Some of the challenges the new tanker faces include the plane's fuel hose disconnecting from fuel-thirsty aircraft during test flights, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported March 20. This past January, the Pentagon's testing office raised concerns about the tanker's ability to withstand electromagnetic pulse attacks, Sputnik News reported.
Pretty cool to be here for this behind-the-scenes glimpse of eight KC-46s ready for the defense team to work on them @FlyPaineField! Soon these are headed to the @USAirForce! #KC46 #TeamTanker pic.twitter.com/T1vQAItZ1Z— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) May 3, 2018
The Pentagon is plugging forward with the program anyway and is hoping that Boeing will deliver the aircraft by the end of 2018. On Thursday, the aircraft maker showed off the new Pegasus aircraft to a select group of reporters.
— Ted Land (@TedLandK5) May 3, 2018
There are nearly three dozen KC-46s at various stages of assembly at the Paine Field Airport in Washington state, adjacent to Boeing's Everett Factory, reporters say. The KC-46 is based on Boeing's 767 passenger airliner and both planes are manufactured at the Everett plant.
— Phil Musser (@BoeingCCO) May 3, 2018
The KC-46 Pegasus program, already in its seventh year, is one of the US Air Force's highest priority acquisition programs, the Government Accountability Office said in an April report. Combining research and development expenses with acquisition costs, GAO has estimated that each plane's real unit cost is about $241 million.
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) May 3, 2018