USAF accepts Pegasus tanker delivery, deficiencies to be addressed with remote vision system

ARLINGTON, Va. U.S. Air Force officials accepted the first KC-46A Pegasus tanker from The Boeing Company. This is a major milestone for the next generation tanker and will allow Airmen to begin operational testing and flight training, Air Force officials report.

In additional to delivery, the Air Force has identified deficiencies discovered in developmental testing of the remote vision system. Boeing officials agreed to fix at its expense. The Air Force reports it has mechanisms in place to ensure Boeing meets its contractual obligations while initial operational testing and evaluation continues.

During extensive flight testing, six KC-46 completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than four million pounds of fuel to A-10, B-52, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, KC-46, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft, Boeing reports. The Pegasus has been tested throughout all aspects of the refueling envelope and in all conditions, including day, night, and covert.

The formal delivery ceremony at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, will occur late January. Boeing is on contract for 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the Air Force. Beyond the first aircraft that was accepted, nine aircraft are undergoing customer acceptance testing with the remaining aircraft of the contracted amount in production.

The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in Boeing’s Everett, Washington facility.