U.S. Air Force to accept KC-46 air tanker: source

U.S. Air Force to accept KC-46 air tanker: source

FILE PHOTO: A Boeing Air Force KC-46 aerial refueling tanker is parked near Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force is set to announce on Thursday that it will accept delivery of the long-delayed KC-46 air tanker, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Delivery means Boeing could now begin to reverse what has been a steady stream of financial losses related to the KC-46 program, and a major public relations headache for the world’s largest aircraft maker.

The Air Force currently plans to buy a total of 179 of the tankers, and could receive them at a pace of about three jets per month to McConnell Air Force base in Kansas.

The delays and fixes for the program has been costly for Boeing, which recorded $176 million in additional charges on the KC-46 tanker in the third quarter. This brought the total pre-tax cost of the program to more than $3 billion.

Boeing shares were up 0.9 percent premarket at $347.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; additional reporting by Mike Stone; Writing by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Chizu Nomiyama)

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