Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Boeing KC-46 Tanker program has reached a milestone with the U.S. Air Force after completing a preliminary design review for the next-generation aerial refueling tanker.
The review, which began March 21 and ended April 27, demonstrated that the preliminary design of the KC-46A Tanker meets system requirements and establishes the basis for proceeding with detailed design.
Chris Bogdan, Air Force Maj. Gen., said Boeing is meeting commitments and staying on schedule.
"This is important news for the nation's warfighters, because it reaffirms our commitment to delivering the KC-46A tanker on schedule,” Bogdan said.
The program's next major milestone is a Critical Design Review (CDR) that will take place in the summer of 2013. The CDR will determine that the design of the KC-46A is mature and ready to proceed to the manufacturing phase.
Maureen Dougherty, Boeing KC-46 Tanker vice president and program manager, said the company has the foundation in place to enter the detailed design phase.
"The KC-46 team is designing an aircraft that will offer superior, modern multi-role capabilities for the warfighter, including advanced refueling systems and military avionics, and the ability to transport cargo, passengers and patients," Dougherty said.
Boeing will build 179 next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft that will begin to replace the Air Force's fleet of 416 KC-135 tankers.
The company expects to deliver 18 combat-ready KC-46A Tankers by 2017.