New KC-46A delay means more charges probable

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May 30, 2016, © Leeham Co.: It’s the classic maneuver to bury bad news: Boeing

Boeing KC-46A. Source: National Defense Magazine via Google images.

announced on Friday, the start of the three-day Memorial Day weekend that its KC-46A tanker will be delayed yet again. Only 16 days earlier, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the tanker was on time under a schedule that had been revised previously.

That wasn’t all, according to the announcement. Even when the tankers are delivered, the wing pod refueling systems won’t be operational. (The Boeing statement is below the jump.)

If all this has a familiar ring, it should.

The previous version of the KC-46A, the KC-767 International Tanker, was delayed four years in part because of flutter issues with the pod refueling systems.

Only eight of these tankers were built: four for the Italians and four for the Japanese. Boeing took huge write-offs for these tankers.


  • Will the latest delay be the last?
  • Boeing is building tankers despite the need for rework and some internal design changes.
  • Are we facing the prospect of a new set of “Terrible Teens”?
  • Another write-off is probable-and it may not be the last.
  • Will the full USAF tanker procurement yield a profit on the sale?

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