Air Command may ground new KC-46 until Boeing can fix major technical issues
Boeing has continued to blunder the KC-46 Pegasus tanker project and now the Air Mobility Command is complaining that the company has failed to make any progress with urgent technical issues.
The Category 1 issues, which describes a technical issue that could result in human life or aircraft lost, surrounds the Remote Vision System. That system features a Rockwell Collins camera that would allow boom operators to perform their job without looking through a glass window.
“When we accepted the KC-46 with known CAT 1 deficiencies, we did so with the belief that it offered the fastest route to achieve limited operational capability and meet an urgent war-fighter requirement,” Gen. Maryanne Miller said at a recent conference. “Eight months have passed since our first delivery, and Boeing has not made any progress [on the Remote Vision System].”
The current RVS has a poor acuity rating comparable to a person with 20/50 vision- hardly the kind of eyesight one would want when refueling aircraft in flight.
Boeing has stated that the issues don’t simply involve a simple camera and that countless small adjustments will have to be made throughout the entire system.
“It’s not just one thing, it’s not just a camera or a display,” said Jamie Burgess, Boeing’s KC-46 program manager. “There are things throughout the system that will get adjusted. But we’re in the early phases of that.”
According to Defense News, the aircraft is currently unsafe to carry cargo or passengers, as multiple cargo restraint devices have been known to become unlocked during a series of test flights.
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