U.S. Senator Angus King told other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Air Force is way behind on replacing its aging fleet of air refueling tanker aircraft, and that President Trump’s proposed budget would further cut purchases. King told pentagon officials that is unacceptable.
“I want to know what is the plan? You have identified a serious problem here. We can’t project force if we can’t refuel these airplanes and you have identified a five to seven year, you characterize it as a deepening gap."
This year’s proposed Air Force budget reduces the number of new KC-46 tankers, designed to replace the aging KC-135 tankers first flown in 1957. They are the aircraft currently used by the Maine Air National Guard to support refueling of all sorts of military aircraft.