This week the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $1.7 billion contract for 12 KC-46A tanker aircraft. With this sixth production lot, Boeing is now on contract for 79 KC-46A tankers. The company delivered the first KC-46A to the Air Force in January 2019. Since then, Boeing has delivered 42 tankers to four different bases. The next-generation KC-46 brings new capabilities and operational flexibility to the U.S. Air Force and international customers. Boeing received its first two production lots from the U.S. Air Force, for seven and 12 aircraft, in August 2016. The third lot, for 15 aircraft, was awarded in January 2017; the fourth lot for 18 aircraft in September 2018 and the fifth lot for 15 aircraft in September 2019.
“The investments Boeing is making in the KC-46 today will benefit generations of service members,” said Jamie Burgess, Boeing KC-46 tanker vice president and program manager. “I believe the partnership between Boeing and the Air Force will also produce additional KC-46 innovations that will carry the warfighter well into the future.”
The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. In February 2011, the tanker was selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers.The KC-46A is a multirole tanker designed to refuel allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. It’s also equipped to carry passengers, cargo and patients on any mission at any time.Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft at its Everett, Wash. facility where it also continues production of the KC-46 tanker for Japan.
The Pegasus is a variant of the Boeing 767 and is a widebody, low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional tail unit featuring a single fin and rudder. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and a hydraulic flight control system. The Pegasus is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines, one mounted under each wing. The KC-46 has been described as combining “the 767-200ER’s fuselage, with the 767-300F’s wing, gear, cargo door and floor, with the 767-400ER digital flightdeck and flaps”.