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On the Road to the New Tanker: Approximately eight months into engineering and manufacturing development, progress has gone well on the KC-46A tanker program, said Air Force officials last week. Boeing and the service have established the baselines for the tanker's cost, schedule, and technical performance, said David Van Buren, Air Force acquisition executive. The KC-46 preliminary design review is scheduled for next year, followed by the critical design review in 2013, he told the House Armed Services Committee's seapower and projection forces panel Oct. 13. Boeing intends to fly its 767-2C, the 767 commercial derivative upon which the militarized tanker is based, for the first time in 2014. The inaugural flight of the first KC-46A test aircraft is anticipated by the end of that same year, he said. Brig. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, KC-46A program executive officer, told the lawmakers that Boeing is under contract to deliver to the Air Force 18 "fully ready-to-go-to-war-on-day-one airplanes" with all the support equipment by August 2017. Click here to continue reading on the tanker.