KC-46 Details and the Sequester

The KC-46A tanker design has been refined such that only “small details” are still being reworked, Gen. Paul Selva, Air Mobility Command boss, told reporters on Thursday. The KC-46 critical design review is scheduled for this summer, and the only outstanding design considerations include items like providing a seat for nurses that is closer to the litters on aeromedical evacuation flights, he said during the April 11 media roundtable in Washington, D.C. These are “not major issues,” said Selva, adding that the KC-46 is so efficient that AMC has upped its usage plans and increased crew ratios accordingly. This will take pressure off of KC-135 operations, so the overall cost is a wash, he said. Selva also urged Congress to fix the budget sequester, because if the KC-46 program runs out of money and the Air Force must re-open the firm fixed-price contract with Boeing as the “sole source” provider, the service and “more importantly” the taxpayer will pay “more than we have to” for the aircraft.