The controversial Boeing KC-46 Refueling Tanker has finally cleared the Pentagon’s testing and contract awarding process on the 15th of August 2016. The U.S. Air Force will issue the initial contract within the next 30 days to begin the construction of 19 KC-46 aircraft.
These next generation aerial refueling aircraft will begin to replace the aging KC-135 tankers in the current military inventory. The airframe is based on the Boeing 767 which should allow production synergies to be maximized for the construction of the aircraft.
The first aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in August 2017. Apparently, the deliveries can’t come fast enough: Refueling issues cause military jets to change route. That was the headline I heard this morning while contemplating this blog post.