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Roper: KC-46 IOT&E and Full-Rate Production Could Be Accelerated

Just a day after the Air Force announced that a full-rate production decision on the KC-46 tanker will have to wait until late fiscal 2024 due to extended testing of the redesigned Remote Vision System for tanking operations, the service’s acquisition executive offered his hope that the timetable may be accelerated by laboratory testing of RVS elements.

The service and Boeing will work with the new and improved Remote Vision System in hardware-in-the-loop laboratories—one at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and one at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility, Air Force acquisition boss Will Roper said June 10. The new system—called RVS 2.0—will have 4K cameras, a LIDAR system for three-dimensional visualization and distance measuring; all to correct perception and distortion problems with the existing RVS.

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The Corps reopened an old aviation mishap investigation following deadly 2018 midair tanker collision

During the investigation of the deadly 2018 midair collision of a KC-130 and Hornet, the Corps discovered a strikingly similar mishap in 2016, which was improperly investigated.

The Corps decided to reopen the investigation into a midair collision between a KC-130 and F/A-18 that occurred on April 28, 2016, off the coast of Japan.

No one was killed in the 2016 incident, and both aircraft were able to land. But, a Hornet did impact and shear off the refueling hose and drogue of a KC-130J, damaging both aircraft during a night time low-light level refueling exercise.

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Navy Training Squadron Receives First E-2D Hawkeye With New Aerial Refueling Capability

The first non-developmental E-2D Advanced Hawkeye with an aerial refueling capability has officially joined the U.S. Navy’s fleet, marking the first step toward fielding these aircraft across the service’s carrier-based airborne early warning squadrons. Giving these already game-changing aircraft the ability to refuel in mid-air will significantly increase their endurance, something The War Zone has already explored in-depth in the past.

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 (VAW-120), the “Greyhawks,” based at Naval Station Norfolk in Virignia, took delivery of the new E-2D on Sept. 9, 2019. The Navy had already received three E-2Ds with the aerial refueling conversion for developmental purposes and is expecting that the new aircraft will reach initial operational capability next year. The service’s plans to acquire Advanced Hawkeyes with this capability trace back at least to 2014.

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Boeing’s KC-46 Aerial Tanker Debuts

Boeing Co. is poised to make history as a pair of its new KC-46 Pegasus tankers take off Friday for a U.S. Air Force base in Kansas to provide overdue and much-needed replacements for Eisenhower-era aerial refuelers.

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The first KC-46 delivery is not happening this October as planned

WASHINGTON ? The first KC-46 won?t be delivered this month as had been agreed upon by the U.S. Air Force and manufacturer Boeing, the service?s top civilian said Wednesday.

In an Oct. 17 interview with Bloomberg News, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson acknowledged for the first time that the delivery milestone has slipped once again. Service officials and Boeing executives are meeting the same day to discuss how best to address a list of unresolved deficiencies ? one of the major barriers keeping the Air Force from accepting the new tankers.

Last month, Defense News first reported that two new category-1 deficiencies had been added to the KC-46?s list of problems, bringing the total to five. A category-1 deficiency is the most serious grade of technical issues that have no workaround in place.

DefenseNews.com