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AngMoh
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:59 am

A new category 1 issue has been reported:

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 24.article

It was reported first July 2019 but now upgraded to cat 1.
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LMP737
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:38 pm

Sounds like fuel shroud issues. Which could either be an indication improper assembly or poor quality seals, or both.
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kc135topboom
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:38 am

Maybe Boeing should offer the USAF new build KC-135s?
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:47 am

kc135topboom wrote:
Maybe Boeing should offer the USAF new build KC-135s?


I think that’s a great idea! Should they be modified post-production or should they still have all the original, built-in defects? Water-injection failures on one side leading to crashes on takeoff, short-tail, aft fuselage band aids to keep the tail from falling off, etc. Maybe Boeing can add the cargo floor gratis, too, to show good faith.

This is what IOT&E is for: to identify problems so they can be fixed.
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aumaverick
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:39 pm

It looks like a complete redesign, removal, and replacement of the RVS are in store down the line per the latest report.

The first phase allows Boeing to continue providing incremental improvements to software and hardware that will fine-tune the imagery seen by the boom operator, the source said. The second phase — which will take years to complete — involves a comprehensive redesign of the RVS where its hardware and software will be almost completely replaced with new color cameras, advanced displays and improved computing technology.


Source
https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/04/02/done-deal-boeing-will-have-to-rip-and-replace-kc-46-sensor-and-camera-systems-on-its-own-dime/?utm_campaign=Socialflow+AIR&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR3qXUpG-KcDwN8nYdb_Ont5d61C5Ax_Yv6wHRI2V0F-Ga-gdbCJRHZL2XU
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Stitch
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:44 pm

aumaverick wrote:
It looks like a complete redesign, removal, and replacement of the RVS are in store down the line per the latest report.


Well arguably we'd likely have seen this via a Block Update over the life of the frame, so...
 
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SamYeager2016
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:14 pm

Stitch wrote:
aumaverick wrote:
It looks like a complete redesign, removal, and replacement of the RVS are in store down the line per the latest report.


Well arguably we'd likely have seen this via a Block Update over the life of the frame, so...

Except presumably Boeing wouldn't have done this at their expense?
 
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par13del
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:14 pm

So there is still no existing RVS System presently in use that will satisfy the Air Force, the mind boggles.
When we consider Boeing screw up that is being paid for by Boeing, when we consider the Air Force screw ups they are now going to use private tankers some of who will be using RVS systems that are not good enough for the Air Force tankers.
Yes the initial selection was a Boeing choice, but based on all the delays and changes, this should have been done sooner, the full replacement that is, spending funds to enhance something that is being replaced....
 
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Stitch
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:55 pm

The USAF has certainly been picky about what they expected from the Remote Viewing System. One assumes this was all specified in the RFP, but as the problem is said to happen under only certain lighting conditions, perhaps this is just one of those "unknown unknowns" that neither the USAF nor Boeing/Rockwell-Collins could have foreseen until it was upon them.
 
texl1649
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:41 pm

The bottom line is we are really talking about cameras, software, and monitors here, basically. The software also has to interface to the analog flight control systems on the 767 so I am guessing that component is largely unchanged, since the plane itself and hardware on the boom aren't changing. The PR spin sounds nice enough;

Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Leanne Caret issued the following statement regarding Boeing’s KC-46 agreement with the U.S. Air Force:

The Air Force and Boeing will make the KC-46 synonymous with aerial refueling excellence. The agreement we announced today takes advantage of new remote vision systems technologies that are orders of magnitude better than what was available when the program started. Generations of women and men in uniform will benefit from the advancements we are making in the science of visualization systems. Not only will these advancements benefit the KC-46 by preparing it for future capabilities like autonomous refueling, they will also benefit other programs for years to come. The investments we continue to make in the KC-46 clearly demonstrate Boeing’s commitment to Pegasus being the standard by which all future refueling aircraft are measured.


https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2020-04-02 ... -Air-Force

Still, my suspicion is that Boeing will take yet another huge write down on this humiliating contract. They really have no reason at this point to avoid negative figures in near term quarterly reports.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:12 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Still, my suspicion is that Boeing will take yet another huge write down on this humiliating contract. They really have no reason at this point to avoid negative figures in near term quarterly reports.


Now is the time to write-down everything since the stock is in the toilet. And I am sure Boeing will be raking Rockwell-Collins over the coals over there part.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:18 pm

par13del wrote:
So there is still no existing RVS System presently in use that will satisfy the Air Force, the mind boggles... now going to use private tankers some of who will be using RVS systems that are not good enough for the Air Force tankers.


There is one that can: it's on the A330 MRTT. Most importantly, the visuals can be operated by an inexperienced boomer (worst case, E-2 with <300 hours and downrange). Boeing went a different route, probably to keep costs bare-bottom, and it bit them in the backside. Their system *mostly* works, but really needs someone much more experienced to operate it and deal with the scenery changes. You know those annoying lines you see on a tv screen when it's filmed by another camera? The KC-46 panoramic cameras do that, and Boeing didn't see anything wrong with it... They also made critical assumptions regarding operator usage and assumed the AF would accept the inherent limitations of their system. Unfortunately, the AF won't: they want a system which is seamless so that a young adult who can't buy a beer in the states can utilize it effectively. I.e. what Boeing promised.

I assume you're referring to the former-RNLAF KDC-10... that system is not good enough for the USAF. It's ok for a niche organization with highly experienced personnel who can work-around their limitations. It's fine for an Air Force that has a morning push and maybe an afternoon push: 'orbit here for 2 hours and jets will tank off you. When they knock it off or you hit bingo you can go home" e.g. the RNLAF or Omega. It's not acceptable for a major operator who has to be able to operate it 24/7/365. I reference the RNLAF 'TULIP' operations at Al Dhafra. The AF was not keen to incorporate those sorts of limfacs to their tanker fleet at large. General Goldfein himself has flown on the KC-46 and has seen its problems in the flesh. He agrees with the operators that they can't accept the KC-46 as is.

I've flown on the A330 MRTT and I've seen its RVS in operation. I've also seen the KC-46's, on the ground though, not inflight. World of difference!

texl1649 wrote:
The software also has to interface to the analog flight control systems on the 767 so I am guessing that component is largely unchanged, since the plane itself and hardware on the boom aren't changing.


