Boeing has received a $2.3 billion contract from the Air Force to purchase 15 additional KC-46 Pegasus refueling tankers.
The Pentagon said in a contract announcement on Friday evening that the most recent batch of KC-46s will make up the ninth production lot of tankers. Their construction is expected to be finished by the end of August 2026, according to the announcement.
Boeing stated on Monday that this brings the total number of KC-46s under contract with the Air Force to 128, of which 68 have been delivered and are in use.
Additionally, Boeing has a contract to deliver ten additional KC-46s to partner nations, six to Japan and four to Israel. The first two KC-46s have already been delivered to Japan.
In recent years, the KC-46’s capacity to refuel more aircraft has steadily increased. The Air Force announced in September that, with the exception of the A-10 Warthog, it is now authorized to carry out all refueling missions around the world.
During actual operations, three KC-46s carried out the Pegasus’s first refueling missions in August. These KC-46s refueled F-15E Strike Eagle fighters carrying out U.S. Central Command missions while they were in the Middle East for a training exercise.
In December, two KC-46s supported a bomber task force mission in the Indo-Pacific region with 42-hour long endurance flights.
In addition to the aircraft, the award of the contract includes provisions for data, subscriptions, and licenses.
KC-46s are manufactured on Boeing’s 767 production line in Everett, Washington. In order to improve battlefield awareness, they can share data with other nearby aircraft and ground operations centers.