Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/g30rg3/public_html/_jfj.php on line 1064
Joint Forces Journal

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/g30rg3/public_html/_header.php on line 12
VOL. 24 - NO. 32
AUG 18 - 25, 2019
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Air Force Halts Delivery of New KC-46 Tankers over Debris Inside Aircraft

Mar 07, 2019
by Oriana Pawlyk
The U.S. Air Force has stopped accepting deliveries of its brand-new KC-46 Pegasus tanker only weeks after the first aircraft was transported from manufacturer Boeing Co.'s Washington state facility to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.

The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) halted deliveries because of foreign object debris found in the aircraft, Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Malinda Singleton said. It was first reported that the debris, which could damage the aircraft, led to a week-long grounding of the tankers and safety concerns from top service officials.

"The Air Force takes Foreign Object Debris (FOD) contamination very seriously," Singleton said. "The combined Air Force, Defense Contract Management Agency and Boeing team is working together to resolve these concerns as safely and quickly as possible."

The Air Force will not accept deliveries of the tanker until the production aircraft are cleared, and the service and DCMA have approved a corrective action plan by Boeing "that will prevent FOD in the future," she said.

The Air Force took its first delivery of the tanker at McConnell on Jan. 25. Boeing has delivered six tankers total to McConnell and Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

Roughly 45 more production tankers remain at Boeing in the final stages of completion.

According to a management memo from Boeing's factory managers, eight tools were found in aircraft delivered to the Military Delivery Center (MDC) at Paine Field, about 25 miles north of Seattle. The MDC approves and completes the aircraft.

All aircraft under construction are supposed to be swept routinely for debris. Loose objects are dangerous because they can cause damage over time.

The MDC declared a "level 3" alert on the assembly line. "Does anyone know what a level four is?" the management memo said, according to the papers report. "A level four ... will shut down our factory. This is a big deal." The Pegasus already had problems.

The Air Force announced last month that it would accept the tanker, based on the 767 airliner, despite the fact it still has deficiencies that Boeing has agreed to fix after delivery.

"We have identified, and Boeing has agreed to fix at its expense, deficiencies discovered in developmental testing of the remote vision system [RVS]," Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Hope Cronin said last month.

The RVS, which is made by Rockwell Collins and permits the in-flight operator to view the refueling system below the tanker, has been subject to frequent software glitches. The first tankers will be delivered despite that problem. The systemic issue, which will require a software and hardware update, may take three to four years to fix, Cronin said last month.

"The Air Force has mechanisms in place to ensure Boeing meets its contractual obligations while we continue with initial operational testing and evaluation," she said.

The company has contracted for 52 of the 179 tankers the Air Force intends to buy. Boeing is responsible for any cost overruns, which had climbed to $3.5 billion as of October, the company said.

The service awarded Boeing a fixed-price, $4.9 billion contract in 2011. The company was supposed to deliver the initial 18 aerial refueling planes by August 2017.

But with ongoing issues throughout the program since its start in 2013, including design problems in the refueling boom, Boeing and Air Force officials pushed the first delivery to February 2018.

Last March, the service announced that "predicted impacts associated with airworthiness certifications and slower-than-expected flight test execution" would delay delivery to the "latter part of 2018."

Then, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' unexpected exit in December presented yet another problem.

Sources said that Mattis' signature was required to finalize delivery plans. But President Donald Trump's announcement that Mattis would leave by the end of 2018 instead of his planned departure in February caused another delay for the program.

The KC-46 is meant to replace older tanker fleets, such as the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender. The total current inventory of KC-10s and KC-135s sits at 455 aircraft.

The Air Force plans to retire part of its legacy aerial refueling fleet and meet its 479-tanker total force requirement with a mix of KC-46s and KC-135s in the future.

All three tankers are manufactured or have been upgraded by Boeing.

* * * * *

Photo caption: A KC-46 conducts in-flight refueling on a B-2 bomber in this illustration. (Air Force illustration)


Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/g30rg3/public_html/_latest_headlines.php on line 11

USS Santa Fe Arrives at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Pittsburg Community Theatre Invites You to be “Part Of One Terrific Sister Act!”

1st Enlisted Woman to Attempt Air Force Special Recon Training Dropped from Program

Army Cyber Warfare Units Are Seriously Undermanned

BOOK REVIEW: “Tex-Mex” by Ford Fry and Jessica Dupuy

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Montalvo Arts Center Presents “Food & Wine Classic”

Marines Use Armored Vehicle to Defend Navy Ship from Small Boats off Iranian Coast

Blue Angels Jets Made Contact Midair During Tight Diamond 360 Maneuver

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: SHN Broadway in San Francisco: “The Play That Goes Wrong” – Is Alright!

Shipbuilder Named to Build Coast Guard’s New Icebreaker