Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 17:20
AF Announces KC-46A Preferred, Reasonable Alternatives


Oct 29, 2015 ASDNews Source : US Air Force


Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, has been chosen as the preferred alternative for the first Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus main operating base, Air Force officials announced Oct. 29. The KC-46As are expected to begin arriving in 2019.


Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts; and Grissom ARB, Indiana, were named as the reasonable alternatives.


"It is absolutely critical that we replace our aging tanker fleet with the KC-46A Pegasus aerial tanker," said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. "I am pleased to announce Seymour Johnson AFB as the first Reserve-led location because it is a testament to the Air Force's commitment to the total force.


“We must use all three components -- active, Guard and Reserve -- operating cohesively and seamlessly as one team so we can realize the full potential of airpower."


James also explained the 179 planned KC-46A aircraft are just the first phase of a three-phase effort to replace the aging tanker fleet. The first phase of tanker recapitalization will complete deliveries in fiscal year 2028.


During detailed, on-the-ground site surveys of each candidate base, the major commands evaluated the bases against operational and training requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure, and manpower.


The site survey teams also developed cost estimates to bed down the KC-46A at each candidate base. The results of the surveys were briefed to James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, who selected the preferred and reasonable alternatives for this mission.


"Seymour Johnson (AFB) was selected based on operational analysis, results of site surveys, cost, and military judgment factors," said Jennifer Miller, the Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations. “The primary drivers for selecting this location as the preferred alternative were its lower costs and its highly successful existing active-duty association, which will lead to the lowest active-duty manpower required to stand up the KC-46A Reserve unit.”


Selection of this total force unit will minimize costs and the challenge of fielding a new weapons system while simultaneously establishing a new active association.


"Bringing the KC-46A online is a huge first step in recapitalizing a tanker fleet that has been the world leader in air refueling for more than five decades," Welsh said. "The incredible Airmen who will fly this great machine, and the joint and coalition partners they support in contingency and humanitarian operations around the world, deserve the improved aircraft availability rates, reliability and capability it will bring to the fight. Rapid global mobility has always been a core mission of our Air Force; the KC-46A will help us take it to the next level!"


The Air Force will also ensure Reserve component involvement from day one by establishing active/Reserve associations at all U.S. main operating base locations.


“The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are vital to accomplishing our air refueling mission,” James explained. “Therefore, the ability to recruit for and maintain a strong Reserve component association was a major consideration in this basing action.”


“We will now begin the Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP),” Miller said. “We look forward to the inputs provided from the communities as we proceed through the environmental impact analysis.


“Once the requirements of the environmental impact analysis process are complete, the Air Force will make its final basing decision.”


Reasonable alternatives will continue to be evaluated during the EIAP. Subsequent KC-46 decisions will use similar criteria; therefore, candidate installations will likely compete for future continental U.S. basing decisions.


The KC-46A will provide improved capabilities, including boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie; worldwide navigation and communication; cargo capacity on the entire main deck floor; receiver air refueling; improved force protection and survivability; and multi-point air refueling capability.

Partager cet article
16 octobre 2015 5 16 /10 /octobre /2015 06:20
KC-46 Demos its Aerial Refuelling Systems


Oct 14, 2015 ASDNews Source : Cobham


The KC-46A Pegasus notched another success this week when the systems at the heart of aerial refuelling were demonstrated on EMD-2 with the deployment of both drogue systems and the boom


On Thursday, EMD-2 successfully extended the drogue refuelling baskets from both the Centerline Drogue System, located on the belly of the fuselage, and from the Wing Aerial Refuelling Pods, located on the wing tips, for probe receiver aircraft.  On Friday, EMD-2 extended the boom, the telescoping tube which an operator on the tanker aircraft extends to receptacle-equipped receiver aircraft. "The core mission of Pegasus is to fuel the fight, so deploying the boom and drogues signals real progress toward demonstrating the ability to pass fuel in flight," said Brig. Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, Program Executive Officer for Tankers at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. "This sets the stage for the main act, which is hooking up to and refuelling an aircraft in flight." 


