The United States Air Force has granted Boeing a $2.3 billion contract for the ninth production batch of 15 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, boosting its fleet of the most modern multi-mission aerial refueler in the world. There are currently 128 KC-46A Pegasus on contract with the U.S. Air Force, of which 68 have been delivered and are operationally deployed globally.
James Burgess, vice president and KC-46 programme manager, stated that the combat-ready KC-46A is redefining the tanker’s mission for the 21st century. The company is happy to collaborate with the Air Force to ensure that the Pegasus continues to evolve to meet the global mission requirements of the United States and its allies, he added.
The KC-46A Pegasus provides vital fuel and data for the fleet in addition to transporting freight, personnel, and aeromedical supplies for the joint force’s quick mobility, global reach, and agile combat employment.
The Air Mobility Command of the U.S. Air Force cleared the KC-46A for global operations, including combat deployment, in 2017. The Pegasus has recently completed a 42-hour endurance flight in support of a U.S. Air Force Bomber Task Force operation in the Indo-Pacific region, demonstrating its continued combat agility.
KC-46A aircraft participating in a series of U.S. Air Force global employment exercises in the European theatre, Indo-Pacific region, and the Middle East achieved a mission capability rate of greater than 95% in 2022, confirming the aircraft’s dependability and combat readiness.
Boeing makes KC-46A aircraft on the 767 manufacturing line in Everett, Washington, with the assistance of a supplier network consisting of about 37,000 American workers employed by more than 650 businesses in more than 40 states. With Boeing’s in-line production, the KC-46A is designed and constructed as a tanker from the beginning — not as a post-production conversion — making the Pegasus uniquely suited to integrate advanced technology for fleet data connectivity and combat-ready defensive features, as well as new capabilities as the mission evolves.
Boeing has global orders for 138 KC-46A Pegasus tankers. Boeing has delivered two of six KC-46A tankers to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, while the Israel Air Force has contracted for four KC-46A tankers. The expanding global fleet generates commonality and interoperability efficiencies as well as mission-readiness benefits for the United States Air Force and its allies.