May 9, 2012
By Dominic Gates, Seattle Times aerospace reporter
Boeing said Tuesday its KC-46 aerial-refueling-tanker program has completed a preliminary design review with the U.S. Air Force, an early milestone in the jet’s development.The review determined that Boeing’s preliminary design meets the Air Force’s system requirements and allows it to proceed with detailed design of the airplane.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Chris Bogdan, KC-46 program executive officer, said Boeing’s performance so far “reaffirms our commitment to delivering the KC-46A tanker on schedule.”
Maureen Dougherty, Boeing KC-46 tanker vice president and program manager, said her team now has “the foundation in place to enter the detailed design phase.”
The next major milestone is a so-called critical design review, scheduled for the summer of 2013. That will determine if Boeing’s design is ready to proceed to the manufacturing phase.
Boeing is contracted to deliver the first 18 combat-ready tankers by 2017. In all, Boeing’s Everett plant will build 179 tankers for the Air Force.