Air Force accepts first Boeing modern air tanker after years of delays
WASHINGTON — The Air Force on Thursday accepted the first KC-46A Pegasus jet tanker from Boeing following years of delays to the modernized air-refueling plane program due to technical issues and allegations of corruption.
The first of 52 KC-46 aircraft that Boeing is contracted to build is expected to arrive later this month at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, where the service will begin testing and training for pilots and airmen who operate the refueling booms, Air Force Capt. Hope Cronin, a service spokeswoman, said in a statement. Boeing, in a separate statement, said it anticipated delivering at least nine more aircraft to the Air Force soon, and it expects to build 179 by 2027. The company is also under contract to build a single KC-46 for Japan.
But the aircraft, which was slated for delivery by 2016 and designed to replace the more than 50-year-old KC-135 Stratotanker, comes with lingering problems, according to the Air Force.
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