American airplane manufacture beat out Airbus to supply the US Air Force replacement airial refueler jets….NONE HAVE BEEN delivered since Boeing won the contract in 2011….
Airbus, who lost the contract to Boeing ?
Has been refueling American aircraft for the last four years with the same Allied Airbus A-330 that the US deemed not acceptable….
The US Air Force is looking for additional refueler aircraft now….
Will they and Congress continue to stick to Boeing, the American manufacture who can’t produce, or?….Will they ‘do the right thing’ and put politics aside with Airbus A-330 buys, ‘as is’, and start receiving them probably before Boeing can get it’s act together and deliver even a few KC-46’s?
Airbus and Lockheed officials say their pitch is largely focusing on this new requirement and the hundreds of planes that the Air Force plans to buy after Boeing delivers a planned 179 KC-46 tankers — suggesting that it is not an attempt to persuade service officials to curtail those plans.
Boeing officials view it the same way, a person familiar with the situation said.
Airbus and Lockheed are pitching the A330 tanker — the same aircraft that lost to Boeing’s KC-46 in 2011.
“The companies are taking a cooperative approach, with the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) at its heart, to examine a broad spectrum of opportunities,” the Airbus-Lockheed statement said. “These may range from ways to support critical near-term air-refueling needs, such as a fee-for-service structure to conceptualizing the tanker of the future.”
The Air Force flies about 400 Eisenhower-era KC-135 Stratotankers and 59 of the larger KC-10 Extender tankers. The KC-46 is supposed to replace about half of the KC-135s, while an effort called KC-Y is supposed to replace the remaining Stratotankers.
Boeing was supposed to deliver 18 KC-46 tankers last year. Thanks to numerous development problems, it has delivered none, and has not said when it will start. Asked if Boeing would deliver the first tanker by year’s end, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said, “We will work through with Boeing to get the equipment that works.”
The KC-46 still has “a couple major deficiencies,” Wilson said Nov. 15 at the Defense One Summit….
image of A-330 refueling a F-15…Youtube