USAF: KC-46A Tankers Face Six Serious Problems to Address
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified seven category-one flaws in the tanker aircraft last year, including two issues with its remote vision system (RVS).
Only one major issue with the tanker’s flight management system has been downgraded to category two after spending 19 months and reportedly incurring over $7 billion in losses to fix the deficiencies.
According to the GAO, the most severe issue affecting KC-46A production and delivery is the RVS, or the camera and video system boom operators use to refuel other aircraft. Under certain lighting conditions, boom operators may not be able to see the receptacle clearly through the RVS, potentially causing damage to the receiving plane.
Another category one flaw is “stiffness” in the refuelling boom, which prevents the plane from refuelling the A-10 Warthog attack plane.
Boeing stated that the valve seals have been redesigned to prevent leaks, and the US Air Force will soon determine whether the issues can be downgraded or closed.
Aviation problems in “category one” are considered “serious” if they go uncorrected because they can result in death, severe injuries, or severe occupational illnesses. They may also cause a halt in production.
Israel decided last year to acquire four KC-46A tankers.