First Boeing KC-46 tanker heading to McConnell AFB after 2-year delay

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

After months of delays, the KC-46 is finally on its way to McConnell Air Force Base.

I know it's something that then congressman Pompeo and the whole community fought hard for, and I know it's seemed like it's taken a while but we're excited to finally see that come through,” said  Vice Mayor Jeff Blubaugh.

The Air Force just approved the tanker from Boeing, despite some unresolved problems with the plane.

The camera system used for refueling has a glitch, but Boeing has agreed to pay for the fix.

"Obviously, with any major big new program there's going to be some bugs and hiccups along the way that have to be worked out,” said Congressman Ron Estes.

The Air Force says this is, “a major milestone for the next generation tanker and will allow airman to begin operational testing and flight training."

"It's great news for our country's defense, obviously great for McConnell to be able have the Air Force acceptance of the tanker,” Estes added.

The tanker can fly faster and on less fuel. It refuels in the air using pods and flexible hoses, but it can also load cargo.

Last month, McConnell spokesman Daniel De La Fe talked about the importance of using the new tanker to help fly the wounded to safety.

"From the way we operate air medical evacuations to get those soldiers out of a warzone in Afghanistan to get them the care they need, having the support of the KC-46 home to Wichita where this capability belong,” De La Fe explained.

The first of over a hundred tankers will be delivered to the air force by the end of the month.

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