Are you sure it interfaces? I don't think it does. The boom itself is FBW and it's control unit is similarly digital. For reference, the KC-10 has analog flight control surfaces and a FBW boom, but the Boom Control Unit (BCU) doesn't talk to the aircraft's control surfaces: it just talks to the boom.
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Stitch
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:48 pm

par13del wrote:
So there is still no existing RVS System presently in use that will satisfy the Air Force, the mind boggles... now going to use private tankers some of who will be using RVS systems that are not good enough for the Air Force tankers.

LyleLanley wrote:
There is one that can: it's on the A330 MRTT.


Kappa’s Enhanced Vision System is used on a variety of platforms, so if it meets the USAF's requirements, one would think they would have specified it to be used in place of the Rockwell-Collins system since they will be replacing said system down the road.


LyleLanley wrote:
Boeing went a different route, probably to keep costs bare-bottom, and it bit them in the backside.


Well let's not forget Boeing won the RFP because they were cheaper, but I expect the Kappa system is not orders of magnitude more expensive than the Rockwell-Collins model. And Collins Aerospace are not novices to Enhanced Vision Systems. I mean Cobham does the WARPS and CDS for the A330 MRTT, too, yet they somehow stuffed both on the KC-46A. This leads me to believe it might not all be just due to the RVS vendor, but maybe integration issues with the tanker aircraft, as well, so perhaps the Kappa system on the A330 MRTT might not be the "magic bullet" to fix the RVS issues on the KC-46.
 
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Grizzly410
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:59 pm

Stitch wrote:
Well let's not forget Boeing won the RFP because they were cheaper,

One could argue its easy to be cheaper when its overpromised...

Stitch wrote:
but I expect the Kappa system is not orders of magnitude more expensive than the Rockwell-Collins model. And Collins Aerospace are not novices to Enhanced Vision Systems. I mean Cobham does the WARPS and CDS for the A330 MRTT, too, yet they somehow stuffed both on the KC-46A. This leads me to believe it might not all be just due to the RVS vendor, but maybe integration issues with the tanker aircraft, as well, so perhaps the Kappa system on the A330 MRTT might not be the "magic bullet" to fix the RVS issues on the KC-46.

Airbus MRTT RVS test platform is an A310, makes me think the system is standalone enough to be implemented on any A/C.
Where it's not a magic bullet for KC-46 it's because it requires camera (angle, distance) and iluminators (floodlight + IR) positon possibly very different than current system, making it too much structural work to adapt.
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:02 am

Stitch wrote:
Kappa’s Enhanced Vision System is used on a variety of platforms, so if it meets the USAF's requirements, one would think they would have specified it to be used in place of the Rockwell-Collins system since they will be replacing said system down the road.[\quote]

That’s negotiation table stuff I don’t know, but you’d hope so. :smile:

LyleLanley wrote:
Boeing went a different route, probably to keep costs bare-bottom, and it bit them in the backside.


[quote="Stitch" ]Well let's not forget Boeing won the RFP because they were cheaper, but I expect the Kappa system is not orders of magnitude more expensive than the Rockwell-Collins model. And Collins Aerospace are not novices to Enhanced Vision Systems. I mean Cobham does the WARPS and CDS for the A330 MRTT, too, yet they somehow stuffed both on the KC-46A. This leads me to believe it might not all be just due to the RVS vendor, but maybe integration issues with the tanker aircraft, as well, so perhaps the Kappa system on the A330 MRTT might not be the "magic bullet" to fix the RVS issues on the KC-46.[/quote]


Excellent points. I think only Boeing can tell you the full truth, though given the press release (above) I doubt it. All I can give you is an operator’s perspective, and to paraphrase one of the test booms, “it’s not an individual element (contrast, wavelength acuity, etc) that is unsatisfactory, but how they interact and interfere with the others”. It certainly fits Boeing’s recent M.O. to ‘good enough’ their equipment to requirements, so even being 10% cheaper they probably saw that as “good enough”.
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par13del
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:45 am

The only additional thing I would add, the US Air Force stated they wanted off the shelf, so why exactly was a RVS that was already in operation not considered Off The Shelf? Based on the number of modifications that had to be done to the 767, whatever would have been required for the RVS could have been done.
It may well be Boeing alone but I seriously doubt that, the other party involved has a history also.
 
texl1649
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:18 pm

Goodness, now the fuel tanks themselves on the KC-46 are leaking (Well, or leaking between the two layers)? What a disaster this program remains.

https://www.janes.com/article/95251/kc- ... ia=twitter
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:53 pm

Good article from AW&ST regarding RVS changes and fixes. Fairly good details on current RVS problems, too.

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/aircraft-propulsion/boeing-usaf-agree-dramatic-kc-46-remote-vision-system-redesign
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kanban
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:37 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Goodness, now the fuel tanks themselves on the KC-46 are leaking (Well, or leaking between the two layers)? What a disaster this program remains.

https://www.janes.com/article/95251/kc- ... ia=twitter

The article clearly states "fuel system" leaks... not fuel tank leaks. The tanks are the wings and wing center section.. they don't leak. (OK there are occasional issues with old commercial planes and sloppy maintenance) the system includes all the plumbing and pumps from the tanks to the boom and eventually refueling pods. these systems have a history of being prone to leaks from vibration and temperature fluctuations. So the weanies in the Air Force command can scream that the sky is falling, but the issue is one that requires system use to locate system weaknesses and then affect the necessary modifications and since all the fuel was contained it's just so much whining and hand wringing. Note half the affected place been fixed.

The Nimrod was a leaker that dripped fuel in the cabin. Now that was an issue! digressing a bit, I seem to recall Boeing was involved in the last attempt to refurb the Nimrod and quietly backed out. I could be mistaken though.
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:06 pm

Not sure I agree with releasing the funds. I can understand the USAF is keen to get this fixed and believe the release of the funds will assist and speed up the fix but it also sends the wrong message about paying money for a fix that Boeing is completely responsible for. At least it deomstrates that the USAF is confident the fix will actually work.

