The Israeli Ministry of Defense Mission to the U.S. has signed an agreement with the US government to two additional Boeing KC-46 refueling aircraft. The Government of Israel – Ministry of Defense – Mission to the U.S. is the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD) purchasing office located in New York City. Worth approximately $1.1b., was signed for the procurement of an additional two Boeing KC-46 refueling aircraft, to add to the two already purchased. The US State Department approved the possible sale of up to eight KC-46 tanker aircraft and related equipment to Israel last March, marking the first time that America has allowed Israel to buy new tankers.
The Government of Israel has requested to buy up to eight (8) KC-46 aircraft; up to seventeen (17) PW4062 turbofan engines (16 installed, 1 spare); and up to eighteen (18) MAGR 2K-GPS SAASM receivers (16 installed, 2 spares). Also included are AN/ARC-210 U/VHF radios, APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe transponders, Field Service Representatives (FSRs), repair and return, depot maintenance, training and training equipment, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, U.S. Government and contractor representative support, Group A and B installation for subsystems, flight test and certification, other related elements of logistics support and training.
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 first aircraft was delivered to the Air Force in January 2019. The Air Force intends to procure 179 Pegasus aircraft by 2027. In 2001, the U.S. Air Force began a procurement program to replace around 100 of its oldest KC-135E Stratotankers, and selected Boeing’s KC-767.
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. 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”. In early 2021, the USAF cleared the KC-46 for limited operational use, years after its planned 2017 introduction. At the time, the KC-46 could refuel the B-52, F-15, F-16, and F/A-18; it is expected to be fully combat-ready by 2023.
The flightdeck has room for a crew of four with a forward crew compartment with seats for 15 crew members and in the rear fuselage either palletized passenger seating for 58, or 18 pallets in cargo configuration. The rear compartment can also be used in an aero-medical configuration for 54 patients (24 on litters). The KC-46A can carry 212,299 lb (96,297 kg) of fuel, 10 percent more than the KC-135, and 65,000 lb (29,000 kg) of cargo. 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.