U.S. Air Force releases unique video shows refueling capabilities of its two newest aircraft

Photo by Ethan Wagner

The U.S. Air Force has released a new video that showed the refueling capabilities of two of its the newest aircraft – of the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus refueling tanker and F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter.

Air Force’s newest aircraft completed a major accomplishment recently at Edwards Air Force Base, California, according to 412th Test Wing Public Affairs.

Last month, the 418th Flight Test Squadron, who is overseeing testing of the KC-46 Pegasus, and the 461st FLTS, who is overseeing testing of the F-35 Lightning II, completed receiver certification testing with the platforms.

The latest milestone is another step toward enhancing capabilities that will directly impact the warfighter said Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton, 461st FLTS commander and F-35 Integrated Test Force director.

“The ability for the F-35 to receive fuel from the KC-46 is a tremendous capability for the warfighter,” Hamilton said. “Through our combined test effort, the F-35 will soon gain clearance that is the foundation of an aircraft pairing, F-35 and KC-46, that will define the battlespace for decades to come.”

The KC-46A Pegasus is intended to start replacing the Air Force’s aging tanker fleet, which has been refueling aircraft for more than 50 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.

The KC-46 was accepted by the Air Force and the first two aircraft were delivered to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, on January 25. The KC-46 builds on the capabilities of other refuelers such as the KC-10 and KC-135. The KC-46 can be refueled mid-air, and has enhanced communication, self-protection and situational awareness capabilities.

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