The KC-10 Extender is a mainstay of the US Air Force’s aerial refuelling fleet in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
A lawsuit brought against Boeing alleged that it defectively installed insulation blanket kits in the KC-10 aircraft while performing depot maintenance at the Boeing Aerospace Support Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The settlement also resolves allegations that Boeing overcharged the US government for installation of the blanket kits.
The blanket kit is a critical component in the KC-10 Extender and consists of several thousand blankets resembling the insulation installed in the walls of a house. The blankets are installed on all inside surfaces of the aircraft and serve the critical functions of providing a thermal barrier to maintain temperature inside the aircraft during flight, reducing noise in the aircraft and providing a vapour barrier to reduce corrosion caused by moisture build up on the inside surface of the skin of the aircraft.
The case was originally filed in US District Court for the Western District of Texas by two former Boeing employees, Anthony Rico and Fernando de la Garza, under the whistleblower provisions of the US False Claims Act.
The $25m settlement consists of a cash payment by Boeing of $18,400,000 and $6,600,000 worth of repair work to be done at the aircraft manufacturer’s expense on the defective blankets.