USAF gives Boeing $882m to help cash flow and fix KC-46 refuelling boom camera

As fallout from the coronavirus pandemic further pinches Boeing’s cash flow – financials already hurt by the grounding of the 737 Max – the US Air Force (USAF) has decided to release $882 million in payments withheld from the company in order to help fix a troublesome problem with the Boeing KC-46A refuelling camera boom.

...

However, in order to ensure a fix to an especially difficult problem with the tanker’s Remote Vision System (RVS) – a camera used to guide the tanker’s refuelling boom – the service believes it would be productive to release the withheld funds. The additional cash should help improve Boeing’s financial position and thus speed up the resolution of the problem.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 13.article
 
744SPX
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:16 pm

Still don't understand why the AF could not have been satisfied with the KC-767A which has worked so well for Japan and Italy.

Regardless, what still bothers me the most is the engines though. By the time the last KC-46 is delivered the PW4000 is going to be a 45-50 year old design. They will need to (or at least should) re-engine before the last one is delivered...
 
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Stitch
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:28 pm

Ozair wrote:
Not sure I agree with releasing the funds. I can understand the USAF is keen to get this fixed and believe the release of the funds will assist and speed up the fix but it also sends the wrong message about paying money for a fix that Boeing is completely responsible for. At least it deomstrates that the USAF is confident the fix will actually work.


It's quite possibly a moot point for the USAF, now, with COVID-19. The 767 line is as at-risk as all the other commercial lines and the USAF can't have a KC-46A without the underlying 767-2C.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:31 pm

744SPX wrote:
Still don't understand why the AF could not have been satisfied with the KC-767A which has worked so well for Japan and Italy.


The original lease deal of 2001 would have been 100 KC-767s.


744SPX wrote:
Regardless, what still bothers me the most is the engines though. By the time the last KC-46 is delivered the PW4000 is going to be a 45-50 year old design. They will need to (or at least should) re-engine before the last one is delivered...


The Pratt & Whitney JT3D is still going strong in the USAF today on the B-52 and some 707-derivatives and that family is now in it's sixth decade.
 
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par13del
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:56 pm

I think the money being released was built up from a number of deficiencies with the tanker, it is / was not just with held for the RVS system, at least that is my read, so the cargo locks, wire bundles, etc etc etc. Boeing will pay to fix the RVS system the Air Force is just assisting by fronting some money.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:48 pm

744SPX wrote:
Still don't understand why the AF could not have been satisfied with the KC-767A which has worked so well for Japan and Italy.


You're thinking about it from a numbers/statistical comparison, rather than how an operator would use them in a no-kidding war. Japan and Italy utilize their tankers differently than the USAF. They also never had a refueling capacity, either, so really anything is an improvement over zero. The KC-767 is essentially a converted airliner that can also pass gas to other aircraft, but really can't get very close to the sort of fights the AF thinks it will get into; it's essentially an updated KC-135, one that is more suited to strategic or benign missions. The AF has had 65 years of experience with the KC-135 and doesn't want a newer version; it wants a different, more tactically-minded tanker. As such, the KC-46 can operate in riskier environments the KC-767, KC-135, and KC-10 could never go: it's armored in the flight deck and crew compartment, it can fly in NBC environments, it's equipped with Link-16, RWR, LAIRCM, and others, so it can operate closer to the shooting. Covert lighting so you're not lit up like a space ship at night, etc.

They look pretty much identical, and look similar from a numbers comparison, but they have wildly different operational capabilities.
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:54 pm

Ozair wrote:
Not sure I agree with releasing the funds... it also sends the wrong message about paying money for a fix that Boeing is completely responsible for.


Agreed mate, but in this climate Boeing needs the cash so if they use the money they were supposed to receive (800-ish million) to fix their product, it evens out in the end.

At least it didn't take 350 Airmen dying for Boeing to fix this.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
brindabella
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:31 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Not sure I agree with releasing the funds... it also sends the wrong message about paying money for a fix that Boeing is completely responsible for.


Agreed mate, but in this climate Boeing needs the cash so if they use the money they were supposed to receive (800-ish million) to fix their product, it evens out in the end.

At least it didn't take 350 Airmen dying for Boeing to fix this.


Have to say that overall the USAF has apparently had a huge win.
After all the dust settles, the product will have lots and lots more capabilities and Boeing, notwithstanding their screw-ups,
will have delivered a super asset for the fleet.

However:
Such a massive victory almost always comes with some unforeseen shadows - for instance, what OEM would ever-again go into a fixed-price contract except for the most minor sale?
Essentially the contract seems to have delivered the taxpayer a HUUUUGE win.
For at least the next 5 minutes, that is.

I am an Aussie, which country has embarked upon the most preposterous submarine contract in the history of military procurement.
And in dire contrast to the KC-46 contract, there is absolutely NO limit to the amount of $ that it is going to cost.
If we ever actually get a defence asset, that is.
Historically disastrous?
Of course.
:crying:

However the reverse, that is the Fixed Price contract, also has it's hidden "gotchas" in the real world.
Such as, if you screw the Contractor into the dirt, as many seem to want the USAF to do to Boeing; then if times change, as they surely have, then you might find that screwing heaps of moolah out of the Contractor (and being supposedly a hero to the public) - in fact gets you junk or nothing.

And if you are that AF General who screwed the Contractor into the ground, then you are (correctly) known as the genius who also screwed the AF.

So it looks to me that these AF guys who have negotiated this actually see the picture pretty clearly.

cheers
Billy
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:47 pm

Looks like they agreed to a fix with version 1.5. From what I can gleen, the release of the money also included money for items in version 1.5 that would have been rolled into version 2.0 which were planned for a later date.

https://www.janes.com/article/95339/cov ... nd-funding

Roper said that this RVS redesign will bring the KC-46A closer to tanking autonomously or semi-autonomously.


bt
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:53 pm

brindabella,

You guys got a sweet deal with the Wedgetail project though. The project was over budget and somewhat late. But the nature of the deal made Boeing eat the overrun. Y'all got a fine product. Wonder how much will the UK pay for their fleet. Much more in adjusted dollars I would venture to guess.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:01 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Looks like they agreed to a fix with version 1.5. From what I can gleen, the release of the money also included money for items in version 1.5 that would have been rolled into version 2.0 which were planned for a later date.

https://www.janes.com/article/95339/cov ... nd-funding

Roper said that this RVS redesign will bring the KC-46A closer to tanking autonomously or semi-autonomously.


bt

DefenseNews has a similar article here,

Boeing’s KC-46 tanker now has a pathway for autonomous aerial refueling

On April 2, Boeing agreed to fix the KC-46’s troubled Remote Vision System by creating an overhauled RVS 2.0 with new hardware and software. Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper told reporters those changes would include the addition of 4K high-definition cameras that will display imagery in color as well as modern processors and LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) sensors that will help improve depth perception.

