Bidness.com has summarized the KC-46 program's history aptly. It is time to copy and paste its article to the blog, because it covers and encapsulates so much of the program history. It is a link worthy article, but not without some Winging It oversight first. The much disputed Tanker competition has reached a climax, before it starts matriculation into the military bases. The cost and the efficiency has finally sorted out for the KC-46. What awaits is its operational trial, coming from the ground up with military gloves. The KC-46 Pegasus is first going base-wide for ten stations to places like McConnell Air Force base.
Perhaps the fixed cost program is the way to go. However, it was constrained by the caveat, a commercial airframe was the starting point. This little nuance really affected and enhanced keeping a lid on the project costs. The F-35 and the LRB projects will not be so lucky. They need a military compliant design features from scratch paper. A daunting and costly invisible ceiling exists, which ultimately dictates how many LRB's will be built. The F-35 is too far down the road to turn back from constraining it with an F-22 limit for 179 of its type built. The F-22 has been recognized as a fighter in need, and the US Air Force needs more of its type and it will not (never) receive those extra F-22's.