Boeing Defense, Space & Security, in collaboration with the US Air Force, has clinched a $2.3bn deal for producing 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers, reinforcing the strategic advantage of this multi-mission aircraft for domestic and international defence forces.

Boeing has secured a contract valued at $2.3bn from the US Air Force to produce 15 additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers. This award, falling under Lot 10 of the ongoing project, marks a milestone, bringing the total number of KC-46A aerial refuelers on contract globally to 153.

In February 2011, the USAF selected the tanker as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. The KC-46As are manufactured on the existing 767 production lines and are then militarised at the Everett Modification Center, according to GlobalData’s “US Defense Market 2022-2027” report.

Lynn Fox, vice president and KC-46 programme manager at Boeing, expressed gratitude for the ongoing partnership with the US Air Force. “We appreciate our partnership with the US Air Force, which allows for the expansion of the capacity and capability of the KC-46A fleet,” said Fox. She emphasised the role that KC-46A capabilities play in addressing the evolving needs of the mission within the current global security landscape.

The KC-46A Pegasus is changing the traditional role of tankers by providing capabilities for the joint force and allied nations.

The aircraft has capabilities such as aerial refuelling, cargo and passenger transportation, aeromedical evacuation support, and data connectivity at the tactical edge. Its ability to transmit and exchange data facilitates air mobility, global reach, and agile combat employment.

Earlier this year, the Air Force recognised the KC-46A’s potential by awarding Boeing a Block 1 upgrade contract. This upgrade enhances the aircraft’s communications capabilities, improving data connectivity and situational awareness. 

GlobalData’s intelligence on “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033” reveals that Boeing Co is anticipated to account for 12% of the North American military fixed-wing aircraft

To date, Boeing has successfully delivered 76 KC-46As to the US Air Force and two to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. In August 2022, Boeing secured a contract from the US Department of Defense worth up to $927m for procuring four KC-46A aircraft for Israel.