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USAF approves fourth ICR for Pegasus

9th December 2021 - 16:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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C-5M Super Galaxy during refuelling tests in December 2020 with the KC-46A Pegasus. (Photo: USAF/Chustine Minoda)

The KC-46A Pegasus is now capable of supporting almost 70% of USAF aircraft, says Air Mobility Command.

USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC) on 6 December approved a fourth Interim Capability Release (ICR) mission set for the KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft.

‘This ICR decision allows the KC-46A to refuel the AC-130J Ghostrider, HC-130J Combat King II, MC-130J Commando II, C-5M Super Galaxy and E-3G Sentry during US Transportation Command- [USTRANSCOM-] tasked missions,’ AMC announced in a statement.

Lt Col Kevin White, deputy chief of the AMC Aircraft and Logistics Requirements Division and deputy lead on the KC-46A Cross Functional Team, said that the KC-46A can now support almost 70% of ‘all receiver aircraft that request air refuelling support from TRANSCOM’.

The latest ICR decision follows approval in July 2021 for the KC-46A to refuel aircraft via its centreline drogue system; one month later, an ICR decision approved boom refuelling for the B-52H Stratofortress, C-17 Globemaster III and other KC-46 aircraft. In October, a third ICR decision allowed the KC-46A to refuel all variants of the F-15 and F-16.

AMC acknowledged ‘existing restrictions and deficiencies’ with the KC-46A and noted there is no definitive timeframe to complete the ICR plan.

‘Crews will continue to fly training, exercise and demonstration missions until all operational confidence measures are met,’ it added.

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