The British defense company Cobham providing in-flight refueling technology for the U.S. Air Force's KC-46 tanker program has warned of further delay in delivery of refuelling kit as Boeing – the main developer of the program, is withholding payment for its work on the programme.
Cobham provides the RP-910E-75 Wing Aerial Refueling Pod (WARP) and FR-600-84MDR Centerline Drogue System (CDS) for the KC-46.
According to the trading update provided by Cobham, the firm said the delay will cost an additional non-underlying charge of c£40m in Cobham's Interim Results for 2018, as Boeing has made unquantified damages assertions relating to the programme.
“Additionally, completion of CDS qualification has taken longer and been more challenging than expected. Qualification of the WARP is in its early stages with risks relating to schedule and cost,” the company said in a press statement today.
However, the firm said qualification testing on the CDS has been completed and submissions have been supplied to support achievement of Supplementary Type Certification of the aircraft, with CDS production deliveries having commenced in the period. In addition, the first Federal Aviation Administration conformed WARP were delivered in June 2018 to support flight certification testing.
Cobham had won two subcontracts from Boeing valued at over $73m (£45m) in 2011. But unfortunately, the program was hit by financial setbacks from 2014, with the extra costs needed to redesign the wiring and the fuel system in the KC-46A, plus address unexpected issues with the refueling boom.