Boe­ing be­gins as­sem­bling third KC-46A tanker air­craft

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

Boe­ing is as­sem­bling a third KC-46A test air­craft for the US Air Force’s next-gen­er­a­tion aerial re­fu­elling tanker pro­gram at the com­pany’s Everett fac­tory, keep­ing the pro­gramme on sched­ule to com­plete pro­duc­tion of four test air­craft by the third quar­ter of 2014.

“In ad­di­tion to the three KC-46A tankers now in pro­duc­tion, our Sys­tem In­te­gra­tion Labs are op­er­a­tional and we’re as­sem­bling a sec­ond boom,” said Mau­reen Dougherty, Boe­ing Vice Pres­i­dent and KC-46 Tanker Pro­gram Man­ager. “We re­main on track to de­liver the ini­tial 18 KC-46A tankers by 2017.”

The KC-46A is based on the Boe­ing 767 com­mer­cial jet­liner, a proven air­frame in ser­vice as an air­liner, freighter and tanker. Boe­ing has de­liv­ered more than 1,050 767s world­wide.

“Our teams are main­tain­ing their fo­cus on qual­ity and pro­duc­tiv­ity as we move the first tankers through pro­duc­tion,” said Scott Camp­bell, Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager of the 767 pro­gramme.

The first test air­craft will roll out early next year. The first test flight of a fully pro­vi­sioned KC-46A tanker is pro­jected for early 2015, and the first de­liv­ery of a pro­duc­tion air­craft to the Air Force is planned for early 2016. Boe­ing ex­pects to build 179 tankers

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