Boeing (NYSE: BA) has announced that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a supplemental type certificate (SC) to Boeing´s KC-46 tanker program, verifying that its refueling and mission avionics systems meet FAA requirements, the company said.
The milestone marks completion of KC-46 FAA certification.
To receive its STC, Boeing´s team completed a series of lab, ground and flight tests, which commenced in 2015. As part of the required flight testing, the team validated the KC-46´s boom and drogue aerial refueling systems met FAA certification criteria.
The KC-46, derived from Boeing´s commercial 767 airframe, is built in the company´s Everett, Washington, facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the US Air Force.
When in service, the multi-role KC-46 will refuel US, allied and coalition military aircraft using its boom and hose and drogue systems, but also must be able to take on fuel to extend its operational range. The boom allows the tanker to transfer up to 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, while the hose and drogue systems, located on both the plane´s wing and centerline, enables the KC-46 to refuel smaller aircraft with up to 400 gallons of fuel per minute.