The Israel Ministry of Defense (MoD) has signed a letter of acceptance (LoA) to procure a pair of Boeing KC-46 in-flight refuelling tankers. The LOA was signed over the weekend starting the procurement program following the government’s approval of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) acquisition plan. The new tankers are intended to replace Israeli Air Force (IAF, Zroa HaAvir VeHahalal) aging Re’em (converted Boeing 707) tanker fleet. It follows the clearance given by an Israeli ministerial committee last week to procure new F-35 jets, KC-46 refuelling aircraft and other weapon systems from the US. Last year, US Congress was notified about a $2.4bn potential sale of up to eight KC-46 aerial refuelling aircraft to Israel. These are conducted with US Military channels, utilizing Foreign Military Financing (FMF).
The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is an American 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 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. At the rear of the aircraft is a fly-by-wire refueling boom supplemented by Wing Air Refueling Pods at each wingtip and a Centerline Drogue System under the rear fuselage.