Read more

Partager cet article
17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 17:20
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)


March 17, 2015 By Aaron Mehta – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The KC-46A Pegasus tanker program director is "not comfortable" saying the tanker's first flight will happen as planned in April.


Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, program executive officer for tankers, told an audience Tuesday that he is now targeting a more general date of second quarter of this calendar year, which extends to the end of June.


"What I'm trying not to do is get fixated on days," Richardson said at the CreditSuisse/McAleese conference, held annually in Washington. "I feel more comfortable saying second quarter calendar 15. I feel more comfortable with that."


The KC-46A will replace the majority of the service's current tanker fleet with 179 new planes, based on a Boeing commercial design. The contract protects the Air Force from major cost overruns on the way to having 18 planes ready to go in 2017.


The first engineering, manufacturing, development (EMD) configuration flew in late December, while first flight of a full-up KC-46A had been scheduled for April. That now appears to be slipping.


Read more

Partager cet article
30 janvier 2015 5 30 /01 /janvier /2015 17:20
The KC-46 Pegasus EMD aircraft during its maiden flight in US. Photo US Air Force.

The KC-46 Pegasus EMD aircraft during its maiden flight in US. Photo US Air Force.


30 January 2015 airforce-technology.com


Kaman has secured a contract to manufacture and supply fixed trailing edge (FTE) kits for the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker programme.


Under the multi-year contract, the company's Aerosystems division will supply an undisclosed number of KC-46A FTE kits and assemblies to Boeing.


Kaman Aerospace Group president Greg Steiner said: "Kaman has worked with Boeing to develop a more monolithic design over the base 767 aircraft for the tanker.


"The KC-46A Tanker FTE kit award exemplifies Kaman's capabilities and Boeing's continued confidence in us."


The company handed over its first KC-46A Tanker FTE kit to Boeing in March 2014.


In addition, the company has supplied more than 1,000 FTE kits and assemblies for the Boeing 767 programme since 1986.


Additional contract details, including its value and delivery schedule, remain undisclosed.


KC-46A is a military aerial refuelling and strategic transport aircraft that has been developed from Boeing's 767-200ER. It was designed to replace the US Air Force's (USAF) ageing fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers, which have served as its primary refuelling aircraft for more than 50 years.


The wide body multi-mission aircraft is equipped with the Cobham centreline drogue system, integrated display system, and four body fuel tanks. It will be capable of transporting fuel, cargo, passengers, and patients, at a maximum speed of 915km/h.


Boeing is under contract to deliver 18 KC-46 refuelling aircraft by August 2017 to the USAF, which plans to acquire a total of 179 tankers by 2027.


The company successfully completed the maiden test flight of the first KC-46 engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) aircraft from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, in December 2014.


The fully provisioned KC-46A tanker is expected to undergo its first flight in early 2015, while delivery of the first production aircraft to the USAF is anticipated to take place early next year.

Partager cet article
10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 11:20
Pease ANGB Selected to Receive KC-46A Pegasus


Aug 6, 2014 ASDNews Source : US Air Force


Air Force officials announced Aug. 6, Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire as the Air Force's first Air National Guard-led KC-46A Pegasus main operating base.


"The KC-46A Pegasus aerial tanker remains one of our top acquisition priorities. Making a final basing decision is an important step in recapitalizing the tanker fleet," said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. "We will begin to replace our aging tanker fleet in 2016, but even when the program is complete in 2028 we will have replaced less than half of the current tanker fleet and will still be flying over 200 half-century-old KC-135s."


Read more

Partager cet article
4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Air Force leaders insist new tanker is key to airpower


April 4th, 2014 By Air Force News Agency - defencetalk.com


The top three acquisition priorities for the Air Force are the KC-46A aerial tanker, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the Long Range Strike Bomber, officials told members of Congress during a hearing of House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on seapower and projections forces, April 2.

“On any given day, the Air Force’s mobility aircraft deliver critical personnel and cargo, and provide airdrop of time-sensitive supplies, food and ammunition on a global scale,” said Dr. William LaPlante, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition.