“A proper RVS like that is right on the doorstep to autonomy,” Roper said. “All you have to do is take that data that tells the world inside the jet the reality of geometries between the airplane and the boom outside the jet. Once you have that, you simply need to translate it into algorithms that allow the tanker to tank itself.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/04 ... refueling/

You can see where the USAF want to take this and a good answer to the question posed a couple of months ago about autonomous tanking and whether the USAF will ever go that way. Boeing clearly also see some revenue from these future changes and therefore it is in their best interest to get RVS 2.0 out and working.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:59 am

Ozair wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Looks like they agreed to a fix with version 1.5. From what I can gleen, the release of the money also included money for items in version 1.5 that would have been rolled into version 2.0 which were planned for a later date.

https://www.janes.com/article/95339/cov ... nd-funding

Roper said that this RVS redesign will bring the KC-46A closer to tanking autonomously or semi-autonomously.


bt

DefenseNews has a similar article here,

Boeing’s KC-46 tanker now has a pathway for autonomous aerial refueling

On April 2, Boeing agreed to fix the KC-46’s troubled Remote Vision System by creating an overhauled RVS 2.0 with new hardware and software. Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper told reporters those changes would include the addition of 4K high-definition cameras that will display imagery in color as well as modern processors and LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) sensors that will help improve depth perception.

“A proper RVS like that is right on the doorstep to autonomy,” Roper said. “All you have to do is take that data that tells the world inside the jet the reality of geometries between the airplane and the boom outside the jet. Once you have that, you simply need to translate it into algorithms that allow the tanker to tank itself.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/04 ... refueling/

You can see where the USAF want to take this and a good answer to the question posed a couple of months ago about autonomous tanking and whether the USAF will ever go that way. Boeing clearly also see some revenue from these future changes and therefore it is in their best interest to get RVS 2.0 out and working.


Given their track record, I have some suspicions Boeing won't do this smartly, within-budget, or within the operational constraints of their customers.

They sure are optimistic in Chicago!
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:09 am

brindabella wrote:
Such a massive victory almost always comes with some unforeseen shadows - for instance, what OEM would ever-again go into a fixed-price contract except for the most minor sale?
Essentially the contract seems to have delivered the taxpayer a HUUUUGE win... However the reverse, that is the Fixed Price contract, also has it's hidden "gotchas" in the real world.
Such as, if you screw the Contractor into the dirt, as many seem to want the USAF to do to Boeing; then if times change, as they surely have, then you might find that screwing heaps of moolah out of the Contractor (and being supposedly a hero to the public) - in fact gets you junk or nothing.


You're absolutely right, and the best parable I can think of is to compare the KC-46 to the C-5.

Nowadays, a financially healthy company (Boeing) was sure it could pull off a low-risk tanker, bet on a fixed-price contract, and subsequently lost their shirts. Thankfully, they have enough capital and exposure through other business to make it work without screwing taxpayers over.

Then there was Lockheed, which wasn't in the best financial shape when the 60s ended. The C-5 was high risk in every respect: a (then) unheard of wide body, brand new engines (the TF-39, the CF-6's father and the first real turbofan), etc. They bet big and lost big. The taxpayers lost more. Really, the only people who won were the Israelis (1973), the guys on the line who worked the wings, and shipping companies who must've made a lot of money shipping MICAP parts all over the world to C-5s broke in the system.

In this case, I think the AF did an outstanding job reading the tea leaves. Boeing got themselves into this.
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:44 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
Given their track record, I have some suspicions Boeing won't do this smartly, within-budget,


Yeah, they know how to build airplanes. And so far, they know how to do autonomous vehicles.

Electronics and these unique systems, do require some re-learning. Sometimes it just takes a little bit if luck when putting a team together. If you get one or two right people making the right decision early on, things can go much more smoothly.

Having the wrong person making a wrong decision and the cascading effect can be devistating.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
brindabella
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:34 pm

Ozair wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Looks like they agreed to a fix with version 1.5. From what I can gleen, the release of the money also included money for items in version 1.5 that would have been rolled into version 2.0 which were planned for a later date.

https://www.janes.com/article/95339/cov ... nd-funding

Roper said that this RVS redesign will bring the KC-46A closer to tanking autonomously or semi-autonomously.


bt

DefenseNews has a similar article here,

Boeing’s KC-46 tanker now has a pathway for autonomous aerial refueling

On April 2, Boeing agreed to fix the KC-46’s troubled Remote Vision System by creating an overhauled RVS 2.0 with new hardware and software. Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper told reporters those changes would include the addition of 4K high-definition cameras that will display imagery in color as well as modern processors and LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) sensors that will help improve depth perception.

“A proper RVS like that is right on the doorstep to autonomy,” Roper said. “All you have to do is take that data that tells the world inside the jet the reality of geometries between the airplane and the boom outside the jet. Once you have that, you simply need to translate it into algorithms that allow the tanker to tank itself.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/04 ... refueling/

You can see where the USAF want to take this and a good answer to the question posed a couple of months ago about autonomous tanking and whether the USAF will ever go that way. Boeing clearly also see some revenue from these future changes and therefore it is in their best interest to get RVS 2.0 out and working.


:checkmark:

Watching the birth of drone tankers, I have wondered just how many KC-46s will actually be delivered.

