Air Force, Boeing agree on final KC-46 RVS 2.0 design

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A KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft connects with an F-15 Strike Eagle test aircraft from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Oct. 29, 2018. (Air Force photograph by Master Sgt. Michael Jackson)
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The Air Force and Boeing reached two agreements April 2, 2020, to implement a final KC-46A Pegasus Remote Vision System design, known as RVS 2.0, and help counter COVID-19 impacts on the defense industrial base. The two Memorandums of Agreement will be incorporated in the KC-46 contract.

“The Air Force and Boeing will make the KC-46 synonymous with aerial refueling excellence,” said Leanne Caret, Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO. “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.”

The first MOA institutes the redesign and retrofit of RVS 2.0 in full compliance with the contract requirements at no additional cost to the government. This agreement addresses deficiencies that hindered safe and effective refueling operations.

RVS 2.0 will include 4K color cameras with proper viewing geometry, operator stations with larger screens, a laser ranger for refueling aircraft distance measurement and boom assistance augmented reality. With the help of scientists and engineers from both enterprises, the Air Force will lead design reviews and approve specifications to drive the partnership toward initial fielding in 2023.

The second and separate MOA acknowledges possible impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on our nation and the defense industrial base, and releases previously withheld contract payments to help ensure successful performance under the program.

This agreement provides Boeing $882 million of withheld payments for previous non-compliance in 33 KC-46 deliveries.

This withhold release is in line with Department of the Air Force and Department of Defense policies to maximize cash flow, where prudent, to combat coronavirus impacts on the industry base. Within 120 days, the Air Force and Boeing will conduct an expedited process to determine final specification compliance or non-compliance.

“Generations of women and men in uniform will benefit from the advancements we are making in the science of visualization systems,” Caret said. “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.”

The Air Force and Boeing are committed to delivering a fully-operational tanker to the warfighter and ensuring the continued viability of an essential member of the defense industrial base.
 
 
 

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