KC-46 Tanker Modernization: Delivery of First Fully Capable Aircraft Has Been Delayed over One Year and Additional Delays Are Possible
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC United States
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The KC-46 tanker modernization program, valued at about 44 billion, is among the Air Forces highest acquisition priorities. Aerial refuelingthe transfer of fuel from airborne tankers to combat and airlift forcesis critical to the U.S. militarys ability to effectively operate globally. The Air Force initiated the KC-46 program to replace about a third of its aging KC-135 aerial refueling fleet. Boeing was awarded a fixed price incentive contract to develop the first four aircraft, which are being used for testing. Among other things, Boeing is contractually required to deliver a total of 18 aircraft and 9 wing air refueling pod sets by August 2017. This is defined as required assets available. The program plans to eventually field 179 aircraft in total. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 included a provision for GAO to review the KC-46 program annually through 2017. This is GAOs sixth report on this issue. It addresses 1 progress made in 2016 toward achieving cost, performance, and schedule goals and 2 development risk remaining. GAO analyzed key cost, schedule, development, test, and manufacturing documents and discussed results with officials from the KC-46 program office, other defense offices, the Federal Aviation Administration, and Boeing.
- Transport Aircraft
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Administration and Management