Auto-refuelling capability will surely be required to keep the KC-46 in the game.

cheers
Billy
 
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747classic
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:36 am

Two latest built USAF KC-46A aircraft at the Paine Field flight line are shown by Matt Cawby's Paine field blog of April 27th, see : http://kpae.blogspot.com/2020/04/paine- ... il-27.html

In front (unpainted) L/N 1210 C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46057 USAF KC-46A (VH057) Lot 4, #17/18, tail 86057
Behind : L/N 1205 C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46056 USAF KC-46A (VH056) Lot 4, #16/18, tail 86056
Detailed picture, see : http://www.paineairport.com/kpae18279h.htm

I asked Matt, but no picture yet of L/N 1207, the first KC-46A for JASDF (14-3611)
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:36 am

LyleLanley, keep in mind that the USAF uses it tankers a lot differently than the RAAF, or any other Air Force. Also remember the USAF had to go with the lowest bidder that met the RFP. They are buying 179 new tankers, the KC-46 fit that bill, the KC-45 did not for price or for the RFP. A-330MRTT customers (except UK and France) were buying fewer than 10 tankers, in some cases only one or two.

So overall program costs were the overriding consideration.

The KC-45 did not meet the USAF armor requirement to stop certain type 7.62mm (.308 caliber) rounds, even though the KC-45 armor could stop other 7.62 (.30 caliber) rounds. It also did not have a main deck cargo door or cargo floor (Airbus/NG did not offer an A-330F-MRTT version), and Airbus/NG was offering a more expensive engine.

Both Boeing and Airbus had the parts needed to build the USAF tanker, but Boeing put thier package together better.

Airbus offered the standard A-330 airliner with the A-340/A-330 common wing and basically the MRTT package from thier porotype tanker, the A-310MRTT.

Boeing offered the B-767-200ER fuselage, the cargo floor, cargo door, wings and landing gear of the B-767-300ERF, the avionics from the B-787, and a modified version of the KC-10 FBW Boom (initially it was an FBW modified version of the of the KC-135 Boom until they decided it could not meet the 1,200 US gallon transfer rate needed).

Both the KC-45 and KC-46 are equipped with Link-16, RWR, LAIRCM.

The USAF KC-135s and KC-10s are used everyday in combat. Tactics were developed back in the 1980s for KC-135s to be used up to the FEBA, and those tactics were used in Desert Storm and Gulf War II very successfully. The USAF could easily add Link-16, RWR, and LAIRCM, and even chaff and flairs to the KC-135, but they chose not to. Back in the 1980s SAC Tanker Crews asked for the RWRs systems from retired F-16s and flair systems from retired B-52s and B-58s. SAC approved it but USAF said no, they wanted to keep those systems on the B-52s and F-16s in the event those airplanes would ever rejoin the fleet, even though KC-135s flying SIOP missions to refuel the FB-111 were flying and refueling well 'beyond the HHCL' (aka Fail Safe Position).
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:33 pm

I'm not really sure why that's addressed to me.

But I am aware of the current tanker ops tempo -- I'm ~ 350-400 'combat' sorties and counting -- and there's a world of difference between the O-1 and O-2 sorties being flown today (and every day since Desert Storm) and the types of combat sorties the US needs to fly in a near-peer contest. Certainly you've heard of the expressions 'tanker TOAD' or 'fat, dumb, and happy', right? Those tactics were fine with an actual FEBA to stay behind and maybe a CAP nearby, with the AC flying and listening to the radio, the copilot in the can, the nav doing nothing, and the boom in the pod waiting for a receiver to show. It only works nowadays when we're fighting dudes in a cave or idiots whose tactical proficiency ends after dropping barrel bombs on their own population, and it certainly won't work with double-digit SAMs and extremely long-range threats specifically targeting HVAAs. To operate with those threats requires real, seamless, and time-critical integration between assets. Not a stovepiped information stream on UHF 1. Fighters aren't well-endowed with range, and an F-22 can't be expected to fly 400 miles to/from their CAP, nor can an F-35 fly 300 miles outside of its stack and expect to remain tactically relevant: the tanker has to get closer, and that means actually having integrated methods to counter threats. Not relying on AWACS calling a timely 'retrograde' because they won't be there, nor using hand-me-down systems stripped from jets about to be turned into beer cans and then stuffed wherever there's space in a panel. You can't retrofit tactical relevance into the KC-135 because a KC-135 with LINK-16 is still just a KC-135, with its inherent limitations. Nor can you do the same with a KC-10. Which is a damn shame, as the KC-10 brings 340K pounds of gas to any Pacific party as well as the flexibility inherent in having a boom, drogue, and a receptacle on every sortie. It took Boeing 40 years to finally get that right.

But that's the hand we've been dealt.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
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PepeTheFrog
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:11 pm

Boeing posts another charge in Q1:

In the report: New $832m charge for KC-46, including $551m to develop the "RVS 2.0" as part of the recently announced agreement with the Air Force. The remainder related to "productivity inefficiencies" & COVID-19 shut down


This pushes Boeing pretty close to a $5 billion cost overrun on the fixed-price $4.9 billion contract in 2011. The original contract price was $4.4 billion, but the terms required the Air Force to cover the first $500 million of any extra costs. Boeing has covered the rest.


https://twitter.com/beverstine/status/1 ... 8377686020
https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1 ... 9278397440
Good moaning!
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:01 am

PepeTheFrog wrote:
Boeing posts another charge in Q1:

In the report: New $832m charge for KC-46, including $551m to develop the "RVS 2.0" as part of the recently announced agreement with the Air Force. The remainder related to "productivity inefficiencies" & COVID-19 shut down


This pushes Boeing pretty close to a $5 billion cost overrun on the fixed-price $4.9 billion contract in 2011. The original contract price was $4.4 billion, but the terms required the Air Force to cover the first $500 million of any extra costs. Boeing has covered the rest.


https://twitter.com/beverstine/status/1 ... 8377686020
https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1 ... 9278397440


Someone is off on the math or looking only at the original contract amount. This lot had a $ 173M unit price. So 67 x 173 = $ 11.6 B. I recall the first award was for $4.9B which included the initial test lot. So its around $ 15B to date.

