First KC-46 System Integration Lab Up and Running

Boeing has opened the first KC-46 Tanker System Integration Laboratory at Boeing Field in Seattle, announced the company on Oct. 31. The company will use “SIL 0,” as it is known, to test commercial avionics and software for integration into the Air Force’s KC-46A tanker, according to the company’s release. Overall, Boeing intends to open five SILs—four at Boeing Field and a fifth in Everett, Wash.—by the end of 2013 to reduce risk to the KC-46A program, states the release. “Our five system integration labs will help keep us on track to deliver the first 18 KC-46A tankers by 2017,” said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing’s KC-46 vice president and program manager. “Accelerating system integration will drive out issues prior to flight testing and reduce risks to our schedule,” she added. Along with SIL 0, which opened its doors in September, the company now operates the KC-46 boom assembly center at Boeing Field.