The U.S. Air Force has conducted the final tests on a Boeing-built military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft for a Milestone C production decision.
The Air Force said Monday the KC-46 PegasusÂ completed the last of six in-flight refueling demonstrations required prior to a request for approval from Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, to award production Lots 1 and 2 on the tanker program.
The anticipated award for low-rate initial productionÂ will cover the delivery ofÂ a total of 19 KC-46A units, the service branch added.
The tankerÂ offloaded 1,500 pounds of fuel in-flight to an A-10 Thunderbolt IIÂ toÂ complete the test series that also involved aÂ C-17 Globemaster III, anÂ F-16 Fighting FalconÂ and aÂ U.S. NavyÂ F-18 Hornet and AV-8BÂ Harrier II.
“Today’s flight marks the final step we needed to see on the boom fix in order to request production go-ahead,” said Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, Air Force program executive officer for tankers.
The Air Force-Boeing team hadÂ rescheduled the production decision for the tanker program from June to August because of an issue with the aircraftâ€™s refueling boom loads.
The tests were conducted through a joint effort from theÂ 412th Test Wing, 23rd Fighter Wing, 355th FW, 124th FW, 896th Test Support Squadron and 40th Flight Test Squadron, which provided manpower, flight hours and personnel in support of the KC-46 program.