EVERETT, Wash., Oct. 1, 2019 – The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $2.6 billion contract for 15 KC-46A


Boeing now is on contract for 67 KC-46 tankers.


https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-10-01 ... uction-Lot
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:55 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
PepeTheFrog wrote:
Boeing posts another charge in Q1:

In the report: New $832m charge for KC-46, including $551m to develop the "RVS 2.0" as part of the recently announced agreement with the Air Force. The remainder related to "productivity inefficiencies" & COVID-19 shut down


This pushes Boeing pretty close to a $5 billion cost overrun on the fixed-price $4.9 billion contract in 2011. The original contract price was $4.4 billion, but the terms required the Air Force to cover the first $500 million of any extra costs. Boeing has covered the rest.


https://twitter.com/beverstine/status/1 ... 8377686020
https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1 ... 9278397440


Someone is off on the math or looking only at the original contract amount. This lot had a $ 173M unit price. So 67 x 173 = $ 11.6 B. I recall the first award was for $4.9B which included the initial test lot. So its around $ 15B to date.

EVERETT, Wash., Oct. 1, 2019 – The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $2.6 billion contract for 15 KC-46A


Boeing now is on contract for 67 KC-46 tankers.


https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-10-01 ... uction-Lot

Wasn't the dev and test cost fixed at $4.9 billion which included a couple of prototypes? Acquisition would be a separate funding line.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri May 01, 2020 1:44 am

Ozair wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
PepeTheFrog wrote:


Someone is off on the math or looking only at the original contract amount. This lot had a $ 173M unit price. So 67 x 173 = $ 11.6 B. I recall the first award was for $4.9B which included the initial test lot. So its around $ 15B to date.

EVERETT, Wash., Oct. 1, 2019 – The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $2.6 billion contract for 15 KC-46A


Boeing now is on contract for 67 KC-46 tankers.


https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-10-01 ... uction-Lot

Wasn't the dev and test cost fixed at $4.9 billion which included a couple of prototypes? Acquisition would be a separate funding line.


Here is what I have pieced together about the original contract and the modifications since. The original contract was $ 4.4B for 4 planes and the EMD program. Since the first 4 planes there have been lots 1 to 5 for the 67 contracted for to date. Note in PO085 it noted the contract then was $ 10.36B, adding up all PO0s since the contract is to
$ 21.03 B The following are the announcements of the major contract changes, but it is quite apparent that there are a ton of mods on this contract. They are up to PO 206 with the latest one published. Not all contract modifications have costs, other mods can change scope or other requirements. Anyone here able to find was the Air Force has as the total contract. Also note that a lot of the support contracts are separate, for instance PC2 is $ $5.7B in an IQ task not in the POO amounts. So Boeing is up to about $313M per plane on the contract for the 67 delivered, however that includes a bunch of program costs. So Boeing has had an overrun of almost $5B, but as a effective DOD contractor they seem to be doing OK by bidding low on the original and are making it up on Change Orders. A 5B loss on a 4.4B contract would be a corporate killing disaster, a 5B loss on $ 21.03B basically reduces the margin by 20%. Besides the next 100+ planes they should have things figured out by then. $ 173M x 100 is a nice big $17.3B coming their way.

Original contract for 4 developmental aircraft with a $ 4.4B award, this had the clause that only $500M overage would be covered.
The KC-46 program began as KC-X Tanker modernization program and is intended to replace the US Air Force’s legacy aircraft fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers which have been the primary refueling aircraft for more than 50 years. The requirement was for four (4) developmental aircraft with options for up to 175 production aerial refueling tanker aircraft based on existing commercial aircraft designs. The US Air Force – Aeronautical Systems Center’s (ASC) KC-X Program Office located in Wright-Patterson AFB OH posted solicitation FA8625-10-R-6600 in February of 2010. In February of 2011 the Air Force awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 to the Boeing Company for $4.4 Billion dollars for Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) only excluding options.

https://www.bidlink.net/news/2018/05/kc ... to-boeing/

Lot 1 and 2
The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a [b]$2,814,816,489 contract action modification (P00099) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for the acquisition of low-rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft Lots 1 and 2. As authorized by the KC-46 Milestone C acquisition decision memorandum dated Aug. 12, 2016, this contract modification obligates funding for pre-priced options for seven Lot 1 LRIP aircraft, two Lot 1 LRIP spare engines, and five Lot 1 LRIP wing refueling pod kits. It further obligates funding for pre-priced options for 12 Lot 2 LRIP aircraft, two Lot 2 LRIP spare engines, and five Lot 2 LRIP wing refueling pod kits. Work will be performed at Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 24, 2018. Fiscal 2015 and 2016 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $2,814,816,489 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.[/b]

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... le/918895/

Lot 3 was for $2.12B for 15 tankers
The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $2,122,841,088 modification (P00110) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for KC-46 Lot 3 production. Contractor will provide 15 KC-46 aircraft, data, two spare engines, and five wing refueling pod kits. Work will be performed at Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be complete by July 30, 2019. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $2,122,841,088 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8625-11-C-6600).

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1062990/

Lot 4 was for $ 2.86B for 18 tankers on 9-10-18
The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $2,858,701,741 modification (P00141) to contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for lot 4 production KC-46 aircraft, initial spares, and support equipment. The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 18 KC-46 aircraft, data, two spare engines, five wing refueling pod kits, initial spares, and support equipment being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by Jan 2022. Fiscal 2016 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $44,000,000; fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $202,000,000; and fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $2,612,701,741 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1626296/

Lot 5 was for $2.63B for 15 tankers awarded 9-27-19

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $2,628,005,872 modification (P00165) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for Lot 5 production KC-46 aircraft, initial spares, and support equipment. The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 15 KC-46 aircraft, data, two spare engines, five wing refueling pod kits, initial spares, support equipment, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by March 2023. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $112,957,314; fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $363,104,247; and fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $2,151,944,310 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1973911/

Other Contracts for KC-46
The Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $70,968,876 firm-fixed price modification to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for a previously established option for KC-46 interim contractor support year three. Work will be managed out of Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by June 27, 2020. Fiscal 2017 procurement funds in the amount of $70,968,876 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1891418/

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $5,700,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for KC-46 Pegasus Combat Capability (PC2). This contract provides for a broad range of post-production related non-recurring and recurring requirements centered on user-directed and Federal Aviation Administration-mandated KC-46 air vehicle needs. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be complete by April 28, 2029. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $9,121,895 are being obligated on the first delivery order at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8609-19-D-0007).

