Friday, January 27, 2023

US Air Force KC-46 tanker arrives at Ramstein

The U.S. Air Force has announced that its newest KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker has arrived at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

The Air Force said in a release that a U.S. Air Force Pegasus from the 916th Air Refueling Wing, based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, arrivied at Ramstein Air Base on 2 Dec.

“The aircraft and crew arrived to support U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa Copper Arrow Exercise, which improves overall readiness, while simultaneously solidifying operational relationships with NATO Allies and partners,” the news release says.

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The KC-46A will be able to refuel most fixed-wing, receiver-capable aircraft. The KC-46A is equipped with a refueling boom driven by a fly-by-wire control system, and is capable of fuel offload rates required for large aircraft. Its hose and drogue system adds additional mission capability that is independently operable from the refueling boom system.

The aircraft’s fuel can be pumped through the boom, drogue and wing aerial refueling pods. All KC-46As are capable of being configured with WARPs, and when equipped, the aircraft is capable of multi-point simultaneous aerial refueling. The Boom Operator controls the boom, centerline drogue and WARPs during refueling operations. The Air Refueling Operator station includes panoramic displays giving the ARO wing-tip to wing-tip situational awareness.

The KC-46A can accommodate a mixed load of passengers, aeromedical evacuation and cargo capabilities. Two high-bypass turbofans power the KC-46A to takeoff at gross weights up to 415,000 pounds. Depending on fuel storage configuration, the aircraft can carry a palletized load of up to 65,000 pounds of cargo. The KC-46A can carry up to 18 463L cargo pallets. Seat tracks and the onboard cargo handling system make it possible to simultaneously carry palletized cargo and passenger seats in a variety of combinations. The KC-46A is also equipped with a number of self-protection, defensive and communication features making it more survivable in a contested environment.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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