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Thu Jan 10, 2019, 05:07 PM

Despite flaws, Air Force accepts Boeing's long-delayed and troubled tanker

Source: Washington Post

Business
Despite flaws, Air Force accepts Boeing’s long-delayed and troubled tanker

By Christian Davenport
January 10 at 1:06 PM

The Air Force has agreed to accept its first KC-46A Pegasus tankers from Boeing on Thursday, marking a significant milestone in a long-troubled program that is years behind schedule and has weighed on the company’s bottom line.

Defense officials said the tanker was ready to begin operational testing and was safe to fly. But they acknowledged there are still two major flaws with the tanker, which would be used to refuel jets in midair. Until the deficiencies are addressed, the Air Force said it would withhold as much as $28 million per plane, totaling nearly $1.5 billion over the 52 aircraft included in the initial contract.

The news comes amid scrutiny over the role of acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan, who for 31 years served as an executive at Boeing and assumed the top Pentagon job after Jim Mattis resigned from the position.

Shanahan has said he would steadfastly recuse himself from any issues dealing with Boeing, one of the Pentagon’s top contractors. And Air Force officials said he had no role in the decision to accept the tanker.
....

Christian Davenport covers the defense and space industries for The Washington Post's Financial desk. He joined The Post in 2000 and has served as an editor on the Metro desk and as a reporter covering military affairs. He is the author of "The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos" (PublicAffairs, 2018). Follow https://twitter.com/wapodavenport

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/01/10/despite-flaws-air-force-accepts-boeings-long-delayed-troubled-tanker/

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Reply Despite flaws, Air Force accepts Boeing's long-delayed and troubled tanker (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 10 OP
Autumn Jan 10 #1
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 10 #2
LakeSuperiorView Jan 10 #4
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 10 #5
DeminPennswoods Jan 10 #3

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 05:19 PM

1. Nothing like our military pissing away every dollar they can squeeze out of us.

Boeing should have had to eat the whole cost on this shit.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 05:20 PM

2. The fact that the acting SecDef is a former Boeing executive must be just a coincidence.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 06:56 PM

4. He recused himself for that very reason.

The decision was made by an undersecretary who is also a former CEO, but not of Boeing.

The defects have to do with the remote vision system on the refueling boom. Sounds like they went with a cheap camera that can have issues with shadows or glare. Replace the camera so it works under more lighting conditions and it's done. Still two years late. They want to start training, obviously not in the lighting conditions that cause problems for the camera.

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 06:59 PM

5. Well, that's good to know. He might have more integrity than some other Trump appointees.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 06:22 PM

3. This happens more often than you might think

The services flying airplanes all need mid-air refueling at some point. The AF is over a barrel with its tanker fleet being from 30-50+ years old. They need the new tanker so they've decided to accept it with its flaws and fix them later.

DoD new aircraft procurement and development is about the most AFU process there is.

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