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1829432/

Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a not to exceed $84,500,000 undefinitized contract action modification (P00054) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for KC-46 production spares and production support equipment. Contractor will provide the procurement of 4,880 production support equipment items and six production spare parts. Work will be performed at Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2016. Fiscal 2014 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $9,500,000 and fiscal 2015 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $32,223,722 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... le/606745/

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $34,923,512 modification (P00057) to exercise an option to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for KC-46 interim contractor support. Work will be performed at Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 17, 2015. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition. Fiscal 2015 procurement funds in the amount of $34,923,512 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... le/606750/

Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $7,255,120 modification (P00074) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for a KC-46 engineering manufacturing and development study. Contractor will provide a study which will assess capabilities or filtering changes from the Common Interactive Broadcast waveform and associated software and deliver a final study via an existing contract data requirements list. Work will be performed at Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be complete by June 23, 2017. Fiscal year 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $7,255,120 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... le/637941/


The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $21,304,751 firm-fixed-price modification (P00085) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for aircraft support equipment. This modification provides depot-level support equipment for Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, and brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $10,366,410,820. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be complete by March 2020. Fiscal 2016 procurement funds in the amount of $21,304,751 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1473568/

Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $22,598,000.00 contract action modification (P00100) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 to account for the impact of The Pension Protection Act of 2006, Pub. L.109-280; Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, Pub. L. 112-14; the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, Pub. L. 113-159; and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Pub. L. 114-74, as identified in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement: The Boeing Company Request For Equitable Adjustment And Claim For Pension Protection Act Cost Impact, Amendment 01, dated July 5, 2016. This modification funds a portion of the equitable adjustment for costs incurred related to engineering and manufacturing development. Fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $22,598,000.00 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... le/913538/

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $59,233,699 modification (P00117) to exercise an option on previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for interim contracting support for the KC-46. Work will be performed worldwide in support of KC-46 and is expected to be complete by March 24, 2018. Fiscal 2016 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $59,233,699 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1131283/

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded an $8,376,564 modification (P00118) for a study of the Command and Control Mobility Enterprise Information System/Airborne Network Global Information Grid Interface capability on the KC-46A system. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2018. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8625-11-C-6600).

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1344293/

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $61,500,000 modification (P00128) to contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for initial spares in support of Lot 3 production aircraft. The contract modification provides initial spares for McConnell Air Force Base and Pease Air National Guard Base. Work will be performed in Seattle, and is expected to be completed by March 2021. Fiscal 2016 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $13,527,600; and fiscal 2017 procurement funds in the amount of $47,972,400 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1617374/

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $55,500,000 undefinitized contract action modification (P00177) to the previously awarded, FA8625-11-C-6600, for KC-46 engineering, manufacturing and development contract. This modification is for the system level hardware and software critical design review of the boom telescope actuator redesign. Work will be performed at Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed February 2021. Fiscal 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $20,845,672 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/1924880/

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $36,721,743 undefinitized modification (P00206) to contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for KC-46 engineering, manufacturing and development contract. This modification is for the component build and development of the hardware system integration lab to conduct lab verification and ground test verification for the boom telescope actuator redesign. Work will be performed in Seattle. Fiscal 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $27,541,307 are being obligated at the time of award and is expected to be completed February 2023. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, KC-46 Program Office, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contra ... e/2102247/
 
Ozair
Posts: 5070
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri May 01, 2020 2:34 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Ozair wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:

Someone is off on the math or looking only at the original contract amount. This lot had a $ 173M unit price. So 67 x 173 = $ 11.6 B. I recall the first award was for $4.9B which included the initial test lot. So its around $ 15B to date.
https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-10-01 ... uction-Lot

Wasn't the dev and test cost fixed at $4.9 billion which included a couple of prototypes? Acquisition would be a separate funding line.


Here is what I have pieced together about the original contract and the modifications since. The original contract was $ 4.4B for 4 planes and the EMD program. Since the first 4 planes there have been lots 1 to 5 for the 67 contracted for to date. Note in PO085 it noted the contract then was $ 10.36B, adding up all PO0s since the contract is to
$ 21.03 B The following are the announcements of the major contract changes, but it is quite apparent that there are a ton of mods on this contract. They are up to PO 206 with the latest one published. Not all contract modifications have costs, other mods can change scope or other requirements. Anyone here able to find was the Air Force has as the total contract. Also note that a lot of the support contracts are separate, for instance PC2 is $ $5.7B in an IQ task not in the POO amounts. So Boeing is up to about $313M per plane on the contract for the 67 delivered, however that includes a bunch of program costs. So Boeing has had an overrun of almost $5B, but as a effective DOD contractor they seem to be doing OK by bidding low on the original and are making it up on Change Orders. A 5B loss on a 4.4B contract would be a corporate killing disaster, a 5B loss on $ 21.03B basically reduces the margin by 20%. Besides the next 100+ planes they should have things figured out by then. $ 173M x 100 is a nice big $17.3B coming their way.

So Jay, from what you have written it is clear that Boeing have taken a total $5B loss on the KC-46 program so far. Obviously some of that is allotted to the EMD phase, probably at least US$3.5 billion and likely more that that, and some of that may be allotted to the acquisition phase. Yes that is more than the total of the initial contract award and USAF funded overrun of US$4.9 billion. To be factually correct the article should break out the charges Boeing took specifically on the EMD phase if they want to compare with the US$4.9 billion fixed price EMD contract. I certainly don’t have the accounting nouse or time to figure that out…

The statement made repeatedly here over the last seven years was that Boeing would be able to recover that lost EMD money through the subsequent sale and sustainment of the 179 KC-46 fleet. That may very well be the case as the aircraft will be in service with the USAF for likely the next 30+ years (and perhaps twice that) but that sustainment revenue isn’t guaranteed as Boeing may not win all future sustainment work on the KC-46.

JayinKitsap wrote:
A 5B loss on a 4.4B contract would be a corporate killing disaster

You could argue that Boeing was happy to take that loss to prevent Airbus gaining USAF tanker share (to maintain their own dominance) but even the rosiest Boeing supporter would probably agree that Boeing never intended to spend as much as they have had to date. I’m not sure why more heads haven’t rolled at Boeing over this but perhaps the cost overruns were expected from the start and they have been factored into their long term revenue projections.

