Boeing missed an important milestone for the KC-46 airborne tanker programme last week. However whether the airplane maker would face penalties was not clear, breakingdefense.com reported.
''The KC-46 contract does not contain pre-defined penalties for missing schedule deadlines,'' Air Force spokesman major Robert Leese said in an email.
''As with any contract schedule breach, the Air Force will seek consideration commensurate with the impact of the breach. The Air Force will secure consideration from Boeing as part of the schedule re-baseline that is about to commence following the RAA delay announcement.''
Boeing said, ''The underlying production system remains on track, and Boeing will have more than 18 aircraft through the factory line and in various stages of final change incorporation and certification by August 2017.''
In view of the troubles the Air Force had faced from the programme over the last decade, it would be in the order of things for Boeing to pay some reasonable price for the latest delay.
But the statement of Air Force brigadier Duke Richardson, the program executive officer for tankers, had little by way of reassurance for those looking for Boeing to be held accountable.
In his statement on the Friday before Memorial Day, he said, ''However, we understand that no major procurement program is without challenges and the Air Force remains committed to ensuring all aircraft are delivered as technically required.''
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that delivering all 18 aircraft by August 2017 was top contract milestone, but deliveries could now be expected by January 2018, service said.
In an e-mail to Bloomberg News, Pentagon weapons buyer Frank Kendall said, ''We're disappointed a design issue is forcing a schedule slip.''