KC-46: more bad news for Boeing

Since the launch of the USAF KC-46 Pegasus tanker program, technical problems, delays and additional costs accumulate, to such an extent that the thirty or so aircraft already delivered today are unable to carry out combat missions. The main technical problem encountered by the Boeing refueler still seems to concern the Remote Vision System (RVS), a system of cameras and sensors allowing an operator to remotely guide the Pegasus refueling pole.

A few days ago, an agreement has finally been found between Boeing and the USAF in order to solve the RVS problems once and for all. As a first step, Boeing will have to deliver software and hardware fixes in order to improve the RVS as much as possible. In a second step, however, it is the entire RVS which will have to be replaced by a new system, both on the devices already delivered and on the 146 or so devices that remain to be delivered. No technical details have filtered out on the OEM who could be selected to supply a new RVS. However, we know that solutions already exist on the market, since the Airbus A330 MRTT is equipped with an equivalent system giving complete satisfaction.

Pegasus near Boeing factories in Washington State. Production of all airliners has been halted for the time being, which includes tanker and maritime patrol aircrafts based on civilian Boeing airframes.

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