Would it have been different had the USAF selected the KC-45? No one knows but likely the KC-45 dev program would have had its own challenges, as the MRTT did for other customers through the same time period.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri May 01, 2020 4:40 am

I haven't actually looked at what Boeing has posted in its financials, up thread it brought up the $5B. It seems pretty close. This last $551 m to develop the "RVS 2.0" is significant, but it doesn't really matter if it is attributed to the original EMD amount, or a charge per plane for the added cost plus removal and cost of the "RVS 1.0". What is beyond my comprehension is it took 3-4 years of festering before Boeing came up with the solution the Air Force wants. If a cost plus contract this would have been solved long ago, but the contract's people were probably fighting 'terms and conditions' and that RVS 1.0 met the specifications, after not hearing it did not meet expectations.

The statement made repeatedly here over the last seven years was that Boeing would be able to recover that lost EMD money through the subsequent sale and sustainment of the 179 KC-46 fleet. That may very well be the case as the aircraft will be in service with the USAF for likely the next 30+ years (and perhaps twice that) but that sustainment revenue isn’t guaranteed as Boeing may not win all future sustainment work on the KC-46.


When bidding the project Boeing was certainly thinking that, but somewhere during the EMD phase Boeing's management forgot that those subsequent sales are not certain but are much more likely to happen if the customers likes the design, build quality, and support. Boeing saw and did that on the P-8A, very little friction between the Navy and Boeing on it, they are close to the original program quantities but like the C-17 more orders keep coming in. My guess is that finally with the Boeing leadership changes, it sunk in that Boeing could be building tankers far into the future IF they get the program on track NOW. The gesture by the Air Force with releasing 3/4B in retainer with the RVS 2.0, indicates Boeing has gotten the message.
__

It perplexes me how Boeing screwed the pooch so badly with the KC-46. It was to be a 'no brainer', let's build frames that the Defense Group will modify, well that doesn't work well when half the wiring one puts in gets ripped out, along with alts everywhere. Cobham ignoring the requirement for FAA certification of the WARPs screams mis-management. The repeated FOD speaks loudly on build quality. The cargo locks should have been caught in the EMD phase, it looks bad for the customer to find problems after years of testing - what else didn't they test comes to mind. How did a company that seemed to steer the P-8A program professionally so go off the rails with the much larger KC-46. I suspect Heads will Roll and in significant quantity soon in both the KC-46 and the MAX program, just getting those programs basically RTS where the management shakeup doesn't cause added delay.

It seems all companies and governments can have good systems but some programs crater or cancel, while others do well. The A-400M has not been a successful program, the commercial A350 is. Boeing did well with the P-8A, but not the KC-46. LM has struggled with the F-35 at times, but now successful as it is the best available at no more cost than the competition. Airbus as the prime would have had added struggles with DOD network systems like was brought up in the Canadian fighter competition. A side piece would have been all the airfield facilities needed as the KC-45 wingspan is wider than the hangers.
 
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747classic
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri May 01, 2020 8:36 am

IMHO it started to go wrong after Boeing Commercial Airplanes Wichita was sold to investment firm Onex in 2005 to become Spirit. Basic parts of most Boeing aircraft programs were now made by a subcontractor i.s,o. Boeing, reducing production feedback and quality control became more complex.
Thereafter the remaining Boeing Military Airplanes facility at Wichita was finally closed in 2014, with a drain of specialist military (tanker) knowledge, only a small part of this knowledge was retained at the Pudget Sound area and at San Antonio, the rest was sacked or got an early retirement.
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Fri May 01, 2020 12:15 pm

Personally I believe the demise of Wichita started with the MD merger. After the merger, the center of gravity of Boeing Military shifted to St. Louis. Those engineers who saw it coming and had the means began their migration to Seattle. I known of some who stayed for a while but ultimately ended up going to SC, by way of Seattle. One finally ended up in OK.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
art
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed May 06, 2020 8:06 am

I wonder if, in retrospect, Boeing regrets challenging the original selection of the Airbus alternative.

Total losses on the KC-46A programme have now risen to about $4.6 billion.

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 48.article
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Wed May 06, 2020 8:37 am

art wrote:
I wonder if, in retrospect, Boeing regrets challenging the original selection of the Airbus alternative.

Total losses on the KC-46A programme have now risen to about $4.6 billion.

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 48.article


My post #192 went thru the contract mods that I could trace. Boeing has over $ 20B in the contract for the 67 ordered to date, working out to $313 M each. There are massive support contracts here to come. Each new batch of planes comes at the unit price of $ 173M. They are getting their act together to finally do this contract right. With COVID, a program that has several B of revenue each year is nothing to complain about.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue May 12, 2020 1:52 pm

Just wanted to get the spreadsheet link into this thread. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 2121076296

Boeing delivered 5 KC-46 this year so far, with 3 right after new years (so truly nearly 100% 2019 work). 2 in early March.
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Lucifer656
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue May 12, 2020 3:43 pm

my experience with government contracting would indicate the Air Force put indicated a broad mission requirement and handed the package to the component suppliers to flesh it out in their best interest, then the package went to Congress where modifications to payoff special favors tweaked the package. Then back to the Air Force to put their best face on and sell an un-holy mess. Am I a cynic? yes but when one sees special interest groups writing legislation and filling in the blanks in government contracts, one gets that way. Too many Air Force upper echelons are more worried about post retirement board positions than its good.
 
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747classic
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Re: Boeing KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread - 2020

Tue May 19, 2020 8:11 am

L/N 1210, KC-46A at the Everett Modification Center (EMC), May 18th 2020, see :
See Matt Cawby's May 18th Paine Field blog : http://kpae.blogspot.com/2020/05/paine- ... ay-18.html
Detailed picture : http://www.paineairport.com/kpae18339d.htm

Aircraft data : L/N 1210 C/N xxxxx B767-2C 18-46057 USAF KC-46A (VH057) Lot 4, #17/18, tail 86057
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