Boeing sues suppliers over liquid that damaged first Air Force tanker

Boeing is suing two California companies, Able Aerospace Adhesives and AlfaKleen Chemical Labs, it claims supplied a mislabeled chemical that caused severe damage to the refueling system of its Air Force KC-46 refueling tanker and delayed its first flight in 2015 by a month.

Boeing is suing two California companies it claims supplied a mislabeled chemical that caused severe damage to the refueling system of its first Air Force KC-46 refueling tanker and delayed its first flight in 2015 by a month.

The suit, filed Friday in federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., seeks $10 million or more from Able Aerospace Adhesives of Valencia, California, and AlfaKleen Chemical Labs of Costa Mesa, California.

Boeing alleges the companies provided a chemical that was required to meet a defined U.S. military-performance specification — MIL-PRF-680 Type III — and was labeled as such, even though it did not.

“When the liquid was introduced into the aircraft’s fuel boom and fuel system, the Liquid damaged the components it touched,” the suit states. “The fuel boom and fuel system were damaged, and a number of the components comprising the fuel boom and fuel system had to be replaced.”

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The lawsuit also includes 10 as-yet unidentified other entities considered “responsible in some manner for the damages suffered by Boeing” through the manufacturing and labeling of the chemical.

In September 2014, Boeing ordered from Able Aerospace 36 gallons of the chemical, which Able then obtained from AlfaKleen, the lawsuit states.

The packing slip for the shipment to Boeing included several certifications from both Able Aerospace and AlfaKleen that the liquid conformed to the required military specification. The labels on the bottles shipped to Boeing also stated that the bottles contained liquid that met the specification, according to…

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