US Air Force new KC-46A Pegasus tanker

Boeing resumes deliveries of new KC-46s to the US Air Force

Tanker aircraft based on the 767 had not been delivered since the beginning of March. USAF now has 84 aerial refueling aircraft

Boeing’s contract with the US Air Force (USAF) to supply KC-46A Pegasus tankers remains troubled.

The planemaker sent two more aircraft of the type into service on May 31 after a two-month gap with no deliveries.

The Air Force now has 84 of these refuelers that began shipping in 2019.

However, chronic problems identified by the USAF have complicated Pegasus availability, the most recent of which involves the refueling boom.

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US Air Force new KC-46A Pegasus tanker (Boeing)

In April, the Air Force noticed a problem with a broken boom gimbal nut lockwire. Since then, Boeing has had to review the manufacturing process to identify and correct the flaw.

The two new KC-46A delivered in May were eventually accepted, but the USAF is waiting for a definitive solution to the problem.

The budget for fiscal year 2024 (between October 2023 and September 2024) foresees the delivery of 15 jets, but so far ten aircraft have been sent.

KC-46A deliveries (ADN)

Fixed price contract

In 2019, Boeing sent 27 KC-46s to the Air Force, but several problems have caused this cadence to be reduced. One of them refers to the improved vision system, which allows refueling operators to monitor their work remotely.

It will be replaced by an improved version (RVS 2.0), but it will only be delivered from 2026.

Boeing won a contract with the Air Force in 2011 to convert the Boeing 767-200 into an aerial refueling aircraft to replace the aging KC-135 and KC-10.

However, the agreement has a fixed price and the manufacturer is already accumulating high losses with the program.


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