The U.S. State Department has signed potential sale of up to eight KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft to Israel, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 3 March.
The State Department’s approval covers the Boeing KC-46 tankers and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.4 billion.
The Government of Israel has requested to buy up to eight KC-46 aircraft; up to seventeen PW4062 turbofan engines (16 installed, 1 spare); and up to eighteen MAGR 2K-GPS SAASM receivers (16 installed, 2 spares).
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in its announcement.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. The aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection, which will enable it to operate safely in medium-threat environments.
The KC-46A is a derivative of the commercial 767-2C, a proven airframe in service as an airliner and freighter. Boeing has delivered more than 1,150 767s worldwide.
Boeing received its initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the U.S. Air Force’s newest tanker aircraft.
In October 2019, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $2.6 billion contract for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spares, support equipment, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits. With this fifth production lot, Boeing now is on contract for 67 KC-46 tankers.
Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility and recently started production of the first KC-46 for Japan.