Sunday, July 12, 2020

U.S. Air Force receives two more newest KC-46 Pegasus tankers

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The U.S. Air Force received two additional KC-46 Pegasus military aerial refueling and transport aircraft designed to replace the current KC-135 Stratotanker.

The aircraft is capable of carrying 212,299 pounds of fuel and 61,000 pounds of cargo, 10 percent more than the KC-135 can hold.

McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, which is the main operating base for the tanker, this week received two more KC-46 tankers.  Four new KC-46 deliveries in August bring the overall total to 19 Boeing-made air-refueling tankers.

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The first KC-46 was delivered to McConnell in January. A KC-46A Pegasus out of McConnell completed the airframe’s first operational refueling May 7, 2019. While in formation with a KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, the KC-46 offloaded 30,000 pounds of fuel to four F-16 Fighting Falcons on their way to an exercise at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

The Air Force has ordered 52 of the aircraft so far.

The KC-46 Pegasus is set to bring increased capability to the Air Force tanker fleet as the service’s number of KC-135 Stratotankers decreases and its KC-10 Extenders are phased out over the next 10 years. With more refueling capacity and enhanced capabilities, improved efficiency and increased capabilities for cargo and aeromedical evacuation, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps as well as allied nation aircraft.

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Executive Editor

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