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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s troubled KC-46 tanker program has hit another bump, adding two of the most serious types of deficiencies yet to the list of problems manufacturer Boeing needs to fix.
The service on Thursday evening disclosed two “category one” deficiencies involving the remote vision system and centerline drogue systems, and there is no concrete timeline by which these issues will be fixed, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in an email.
The first deficiency centers on the KC-46’s remote vision system made by Rockwell Collins. The RVS is used by the boom operator to safely steer the boom into the receiver aircraft’s receptacle in all weather conditions.
The RVS performance is not meeting Air Force requirements. That, in turn, is contributing to another, previously disclosed issue: “undetected contact outside the receptacle,” or in layman’s speak, an increased likelihood of scraping the exterior of a receiver aircraft with the boom.