WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – U.S. Air Force aerial refueling experts are asking the Boeing Co. to build 15 new KC-46A Pegasus military aerial tanker aircraft under terms of a $2.3 billion order announced Tuesday.
Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Seattle to build the KC-46A aircraft for the Air Force.
The KC-46A aircraft is based on the Boeing 767-200 widebody passenger jet. The multirole aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft can refuel all U.S., allied, and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. In addition to refueling other aircraft in midair, the KC-46A also can carry passengers, cargo, and medical patients.
The KC-46A aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat, and survive threats using several layers of electronic protection that enable it to operate safely in medium-threat environments, Boeing officials say.
Honeywell Aerospace, Northrop Grumman Corp., and Raytheon Technologies Corp. are among the companies providing avionics subsystems, navigation, sensors, and other components for the KC-46A.
Honeywell Aerospace in Coon Rapids, Minn., provides the air data inertial navigation system for the KC-46A, while the company's facility in Phoenix provides the auxiliary power unit. The Honeywell Aerospace facility in Tucson, Ariz., provides the KC-46A cabin pressure control system, while the company's facility in Urbana, Ohio, provides the tanker's lighting system.
The Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems segment in Rolling Meadows, Ill., provides the KC-46A's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), while the Raytheon Intelligence & Space segment in El Segundo, Calif., provides the tanker's digital radar warning receiver and digital anti-jam global positioning system (GPS) receiver.
The Raytheon Collins Aerospace segment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, provides the KC-46A integrated display system with 15.1-inch diagonal liquid crystal displays, which are based on the avionics suite for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jet.
Collins Aerospace also provides the KC-46A's tactical situational awareness system, remote vision system 3-D and 2-D technology for the boom operator, the communications, navigation, surveillance (CNI) system, networking, and flight-control systems.
The DRS Technologies Inc. Laurel Technologies Partnership in Johnstown, Pa., provides the KC-46A's aerial refueling operator station (AROS). The Eaton Aerospace facility in Grand Rapids, Mich., provides the tanker's electromechanical and cargo door actuation systems.
Woodward Inc. in Skokie, Ill., meanwhile, provides the sensor system, control unit, and telescopic and flight control sticks for the KC-46A-s aerial refueling boom.
GE Aviation Systems facilities in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Clearwater, Fla., provide the KC-46A mission control system avionics, which provide integrated communications management to support air traffic management data link, and enable the aircraft to perform with navigation precision not currently available to the tanker fleet.
GE Aviation also provides the KC-46A flight management system (FMS), which helps the aircraft fly relatively short flight paths and idle-thrust descents to reduce fuel consumption, while lowering emissions and reducing engine noise.
On this order Boeing will do the work in Seattle and should be finished by July 2027. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com/defense/kc-46a-pegasus-tanker, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.aflcmc.af.mil.