U.S. Air Force says Boeing KC-46 aircraft delivery to start in October

(Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force said on Wednesday the first delivery of the KC-46 aerial refueling tankers from Boeing Co would start in October.

The remaining 17 tankers would be delivered by April next year, Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan said, adding that “while the KC-46A flight test program is nearly complete, significant work remains.”

The first delivery was scheduled for the second quarter of 2018, but, the Air Force said in March it would more likely occur late in the year.

“The KC-46 is a top priority for The Boeing Company, and we have the best of Boeing working to ensure the U.S. Air Force gets their tankers as quickly as possible,” Boeing said on Wednesday.

Boeing previously missed a forecast that the aircraft would be delivered last year, as the planemaker was trying to get airworthiness certifications and complete a flight test program.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru and Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Shailesh Kuber