LaPlante was joined by Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements Maj. Gen. James Jones and Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers Maj. Gen. John Thompson.

“The KC-46 remains essential to overall strategy,” Jones said. “Our air refueling fleet is critical to operations for all services, and our coalition partners.”

LaPlante explained the new tanker is essential to replacing an aging tanker fleet, and ushering air mobility and sustainment into the future.

“The backbone of rapid U.S. global operations is our tanker fleet,” LaPlante said. “Based on the budget submitted, we expect to see about 54 KC-46 deliveries across the Future Years Defense Plan, as part of the tanker fleet recapitalization.”

The first delivery of Low Rate Initial Production aircraft will be in Fiscal Year 2016, with an estimated program completion date of 2028.

“Tankers are the lifeblood of our joint force’s ability to respond to crisis and contingencies, and are essential to keeping our Air Force viable as a global force,” LaPlante added.

The Air Force is also investing in the sustainment of the current bomber and cargo fleets, and will make upgrades to various systems to keep these airframes practical in the future of the force, he explained.

Overall, Air Force officials said they are optimistic about the future of the air mobility and bomber fleets, and are confident in the continued capabilities to support the warfighter.

“In the midst of the challenges ahead, we will aim to keep these programs on track and deliver these systems both as vital capabilities to our forces, but also as the best value to our taxpayer,” LaPlante said. “These systems will provide the future capabilities necessary to operate effectively in the national security environment of tomorrow.”

Partager cet article
5 février 2014 3 05 /02 /février /2014 12:20
Crédits Boeing

Crédits Boeing


04/02/2014 par François Julian – Air & Cosmos


Le Pentagone vient de rendre ses conclusions concernant la mise au point des nouveaux matériels militaires américains. Dans un rapport publié le 27 janvier dernier, le DOT&E (la direction des évaluations de matériels et des essais opérationnels) maintient que l'avion ravitailleur Boeing KC-46A est un programme à « hauts risques », qui devrait connaître un retard de « six à douze mois ». C'est tout particulièrement la phase d'évaluation opérationnelle initiale (IOT&E), jusqu'ici programmée pour le printemps 2016, qui pourrait ainsi être retardée.


Le Pentagone note également des retards dans la mise au point du système d'autoprotection ALR-69A de Raytheon, qui ferait pour le moment preuve de performances insuffisantes.


Pour autant, jusqu'à maintenant Boeing s'en tient toujours à son calendrier initial. L'assemblage des quatre premiers avions, destinés à ces essais opérationnels, a bien démarré. Et le premier exemplaire devrait ainsi faire son premier vol en milieu d'année, sous la forme d'un 767-2C (une version cargo du 767), avant de recevoir ses équipements militaires. Il doit voler dans sa configuration définitive début 2015.


Il est normalement prévu que le KC-46A soit opérationnel dans l'US Air Force en 2017.

Partager cet article
28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
A330 MRTT photo Airbus Military

A330 MRTT photo Airbus Military


27.11.2013 Helen Chachaty journal-aviation.com


Selon l’agence de presse coréenne Yonhap, le gouvernement coréen devrait lancer un appel d’offres pour l’acquisition de quatre avions ravitailleurs en janvier 2014. Cette décision ferait suite à un rapport de la DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration) mettant en avant la nécessité pour la Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) de s’équiper de ravitailleurs. Les avions devraient être livrés entre 2017 et 2019 et le contrat se monterait à environ 1 000 milliards de wons, soit environ 940 millions de dollars.


Ce futur contrat d’acquisition permettrait à la Corée du Sud d’augmenter de manière considérable ses capacités aériennes, la ROKAF ne possédant en effet pas de capacités de ravitaillement en vol pour ses chasseurs (F-15K, F-16C, F-5E, F-4E/RF-4C). Des entraînements au ravitaillement de KF-16 avaient eu lieu au large de la base aérienne de Kusan en septembre 2011, avec le concours de l’US Air Force et de KC-135 (photo).


