Boeing (NYSE: BA) and the U.S. Air Force on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement to implement a final remote vision system design for the KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker.
The RVS 2.0 design will be carried out at no additional cost to the service branch and will feature laser ranger for boom assistance augmented reality and refueling aircraft distance measurement, 4K color cameras with proper viewing geometry and operator stations with larger screens, the Air Force said Thursday.
The service will oversee design assessments and approve specifications to facilitate the initial deployment in 2023.
“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,” Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing’s defense, space and security business and a 2020 Wash100 award winner, said in a statement published Thursday. “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 Air Force also signed a separate MOU to facilitate the issuance of $882M worth of previously withheld contract payments to Boeing in an effort to counter the potential impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on the defense industrial base. The withheld payments are related to previous non-compliance in 33 deliveries under the KC-46 program.
Boeing and the service will implement an accelerated process within 120 days to determine final specification compliance or noncompliance under the KC-46 program.