USAF awards Boeing contract for 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers

A USAF KC-46A Pegasus tanker in flight.
Photo Credit: Boeing

LONDON – The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a $2.3 billion contract for the ninth production lot of 15 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft.

This will further expand the USAF fleet of the world’s most advanced multi-mission aerial refuelling aircraft.

To date, 128 KC-46A Pegasus are on contract with the U.S. Air Force, with 68 delivered and operationally deployed worldwide.

“The combat-ready KC-46A is transforming the role of the tanker for the 21st century,” said James Burgess, vice president and KC-46 program manager.

“We’re proud to work side-by-side with the Air Force ensuring the Pegasus provides unmatched capabilities and continues to evolve for the U.S. and its allies’ global mission needs.”

The KC-46A Pegasus delivers crucial fuel and data for the fleet, as well as cargo, personnel and aeromedical transportation for joint force rapid mobility, global reach and agile combat employment.

Last year, the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command approved the KC-46A for global operations including combat deployment.

KC-46A Pegasus theatres of operation

The Pegasus continues to demonstrate its agile combat employment capabilities, recently completing a 42-hour endurance flight supporting a U.S. Air Force Bomber Task Force mission in the Indo-Pacific region.

During 2022, KC-46A aircraft operated in a series of U.S. Air Force global employment exercises in the European theatre, Indo-Pacific region and the Middle East. They performed at a greater than 95% mission capable rate, demonstrating the aircraft’s reliability and combat readiness.

Aircraft production

Boeing builds KC-46A aircraft on the 767 production line in Everett, Washington, supported by a supplier network of about 37,000 American workers employed by more than 650 businesses throughout more than 40 U.S. states.

With Boeing’s in-line production, the KC-46A is designed and built as a tanker from day one. The tanker is not a post-production conversion.

This makes the Pegasus uniquely suited to integrate advanced technology for fleet data connectivity and combat-ready defensive features, as well as new capabilities as the needs of the mission evolve.

Boeing is on contract for 138 KC-46A Pegasus tankers globally. The aircraft manufacturer has delivered two of six KC-46A tankers to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

In addition it is on contract for four KC-46A tankers for the Israel Air Force. The expanding global fleet creates commonality and interoperability efficiencies and mission-readiness advantages for the U.S. Air Force and allies.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
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