Farnborough Air Show

Boeing KC-46A Tanker Clears Initial Delivery Hurdle

 - July 15, 2018, 5:35 AM

Boeing's KC-46A Pegasus tanker/transport has now completed all of the flight testing that is required to allow first delivery to the U.S. Air Force. Technical issues have pushed that date back to October this year as the manufacturer strives to meet a revised schedule to deliver 18 Required Assets Available (RAA) aircraft by April.

Boeing and Air Force teams last week completed testing for the military type certification (MTC) requirements, while FAA supplemental type certification testing finished in April. Both approvals are pending. Six aircraft flew 3,300 hours and offloaded around two million pounds of fuel during MTC and STC trials. Receivers included F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, and A-10 tactical fighters, as well as C-17, KC-10, and KC-46A large tanker/transports.

Receiver certification tests continue, with the aim of clearing the A-10, B-52, F-15, F/A-18, and the KC-46A itself. After this, the KC-46A Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) will then get under way.

Boeing (Outside Exhibit 5) has been contracted to deliver 34 KC-46As from an expected requirement for 179. Much of the initial batch have either been built or are in final assembly, awaiting completion in the cleared delivery configuration. Boeing also has one aircraft on order for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force from a stated requirement for four to augment the JASDF’s existing fleet of four Boeing KC-767 tanker/transports.