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Boeing KC-46 tanker complete electromagnetic testing

A Boeing-led team, including U.S. Air Force and Naval Air Systems Command representatives, recently completed KC-46 tanker electromagnetic testing.

This testing evaluates the aircraft’s ability to safely operate through electrom…


A Boeing-led team, including U.S. Air Force and Naval Air Systems Command representatives, recently completed KC-46 tanker electromagnetic testing.

This testing evaluates the aircraft’s ability to safely operate through electromagnetic fields produced by radars, radio towers and other systems under mission conditions.

“The KC-46 tanker is protected by various hardening and shielding technologies designed into the aircraft to negate any effects on the aircraft,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46 vice president and program manager. “This successful effort retires one of the key risks on the program.”

Testing was conducted on the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and Naval Electromagnetic Radiation Facility pads and also in the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.



During tests on the EMP pad at Patuxent River, the program’s second low-rate initial production KC-46 received pulses from a large coil/transformer situated above the aircraft. The outdoor simulation was designed to test and evaluate the KC-46’s EMP protection while in flight.

Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility, which also have secondary cargo/troop transport role.