The] bottom line from the operational assessment that was published in May is that from an effectivity, suitability and mission-accomplishment standpoint, the KC-46 is on track,” Thompson said.


Unlike many Pentagon procurement programs, the KC-46 program has remained on track despite sequestration cuts.


“From a funding perspective as the No. 1 modernization program in the United States Air Force, the people in the Department of Defense, the people in the Department of the Air Force [and] the people over on the Hill that gave us the flexibilities that we needed, took care of us,” Thompson said.

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