U.S. Air Force Awards Contract to Fix KC-46 Boom

aerial tanker refueling a fighter jet above the mountains

KC-46 refueling an F-15E.  Source: Boeing

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a $55.5 million contract for the redesign of the KC-46A boom telescope actuator.  The work is expected to be completed in February 2021.

KC-46 deliveries have been plagued by a number of issues, the most critical of which are problems with the remote vision system (RVS), which is used by the crew during the refueling process, and issues with maximum loads being placed on the refueling boom.  This contract award addresses the issues with the boom.

The Air Force agreed to pay for the boom fixes, but Boeing is responsible for covering the cost of rectifying the RVS.

Another major hurtle concerns the refueling pods, being made by Cobham, which the Defense Contract Management Agency has said will not be ready until the third quarter of 2020.  The delays stem from the process of certifying the pods with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), rather than any technical production problems.

About Shaun McDougall

As editor of International Military Markets, North America, Shaun has cultivated a deep understanding of the vast defense markets in the United States and Canada. Shaun's perspective on defense procurement and budget issues has been cited in a variety of defense periodicals, including Defense News and National Defense Magazine. Further, Shaun played an integral role in the development of Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast product, which offers an unprecedented level of insight into the Pentagon's acquisition budget. In addition to providing original analytical content for the U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, Shaun oversees an internal defense budget forecasting process involving Forecast International's team of skilled systems analysts following release of the DoD's annual budget request. Shaun is also in charge of managing Forecast International's Weapons Inventory database.

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