Boeing will Develop the Next 15 Pegasus KC-46 Aircraft for the US Air Force

The United States Air Force awarded Boeing a USD 2.6 billion contract to build 15 KC-46 tankers, as well as spare parts and supporting documents.

The agreement, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, requires the supply of two spare engines, spare parts and support equipment.

The work is expected to be completed by March 2023.

The Air Force plans to buy 179 of those planes, known as Pegasus, by 2027. On the other hand, Japan’s Air Defense Force has already bought four units.

The aircraft is a military air refueling and strategic military transport aircraft, capable of refueling combat aircraft and other aircraft, in flight.

Designed to replace the Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers, the Air Force acquired its first KC-46 in January 2019.

The development of the plane has a problematic history. Boeing received a USD 55.5 million contract in August to redesign the aircraft boom telescope actuator, which controls the device that swings from under the plane to refuel other aircraft.

The KC-46s were removed from service in March for a week after the Air Force said it found loose tools and other foreign objects inside the completed airplanes.

The problems arose only weeks after the company delivered the first two planes to the Air Force, and Boeing called the problem “a big problem” in an internal memo in February.

These and other problems caused the aircraft development program and the delivery of the first 18 aircraft to be three years behind schedule.

Pease Air National Guard Base, NH, became the first guard base to receive a KC-46 aircraft in August.



Source: Zonamilitar