This delay will surely play a factor in the currently suspended debate about the US Air Force KC-X tanker selection, whenever the incoming Obama administration gets around to restarting source selection.
Meanwhile, here's the EADS statement on the current situation with the multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) program in Australia.
The reasons for the adjustment are really three fold:
1. the mutual decision by EADS and RAAF to take the aircraft to the
air show; Paris
2. the RAAF directed changes to the MRTT configuration following contract award which has served to extend the development and testing program (including modifications to the refueling and avionics systems);
3. the RAAF has requested additional flight testing to ensure a more robust mission system when delivered.
Therefore aircraft #1 will continue in an extended flight test program, while in-country modifications to A/C 2-5 continue on pace in
. Even so, the date for Full Operational Capability (FOC) remains as it has always been -- 2011. In the end A/C 2 may reach the flight line before #1 in order to facilitate the extended test and validation program. Australia