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Pentagon: Setbacks shouldn't delay new Air Force tanker's Oklahoma arrival

Despite testing mishaps, parts failures and missed target dates, the Pentagon' top procurement official  still believes Boeing can deliver, on time, the next generation of aerial-refueling planes, some of which will be based at Altus Air Force Base and all of which will be serviced at Tinker Air Force Base.

Aviation Week quoted procurement chief Frank Kendall saying at a recent press conference that he still expected the company to deliver 18 combat-ready KC-46A Pegasus aircraft by August 2017 as required by the contract.  The program calls for delivery of 179 tankers by 2027.

In 2013, the Air Force announced that eight of the new tankers will be based at Altus, which will serve as the training site for KC-46 aircrews.

Word also came that Tinker Air Force Base would serve as the maintenance depot for the KC-46.

McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita, Kan., will be the active-duty base for the Pegasus, eventually housing 36 of the new tankers.

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Phillip O'Connor

O'Connor joined the Oklahoman staff in June, 2012 after working at The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a combined 28 years. O'Connor, an Oklahoma City resident, is a graduate of Kansas State University. He has written frequently... Read more ›