The U.S. Air Force has delayed by four years a decision on whether the $44 billion KC-46 tanker program should be approved for full-rate production while contractor Boeing Co. tries to show it has fixed the flawed camera system used for the plane’s midair refueling mission.
An Air Force statement issued late Monday said the decision will come in July to September of 2024. It was previously planned for this September, Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the service, disclosed on Tuesday.
The latest delay means the Air Force and lawmakers who provide funds for the troubled tanker will have an even longer wait before learning whether the aircraft put under contract in 2011 will be effective in its combat mission and can be maintained.
The Pentagon’s testing office wants to delay completion of ongoing combat testing and a congressionally-mandated final evaluation report until Boeing produces an improved, production-ready version of the “Remote Vision System” used by airmen to guide a refueling boom during the in-flight minuet to connect with another plane. (end of excerpt)
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