The first two Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft departed Everett’s Paine Field on January 25th for McConnell Air Force Base, where the 22nd Air Refueling Wing will be the first unit to have the world’s newest air refueling tankers.
McConnell, in Wichita, Kansas, will receive two more tankers in the weeks ahead. Then Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base will receive four planes to support aircrew training.
The Air Force will soon begin evaluating the KC-46’s systems in operationally realistic scenarios, which is required before the aircraft can be used in combat. It will also continue validating the KC-46’s refueling capabilities, with aircraft including the B-2 bomber, C-5 cargo plane, and F-35 fighter. Prior testing involved the B-52 bomber, C-17 cargo plane, and F-15E and F/A-18 fighters, among others.
The KC-46A Pegasus is a widebody, multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. Boeing designed the KC-46 to 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 Boeing Co. is an aerospace company, which engages in the manufacture of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. It operates through the following segments: Commercial Airplanes; Defense, Space and Security; Global Services; and Boeing Capital.