More bad news for Boeing (BA -1%), as a senior Pentagon official says it could take at least a year to restore full confidence in the KC-46A aerial refueling tanker program because of the company's inability to maintain quality control.
Boeing delivered the first KC-46A in January, more than a year late following a series of production and design problems, but the Air Force suspended deliveries in February after finding tools and other debris left in some jets.
Deliveries resumed this week after Boeing instituted fresh measures to check the aircraft, and the company now has handed over seven planes out of the existing 52-jet contract; Boeing expects to sell an initial 179 tankers to the Pentagon and hopes follow-on sales and exports could boost the total above 400.
"It's going to take more than a year of measuring and tracking Boeing's performance until we're confident that they follow their procedures, and maybe longer than that before we believe the culture of quality has come back," says Will Roper, the Air Force’s assistant secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
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