The US Air Force has accepted the first of four Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft to be delivered to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas.
All four Pegasus aircraft are ready to be delivered to McConnell AFB, with four subsequent KC-46s to be received by Oklahoma's Altus AFB as early as February.
“The KC-46A is a proven, safe, multi-mission aircraft that will transform aerial refuelling and mobility operations for decades to come. We look forward to working with the Air Force, and the Navy, during their initial operational test and evaluation of the KC-46, as we further demonstrate the operational capabilities of this next-generation aircraft across refueling, mobility and combat weapons systems missions,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
“I want to thank the men and women of the Air Force and across the Boeing tanker team who made this happen.”
Boeing is contracted to deliver 52 of an expected 179 tanker aircraft for the Air Force, with nine aircraft currently undergoing consumer acceptance testing.
“This is an exciting and historic day for the Air Force and Boeing, as we hand over the first of many KC-46 tankers,” said Boeing chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg.
“I’m proud of the dedication and commitment by our enterprise-wide team, and we’re honoured to provide this valuable and capable aircraft to our customer. We look forward to continuing to build and support the KC-46 for the Air Force – and other customers across the globe – for decades to come.”
Six KC-46 completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than 1,500 tonnes of fuel to nine different aircraft during extensive testing.
Boeing said the aircraft "has been rigorously tested throughout all aspects of the refuelling envelope and in all conditions, including day, night and covert".