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KC-46 Officially Begins Initial Operational Test and Evaluation

The Air Force?s KC-46 program has officially moved the new tanker into its initial operational test and evaluation phase, a delayed step that will certify whether the plane can handle its key missions.

?IOT&E will test the KC-46?s effectiveness, suitability, and mission capability toward accomplishing its three primary mission sets: aerial refueling, cargo/passenger operations, and aeromedical evacuation,? the service said in an Oct. 23 statement. ?The Air Force continues to test the new weapon system, while Boeing corrects identified deficiencies in parallel, as the most expeditious means of achieving full operational capability.?

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Glitchy Gun, Low Availability Rates Plague F-35, DoD Weapons Tester Finds

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet still does not have an adequate aircraft availability rate, according to the Defense Department’s testing office. The fifth-generation fighter has had a “flat” trend in capacity rates over the past three years, according to a recent Director of Operational, Test and Evaluation report. Even as the services focus on improvement initiatives, they’re “still not translating into improved availability,” it stated.

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