The Air Force says it reached two agreements with Boeing today, aimed at making the final fixes in camera systems for Boeing-bult KC-46A Pegasus tankers and releasing $882 million in payments that were held back due to problems with the tankers.
Boeing executives today added an extra twist to what was expected to be a cut-and-dried ceremony to hand over its first KC-46 tanker aircraft to the U.S. Air Force.
Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, sprung the surprise in front of the hundreds of employees, Air Force personnel and VIPs gathered at the company’s assembly plant in Everett, Wash., where the heavily modified 767 jets have taken shape.
“I am delighted to be with you all today to celebrate the delivery of the first KC-46 tanker from Boeing to the United States Air Force,” she said. “Wait a minute! I’m sorry, I have made a mistake. I think I had that wrong. I believe I am delivering two KC-46 aircraft to the United States Air Force! Two!”
Caret announced that officials from Boeing and the Air Force signed the acceptance forms for a second KC-46, following up on the paperwork that was approved earlier this month for the first jet.
After struggling through years of delay and absorbing billions of dollars of cost overruns, Boeing says the U.S. Air Force has accepted the first of what’s expected to be hundreds of KC-46 tanker aircraft.
The Air Force says the plane still has problems relating to a remote camera system that’s supposed to show the flight crew how the refueling process is going. But it struck a deal to have Boeing fix those problems after delivery.
Boeing and the Air Force say the milestone delivery to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., could be made by the end of January.
The U.S. Air Force today awarded Boeing a $2.9 billion contract for 18 more KC-46A tanker aircraft and associated equipment, bringing the total number of tankers on contract to 52. The report comes as Boeing is preparing to make its first deliveries of the 767-based aircraft, which are being built at the company’s plant in Everett, Wash.
Boeing has won a $2.1 billion contract to build more tanker planes for the U.S. Air Force, the manufacturer and the Pentagon announced today.
Under the deal, Boeing will build 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, plus spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits. It’s the third low-rate initial production order for the company. The first two orders were for seven and 12 planes.
“This award is great news for the joint Boeing-Air Force team and reinforces the need for this highly efficient and capable tanker aircraft,” Mike Gibbons, Boeing’s KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager, said in a statement.