Update, Feb. 15: at the request of the magazine, we have delinked the article.
Here is a synopsis; the magazine reports:
- The delay is now 27 months, with deliveries hoped for in March;
- Writing comprehensive technical manuals for the aircraft and the new boom is taking longer than thought, contributing to but not entirely responsible for the delay;
- The widely-reported boom separation occurred when “the boom’s probe snapped off near the F-16’s receptacle, causing the boom to spring up and strike the underside of the tanker, snapping off one of the two guiding fins and causing the boom to oscillate wildly until it detached from its supporting mast,” falling into the ocean;
- As a result, the Spanish authorities (who have jurisdiction over Airbus Military, which is headquartered in Spain) withdrew the flight permits for the RAAF KC-30As “until such time as the aircraft is declared safe to fly again….”;
- Because of the delays, Airbus “has been liable for liquidated damages on the contract…they are believed to include the cost of using air-to-air refueling tankers from Omega Air and the USAF” for the RAAF’s F/A-18s.
Australian Aviation has a five page profile on the delays to the RAAF KC-30A, including last December’s boom failure.
The PDF may be downloaded here:
RAAF KC-30A Delays