Cet appel d’offres va à nouveau opposer Boeing et Airbus Military, l’avionneur américain étant en position de proposer le futur KC-46A ou son KC-767, tandis que la division d’EADS tentera de positionner son A330 MRTT sur le marché.

Partager cet article
2 octobre 2013 3 02 /10 /octobre /2013 11:20


October 2nd, 2013 by Mike Hoffman  - defensetech.org


Air Force generals received another reason Monday to keep pushing Congress to deliver funding for the KC-46A tanker program even in the midst of this budget environment.


A KC-135 Stratotanker made an emergency landing Monday at Sol San Juan airport in Palma De Mallorca. The tanker based out of McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas took off from a Spanish air base in Moron.


The Stratotanker was forced to land after a suspected fuel leak was suspected, officials said.


The KC-46A remains the Air Force’s top modernization priority at a time when service officials get few choices on what acquisition program they want to deliver. The KC-135 has been in service for more than five decades and remains an integral part of the Air Force’s fleet.


This is not the first emergency landings for the KC-135 this year. The aircraft has been forced to land because of engine and landing gear problems. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear about those landings in future Congressional hearings. Of course, that’s if the government reopens.

Partager cet article
5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
Boeing starts assembly of USAF KC-46 tanker's second refuelling boom

The skin of the second KC-46A boom being loaded into a jig at Boeing's boom assembly centre in Seattle, US. Photo: courtesy of Boeing


5 September 2013 airforce-technology.com


The US Air Force's (USAF) KC-46A aerial refuelling tanker development programme has moved ahead with the start of assembly of the second refuelling boom at Boeing's facility in Seattle, US.


Once assembled, the refuelling boom is scheduled to be mounted on a test aircraft for further validation of its design.


Boeing is currently manufacturing five test booms, of which the first will be utilised for risk-reducing laboratory tests at a System Integration Lab (SIL), also called as SIL 0, in early 2014.


Boeing KC-46 vice-president and programme manager Maureen Dougherty said the KC-46 boom is based on the proven KC-10 tanker's boom, which has performed extremely well in 30 years of its operation.


"Our team is achieving significant milestones as we prepare for flight tests to begin, and we remain focused on delivering this capability on schedule,'' Dougherty said.


Manufactured at KC-46 Boom Assembly Center at Boeing Field in Seattle, the modernised fly-by-wire boom is expected to provide KC-46 tanker with advanced refuelling capabilities, enabling it to refuel any fixed-wing receiver aircraft anytime and on any mission.


Developed from Boeing's 767-200ER, KC-46A is a military aerial refuelling and strategic transport aircraft designed to replace the USAF's ageing KC-135 Stratotankers fleet, which has served as its primary refuelling aircraft for more than 50 years.


Boeing is currently under contract to deliver 18 KC-46 refuelling aircraft by 2017 to the USAF, which is planning to acquire a total of 179 tankers by 2027.


An initial test flight of the fully-equipped KC-46A tanker is planned for early 2015, while delivery will take place in 2016.

Partager cet article
5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

September 4, 2013 defense-aerospace.com    

(Source: Boeing Co.; issued September 3, 2013)


Boeing Tanker Remains On Schedule with Start of 2nd Refueling Boom Assembly


SEATTLE --– Boeing workers in Seattle took another step toward delivering next-generation aerial refueling capability to the U.S. Air Force today when they began assembling the second refueling boom for the KC-46A Tanker program.


Based on the Boeing 767 commercial airplane, the KC-46A will feature a modernized fly-by-wire boom and hose and drogue systems, making it capable of refueling any U.S. or allied fixed wing aircraft any time on any mission. What’s more, the KC-46 itself can be refueled in flight, adding to its substantially greater capability and mission flexibility.


"Our team is achieving significant milestones as we prepare for flight tests to begin, and we remain focused on delivering this capability on schedule,” said Maureen Dougherty, KC-46 vice president and program manager. “The KC-46 boom is modeled after the proven KC-10 boom, which has performed extremely well in its 30 years of operation. We’re enhancing its reliability, making it even better.”


