Boeing’s KC-46 tanker has been getting some bad press lately due to lengthy delays in fielding the next-generation aerial refueler. However, the only real showstopper is a remote vision system that airmen use from the cockpit to guide refueling booms into receiving aircraft. Although the system works well at night and during most daylight hours, when the Sun is low in the sky there is a problem with visual acuity. A fix has been identified, and will likely begin installation in two years. In the meantime, KC-46 is passing two million pounds of fuel per month on training flights; has been certified to refuel most of the combat aircraft in the joint force; and in other regards is performing commendably. That presumably is why the Air Force keeps ordering more of the tankers. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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