Reading your linked article (the piece WRT to the KC-46A programme) makes me think back to the whole "Cooke-Craige" fiasco, which wasted such a pile of precious defense dollars in the 50's and 60's. It would appear that little has been learned in the interim. If readers are unaware of, yet interested in the above mentioned "Cooke-Craige" production scheme? google it up.
Some of the figures of wasted money, incompatible "fleets" of aircraft produced and the like are truly eye-watering.
A stellar example is the XB-70 Valkyrie project. Under the dictates of "Cooke-Craige" all of the tooling, jigs and production processes were fully funded, to allow for future assembly line production of the aircraft. As we know? North American delivered TWO flying models (both different), 20001 and 20207. All of the "preproduction" investment went off to the scrapheap when this project (along with the XF-108) was canceled.
As an example of one that proceeded forward under "Cooke-Craige", look at the F-102/F-106 (WS 201).
After all of the aerodynamic problems had finally been "solved" there still remained the Hughes weapons system to be "debugged". Done as it was (incrementally during the production run) saw some ADC FIS units equipped with as many as FOUR DIFFERENT versions of the "Ultimate Interceptor" on their flight line during the IOC phase. A maintenance nightmare for the "yerks" tasked with maintaining an ACTUAL operational capability...
The money wasted would fill several Olympic sized swimming pools with "Benjamins"...the mind boggles. After all of this? They capped F-106 production at 300 units...with Billions invested into the program.
And yet it persists.