Israel orders four Boeing KC-46A Pegasus

Air refueling aircraft will be delivered in late 2026 and will replace the Boeing 707 adapting for this role.

Boeing has struck a deal with the Pentagon to supply 19 new KC-46A Pegasus tankers. Four of the aircraft will be destined for the Israeli Air Force, in a $927 million package.

Israel had already obtained authorization from the US Department of State to acquire up to eight tankers in March 2020. Late last year, the Ministry of Defense signed the agreement to receive the KC-46A.

“This contract further strengthens the US-Israel alliance and continues the decades-long relationship between Boeing and the Israeli Air Force,” said Ido Nehushtan, president of Boeing Israel. “The KC-46A will benefit Israel’s efforts to ensure national security and regional stability.”

The Israeli Air Force operates the old Boeing 707s adapted for aerial refueling and which have been in service for about 60 years. According to World Air Forces 2022, there are seven aircraft, plus four KC-130 turboprops, equipped with refueling pods.

Israeli Air Force Boeing 707 (Oren Rozen)

Israeli fighters like the F-15, F-16 and F-35 use the rigid boom aerial refueling system. Interestingly, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has a program for converting Boeing 767 jets to tank and transport called Multi Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT).

IAI even offers the installation of a fly-by-wire rigid boom system. Unlike the KC-46A, the Israeli program relies on used passenger aircraft.

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