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Boeing confirms additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers for USAF contract

KC-46 Pegasus from Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., participate in an elephant walk, Sept. 8, 2021. Photo: US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson.

American multinational corporation Boeing will build another 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers under a US Air Force contract worth US$2.3 billion.

American multinational corporation Boeing will build another 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers under a US Air Force contract worth US$2.3 billion.

The new Lot 10 contract award follows a Block 1 upgrade contract awarded by the Air Force earlier this year to enhance aircraft data connectivity, situational awareness, and advanced communications capabilities.

Boeing has so far delivered 76 KC-46As to the US Air Force and two to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, with 153 KC-46A multi-mission aerial refuellers now on contract globally.


“We appreciate our partnership with the US Air Force, which allows for the expansion of the capacity and capability of the KC-46A fleet,” according to vice-president and KC-46 program manager Lynn Fox.

“We understand the advantages that KC-46 capabilities give the warfighters, and in the current global environment, we continue to focus our investments on evolving the aircraft for the changing needs of the mission.”

The KC-46A Pegasus provides ”game changer” capability to transmit and exchange data, enabling rapid air mobility, global reach and agile combat employment, as well as aerial refuelling, cargo and passenger transportation, aeromedical evacuation support, and data connectivity at the tactical edge, according to Boeing.

The KC-46A fixed-wing, receiver-capable aircraft is equipped with a refuelling boom driven by a fly-by-wire control system and is capable of fuel offload rates required for large aircraft. The aircraft is capable of multi-point simultaneous aerial refuelling, as well as accommodation of mixed loads of 58 passengers, aeromedical evacuation, and cargo.

The KC-46A can carry a palletised load of up to 65,000 pounds of cargo or 18 463-litre cargo pallets. It has a fuel capacity of 96,297 kilograms and a maximum cargo capacity of 29,484 kilograms with an air crew of 15.

Earlier this year, the Republic of Indonesia announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Boeing to acquire 24 F-15EX advanced fighter jet aircraft.

Indonesia’s Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto met with Boeing fighters vice-president and program manager Mark Sears, as well as Defense Facilities Agency head Air Vice Marshal Yusuf Jauhari, at the St Louis F-15EX production line facility to sign the agreement on 21 August.

The proposed F-15ID or F-15IDN aircraft are subject to US government approval, however, the deal represents a significant modernisation for the Indonesian National Army Air Force which currently fields around 110 combat aircraft including 33 American F-16 Fighting Falcons, five Russian Su-27 fighter aircraft, and 11 Russian Su-30 fighter aircraft.

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