Not good news coming out of the Pentagon this week, FighterSweep Fans. According to the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), it is unlikely Boeing will be able to deliver all 18 of the first batch of Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tankers to the Air Force by the August 2017 deadline. Considering that is a major requirement of the $51 Billion contract, Boeing would be subject to penalties, as well as absorbing costs for any delays.

Boeing is likely to miss the first major requirement of its $51 billion tanker program for the U.S. Air Force: delivering the initial 18 aerial-refueling planes by August 2017, according to the Pentagon agency that oversees contracts.

The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) said it “has low confidence in Boeing’s ability” to meet the milestone. Instead, the agency said in an email it now projects the 18 KC-46 aircraft will be delivered by March 2018, about seven months late, and that schedule may slip further.

The Air Force may penalize Boeing if it fails to meet the delivery date, according to internal service documents. That’s on top of the contractor absorbing more costs for the tanker.

Already, the Air Force estimates that developing the KC-46 and building the first four aircraft will cost at least $6.324 billion, forcing the company to swallow $1.5 billion over the contract’s $4.824 billion cap.

Boeing projects it will complete the development phase for $5.59 billion, or $766 million over the cap, according to Air Force program office data.

Pentagon: Boeing Likely To Miss KC-46 Deadline
The Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker at Boeing Field, Seattle, after its first flight, Sept. 25, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Boeing)

Boeing spokesman Charles Ramey said the company expects to meet the August delivery date. “We are making steady progress in flight test and aircraft production and believe we are taking the right steps to fulfill our commitment to the Air Force,” Ramey said in an email.

The original article in its entirety can be viewed at the Seattle Times right here.
(Featured photo courtesy of Boeing/Paul Weatherman)