Five test booms are being built. The first will be used for risk-reducing laboratory tests that are scheduled to begin early next year. The second will be installed on a test aircraft to further evaluate the design.


Boeing invented the air refueling boom and has been building, upgrading and modifying them for more than 60 years. The company remains on plan to deliver the initial 18 combat-ready KC-46As by 2017. It will deliver 179 to the Air Force by 2027.



A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide.

Partager cet article
26 août 2013 1 26 /08 /août /2013 16:20
Boeing KC-46  source Boeing

Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

Aug 23, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


Boeing officially began assembling the second KC-46A Tanker this week as workers loaded the aircraft’s wing spar into an Automated Spar Assembly Tool. The on-time milestone brings the program another step closer to delivering the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation aerial refueling tanker.


The event comes less than two months after the KC-46 program began to assemble the first of four Engineering, Manufacturing and Development test aircraft. The wing spar, the main structural component of the wing, is 82 feet 5 inches long and provides critical support for flight loads and the weight of the wings.


“Completing production of the four test aircraft on schedule is our priority as we prepare to enter the flight test phase of the program,” said Maj. Gen. John Thompson, U.S. Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers. “The program continues to meet or exceed all contract milestones.”


The first test aircraft is expected to roll out of the factory in January 2014, while the second is scheduled to leave the factory in March. Boeing plans to fly the fully provisioned tanker for the first time in early 2015 and make the first delivery in 2016. The company expects to build and deliver the first 18 KC-46As by 2017 and a total of 179 by 2027 if all options under the contract are exercised.


“We’re exactly where we want to be right now,” said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and KC-46 Tanker program manager. “One year from now, all four test aircraft will be out of the factory, and the first two will be flying.”


The KC-46A is based on the Boeing 767 commercial jetliner, a proven airframe in service as an airliner, freighter and tanker. Boeing has delivered more than 1,050 767s worldwide.


“Production of the first tanker is going smoothly and remains on schedule,” said Scott Campbell, 767 vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Partager cet article
27 juin 2013 4 27 /06 /juin /2013 10:20
L’assemblage du premier KC-46A de Boeing a débuté

27.06.2013 par Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com


L’assemblage du premier futur ravitailleur de l’US Air Force a débuté à l’usine d’Everett de Boeing le 26 juin, avec l’intégration du premier longeron d’aile du KC-46A.


Selon le calendrier établi par Boeing, l’assemblage final est prévu pour le mois de novembre, avec un roll-out espéré en janvier 2014. Le mois de juin de la même année aura lieu l’installation des équipements militaires et le début des essais au sol dans la foulée. Le premier vol est lui prévu pour le début de l’année 2015, la livraison attendue en 2016. Si l’US Air Force exerce toutes ses options, Boeing devrait livrer jusqu’à 179 KC-46A d’ici à 2027. Le futur ravitailleur est basé sur les 767-200ER de l’avionneur américain et remplacera à terme les KC-135 Stratotanker de l’US Air Force.


Le programme KC-46A a subi quelques turbulences en 2012, notamment après la publication d’un rapport du Government of Accountability Office, qui s’alarmait d’une forte hausse des coûts de développement et d’un retard important qui mettait en danger les délais de remplacement des KC-135 fixés par l’US Air Force. En septembre 2012, l’US Air Force se montrait optimiste et espérait toujours un bilan critique de conception (« critical design review ») avant la fin de l’année fiscale 2013. L’USAF confirmait sa confiance dans le programme en avril 2013, soulagée que le séquestre n’affecte pas – du moins pour l’instant – le développement du KC-46A.

Partager cet article
3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 06:20
Le premier vol du futur avion ravitailleur de l'US Air Force est programmé pour début 2015, les livraisons l\'année suivante. - Photo Boeing

Le premier vol du futur avion ravitailleur de l'US Air Force est programmé pour début 2015, les livraisons l\'année suivante. - Photo Boeing

03/06 Par Alain Ruello - LesEchos.fr


L'assemblage du premier dérivé militaire du 767 démarrera le 26 juin.


