…And the Air Force’s Response

The Air Force sees “no showstoppers” as a result of Boeing’s announcement of a major charge against earnings with its KC-46 tanker program. In a statement, Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, Air Force program executive officer for tankers at the USAF Life Cycle Management Center, said “We remain optimistic Boeing will meet the required assets available target of 18 operationally ready KC-46s by August 2017. Boeing continues to meet their commitments on this program at no additional cost to the government.” Boeing announced a $536-?million after-tax charge in its second-quarter report, which will be released Tuesday. Richardson said, “They are working through the qualification process of the complete KC-46 weapon system, and not surprisingly, the integrated fuel system,” which Boeing cited as the main culprit for the most recent overage, “is a large part of that effort.” Boeing “continues to make solid progress,” Richardson said. “While we have more heavy lifting coming up, we believe it is achievable and we do not see any technical showstoppers.” He reiterated that the KC-46 is being developed under a fixed-price contract, “and the government’s liability remains capped at the same amount.” He added that, “We’re still on track for a first KC-46 flight by September.”