Boeing and the US Air Force successfully completed the first flight of the KC-46 tanker test program on 28 December.
As part of a contract awarded in 2011 to design and develop the Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft, Boeing is building four test aircraft – two 767-2Cs and two KC-46A Tankers. The 767-2Cs enter flight test as commercial freighters prior to receiving their aerial refueling systems, while the KC-46s will fly as fully equipped tankers through the FAA and military certification process.
The KC-46 is a widebody, multi-role tanker that promises to revolutionize the air mobility mission. It can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, any time, on any mission, and can carry passengers, cargo and patients whenever and wherever needed.
The ability to detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection will allow the KC-46 to operate safely in medium-threat environments. With unmatched operational flexibility, the KC-46 is a mobility game changer.
1st delivery of the KC-46A tanker to USAF will take place in 2016. Complete delivery of 179 tankers will be completed by 2027.