Accession Number:



KC-46 Tanker Aircraft: Challenging Testing and Delivery Schedules Lie Ahead

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Aerial refuelingwhen aircraft refuel while airborneallows the U.S. military to fly farther, stay airborne longer, and transport more weapons, equipment, and supplies. The Air Force initiated the KC-46 program to replace its aging KC-135 aerial refueling fleet. Boeing was awarded a fixed price incentive contract with a ceiling price of 4.9billion to develop the first four aircraft, which will be used for testing. Boeing is contractually required to deliver the four development aircraft between April and May 2016. Boeing is also required to deliver a total of 18 aircraft by August 2017, which could include some of the development aircraft if they are brought to operational configuration. 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-46program annually through 2017. This report addresses progress made in2015 toward 1 meeting cost and performance goals and 2 delivering the aircraft on schedule. 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 FAA, and Boeing, the prime contractor.

Subject Categories:

  • Transport Aircraft
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Administration and Management

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]