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15 more KC-46A multi-mission aerial refuellers bound for USAF

29th November 2023 - 11:20 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


One hundred and fifty-three KC-46A multi-mission aerial refuelers are now on contract globally. (Photo: USAF)

The US Air Force has ordered more Pegasus KC-46A multi-mission aerial refuelling aircraft with advanced communications and data connectivity.

Boeing has been awarded a US$2.3 billion contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to delivery an additional 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers increasing the number of the aircraft type the company has on order to more than 153.

Although the aircraft has a primary role as an air-to-air tanker it can also perform roles as passenger transportation, aeromedical evacuation support and data connectivity at the tactical edge via its ability to transmit and exchange data, enabling rapid air mobility and global reach.

In March, the USAF awarded Boeing a Block 1 upgrade contract to add more advanced communications capabilities to enhance the aircraft’s data connectivity and situational awareness. The $184 million deal included line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight communications technologies with antijamming and encryption features to enhance the data and communications connectivity the KC-46A provides to joint and allied forces for battlespace situational awareness.

To date, Boeing has delivered 76 KC-46As to the USAF and two to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

Aside from the US, the aircraft has been in service with Japan and has been ordered by Israel, with the latter buying four aircraft under a deal worth $972 million with work expected to be completed by the end of 2026.

In November 2022, Japan ordered a further two aircraft on top of four which two had been delivered by October 2022.

The Shephard News Team


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