KC-46 passes all refueling tests

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The KC-46 Pegasus program completed all required flight tests by offloading 1,500 lb of fuel to an A-10 Thunderbolt II on July 15.

The successful A-10 mission was the last of six inflight refueling demonstrations required before the tanker program can request approval (the Milestone C decision) from Frank Kendall, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, to award to Boeing production Lots 1 and 2, totaling 19 KC-46A aircraft.

“It is great to see the KC-46 boom back in action and the program moving forward to a production decision,” said Col John Newberry, the KC-46 system program manager.

The other five required air refueling demonstrations were with the C-17 Globemaster III and F-16 Fighting Falcon using the air refueling boom, the Navy’s F-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier II using the centerline and wing drogue systems, and the KC-46 as a receiver aircraft.

“Today’s flight marks the final step we needed to see on the boom fix in order to request production go-ahead,” said Brig Gen Duke Richardson, the Air Force program executive officer for tankers.

The Milestone C decision to begin low-rate initial production is expected in August.

July 22, 2016

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