McCain Urges Vigilance on Tanker Program

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is asking Defense Secretary Ash Carter to make sure the delayed KC-46A tanker program does not fail. “All too often under our current defense acquisition system, the department has started programs that were poorly conceived or inherently unexecutable, with the aim of getting programs into development and production where they can become notoriously difficult to change meaningfully, or, if necessary, terminate,” McCain wrote in a letter to Carter. “The KC-46A program must not become another such failure.” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James on Aug. 24 said the service is looking at potential operational risks if Boeing can’t make the August 2017 deadline to deliver 18 of the t?ankers. The first flight of the KC-46 has been repeatedly delayed, most recently because the contractor needed to replace parts damaged in a fuel test, but the flight is now slated for October.