DOD IG directs review of KC-46 boom design, development process

By Courtney Albon / September 17, 2019 at 11:50 AM

The Defense Department inspector general has ordered a review of the Air Force's KC-46 boom design and development process to determine whether the program "adhered to DOD and Air Force systems engineering processes."

The IG announced the review Sept. 16, and said it expects to begin this month.

The announcement does not detail a reason for the review, but it comes as the service is working with KC-46 prime contractor Boeing to redesign the tanker’s boom. The Air Force is footing the bill for the new design and awarded the company a $55.5 million contract modification in August to begin work on the effort.

The Air Force has said the tanker's current boom is too stiff to refuel some lighter aircraft, and the issue has been classified as a category 1 deficiency. The service expects Boeing to complete a redesign of the boom telescope actuator by February 2021.