The US Air Force has accepted the first Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, setting the stage for the aircraft’s delivery to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas in the coming weeks.
During extensive flight testing, six KC-46 completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than four million pounds of fuel to A-10, B-52, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, KC-46, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. The Pegasus has been rigorously tested throughout all aspects of the refuelling envelope and in all conditions, including day, night and covert.
McConnell Air Force Base will receive the first four KC-46 aircraft with four subsequent aircraft destined for Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base, beginning as early as next month.
Boeing is on contract for 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the Air Force. Beyond the first aircraft that have already been accepted, nine aircraft are undergoing customer acceptance testing with the remaining aircraft of the contracted amount in production.
Leanne Caret, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said: “The KC-46A is a proven, safe, multi-mission aircraft that will transform aerial refuelling and mobility operations for decades to come.
“We look forward to working with the Air Force, and the Navy, during their initial operational test and evaluation of the KC-46, as we further demonstrate the operational capabilities of this next-generation aircraft across refuelling, mobility and combat weapons systems missions.”
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Image © Boeing
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