C4iSR: Air

AFA 2019: Remote vision system issues impede Boeing KC-46A progress

19 September 2019

A pair of issues with the KC-46A's remove vision system are holding up Boeing's progress with fixing the troublesome component. Source: Boeing

Key Points

  • Two key issues are holding back Boeing's progress in addressing KC-46A tanker remote vision system (RVS) problems
  • A key US Air Force (USAF) officer said these two issues, acuity and depth plane compression, are very complex

Boeing is making progress on resolving problems with its KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker's remove vision system (RVS), but two complex issues impede further advancement, according to a top US Air Force (USAF) official.

General Maryanne Miller, Air Mobility Command (AMC) chief, told reporters on 18 September at the Air Force Association's (AFA's) annual conference that these two RVS issues are the acuity of the system and depth plane compression. The acuity issue, she said, is giving refuelers 20/50 vision. Perfect vision is considered 20/20. The RVS allows boom operators to monitor and direct refueling with receiver aircraft.

Gen Miler said depth plane compression is how far the aerial refueling boom is from the target aircraft. Both Boeing and USAF teams have been working through possible solution sets for these two issues that Gen Miller called complex and that she expects these to be presented within a couple of months. Boeing will be graded pass or fail on these two remaining RVS issues, she said. Otherwise, Gen Miller said, the company is making progress on the other seven critical performance parameters.

Gen Miller said a new Category 1 deficiency has emerged with the aircraft's floor locks. Category 1 deficiencies are urgent issues with no workarounds. Boeing spokesman Charles Ramey said on 18 September that the company is pursuing two paths to resolve this issue.

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