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Boeing Awarded $2.2 Billion US Air Force Contract for 15 KC-46A Aerial Refueling Aircrafts

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Boeing Awarded $2.2 Billion US Air Force Contract for 15 KC-46A Aerial Refueling Aircrafts

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U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus Aerial refueling and transport aircraft
U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus Aerial refueling and transport aircrafts

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a $2,255,625,408 modification (P00289) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for KC-46A U.S. Air Force Production Lot 9 aircraft, subscriptions and licenses. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2026. Fiscal 2023 procurement funds in the amount of $2,255,625,408 are being obligated at the time of award. The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 15 KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft, data, subscriptions and licenses being produced under the basic contract. The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus Aerial refueling and transport aircraft
U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling and transport aircraft

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 U.S. Air Force intends to procure 179 Pegasus aircraft by 2027. The 767-2C’s first flight took place on 28 December 2014; it flew from Paine Field and landed at Boeing Field. On 24 January 2016, the KC-46 successfully refueled an F-16 for the first time, test refueling of several other military aircraft followed, including a C-17, F/A-18, A-10, and AV-8B.

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Boeing KC-46A refuels an A-10 Thunderbolt II
U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling and transport aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Betty R. Chevalier)

The KC-46 Pegasus is a variant of the Boeing 767 and is a widebody, low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional empennage 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. It 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”. Rather than using a single boom operator seated or prone at the tail looking out a window, the Aerial Refueling Operator Station (AROS) seats two operators at a video station at the front of the aircraft.

Boeing KC-46A Pegasus is a military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft
U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling and transport aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Betty R. Chevalier)

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).[93] 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. Survivability is improved with infrared countermeasures and the aircraft has limited electronic warfare capabilities. It uses manual flight controls, allowing unrestricted maneuverability to avoid threats anywhere in the flight envelope.

US Air Force KC-46A Performs First Operationally-tasked Combat Refueling Sortie
U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling and transport aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brenden Beezley

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