USAF, Boeing agree on final KC-46 RVS 2.0 design

The US Air Force (USAF) and Boeing have reached two agreements on the final design of the KC-46A Pegasus’ Remote Vision System (RVS) – which is known as RVS 2.0.

The pair announced the agreements on April 2, adding that the new Memorandums of Agreements (MOAs) will be integrated into the current KC-46 contract.

The first MOA comprises the redesign and retrofit of RVS 2.0, in compliance with the contract requirements at no additional cost to the US government. This will address the system's deficiencies that have plagued the type and hindered safe, effective refuelling operations thus far.

KC-46A [USAF/SA Skyler Combs] #1
A Boeing KC-46A Pegasus on final approach into McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), Kansas, in July 2019. USAF/SA Skyler Combs

The second MOA is separate to RVS 2.0 and is strictly in place to acknowledge the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the defence industry. It releases previously withheld contract payments to help ensure successful performance under the KC-46 programme. This agreement gives Boeing US$882m worth of withheld payments for previous non-compliance in 33 Pegasus deliveries – an action which is in line with Department of the Air Force and Department of Defense policies. 

The USAF states that “RVS 2.0 will include 4K [colour] cameras with proper viewing geometry, operator stations with larger screens, a laser ranger for [refuelling] aircraft distance measurement and boom assistance augmented reality.” Collins Aerospace has provided the RVS for the KC-46A.

Scientists and engineers from both the air arm and the company are working together to complete the system, which is planned to be first fielded in 2023. The USAF is taking the lead in design reviews and approving the RVS 2.0 specifications.