Boeing receives USAF order for 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers


Boeing has secured a $2.3 billion contract to manufacture an additional 15 KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft for the US Air Force. 

This contract, announced on November 28, 2023, and known as Lot 10, brings the total number of USAF KC-46A tankers on order to 153. 

Earlier in 2023, Boeing received a $184 million Block 1 upgrade contract from the Air Force. This contract focuses on enhancing the aircraft’s communication capabilities and situational awareness in the battle space.  

The updates include advanced line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight communication technologies with anti-jamming and encryption capabilities. 

To date, Boeing has delivered 76 KC-46A aircraft to the USAF, along with two units to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Japan has a total order of six KC-46As. Additionally, Boeing is under contract to supply four KC-46As to the Israel Air Force, valued at $927 million. The Boeing KC-46A has garnered interest from the Italian Air Force, initiating a purchase program for six KC-767Bs in exchange for its current fleet of four KC-767As. 

The KC-46 Pegasus, manufactured on the 767 production line in Everett, Washington, is derived from the 767-2C commercial aircraft. It is slated to replace the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender and reinforce the thinly stretched refueling capacities of the USAF. 

However, the aircraft has encountered numerous technical problems since its first delivery on January 10, 2019. After the USAF discovered issues with the design of the KC-46A’s boom, operational refueling missions were temporarily restricted to the use of the aircraft’s centerline drogue system.  

In August 2021, the USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC) finally approved the use of the refueling boom for operational missions. In 2022, the KC-46A was declared ready for combat operations worldwide. 

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