Février 2011. Après une bataille politico-commerciale épique, Boeing arrache - de manière définitive - le mégacontrat des avions ravitailleurs du Pentagone à EADS. Le montant estimé donne le vertige : plus de 30 milliards de dollars. Vingt-sept mois plus tard, le groupe s'apprête à enclencher une phase clef du programme, baptisé KC46. Le 26 juin, dans la foulée du salon du Bourget, l'avionneur américain va démarrer l'assemblage du premier des 179 exemplaires, le premier vol restant programmé pour début 2015 et le début des livraisons, l'année suivante.


Un calendrier très serré


« A ce stade nous sommes en phase avec le planning », assurait il y a quelques jours Jake Howitt, le responsable adjoint du programme, à Seattle, d'où sortiront ces dérivés militaires du Boeing 767. L'enjeu est de taille car Boeing a pris le risque de signer un contrat à prix fixe pour la conception, les tests et la livraison de 4 premiers ravitailleurs d'ici à 2017. Si le constructeur respecte ses échéances, le Pentagone transformera en commande ferme les options à prix fixe prévues pour les 175 autres appareils. La dernière livraison est prévue en 2027 au plus tard.


L'attention des ingénieurs est tout entière accaparée par la fin de la phase de développement, prévue au troisième trimestre. Le calendrier étant très serré, les responsables de Boeing veulent prendre le moins de risques possible. D'autant que le contrat passé avec l'Italie a laissé des traces, du fait des problèmes rencontrés avec la perche de ravitaillement. Le KC46 ne sera pas un bijou d'innovation, la plupart des équipements existent déjà. « Pour la grande majorité de l'appareil, nous n'inventons rien », résume Jake Howitt.


Si Boeing assure être en phase avec son planning, qu'en est-il du budget ? Tout en reconnaissant sa défaite, EADS avait affirmé à l'époque que jamais Boeing ne pourrait dégager de profit sur ce contrat. Interrogé à ce sujet, Jake Howitt confesse sobrement : « Nous n'anticipons pas un grand retour sur investissement » sur la tranche ferme du contrat signée, dit-il. Avant de se montrer plus explicite : Boeing perdra de l'argent sur cette phase (déjà 700 millions selon des estimations qui couraient mi-2011, chiffre non confirmé officiellement), mais prévoit toujours d'en gagner sur l'ensemble du programme. En clair, une fois les 179 exemplaires prévus livrés à l'armée de l'air américaine.


D'ici là, le KC46 pourra améliorer ses marges grâce aux ventes à l'international, où il se mesure à l'A330 MRTT d'Airbus. Au total, Boeing évalue le marché potentiel entre 25 à 50 appareils. Ce chiffre, qui porte sur les dix prochaines années, peut paraître faible, mais il est vrai que de nombreux pays sont déjà équipés en avions ravitailleurs.

Partager cet article
19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 12:35

US Air Force KC-46 Tanker Programme


September 19, 2012 by Zach Rosenberg – FG


Washington DC - Eighteen months into the Boeing KC-46 tanker programme, all is progressing as planned, says Maj Gen John Thompson, the US Air Force (USAF) programme manager.


The programme, meant to produce an aerial tanker to replace the Boeing KC-135, is 21% finished with its development schedule and remains on time and on budget.


The first parts - skin for the tail boom - have been produced, "so if someone tells you this is a paper plane, you can point at them and say, 'liar!'" says Thompson.


"I will have plenty of number two and number three priorities, but my number one priority is to successfully get through the critical design review (CDR) next year."


CDR is scheduled for July, 2013, with a plethora of subsystem PDRs to be completed beforehand. After CDR, the aircraft is built. The first flight of the new 767 variant upon which the KC-46 is based is scheduled for 2014, with a 2015 flight of the actual tanker aircraft.


Budget sequestration, scheduled to take effect in January, 2013 without Congressional intervention, would be "near catastrophic" for the programme, says Thompson.

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents