First KC-46A for Altus AFB Delivered

The first US Air Force KC-46A Pegasus for the 56th Air Refueling Squadron, 17-46027, departs from Boeing Field on February 8 on delivery to the unit at Altus AFB. Boeing

BOEING DEFENSE and Space has delivered the fifth US Air Force KC-46A Pegasus tanker, which is the first for Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, where it will be operated by the 56th Air Refueling Squadron (ARS), which is responsible for Pegasus aircrew, maintenance and support training.  The aircraft, 17-46027 (c/n 34126/1134), departed on delivery to Altus from Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington, on February 8.  The 56th ARS was formally re-activated as part of the 97th Air Mobility Wing/97th Operations Group at Altus on August 1, 2016, in preparation for the arrival of the new tankers.  Three additional KC-46As are scheduled for delivery to the unit over the next few weeks.  Since being selected at the KC-46A’s formal training unit in April 2014, the 97th AMW has been preparing for the new type with construction of a new formal training centre, hangar extensions and installation of a fuselage trainer.

As previously reported on Warnsey’s World, the first two KC-46As were delivered on January 26 to join the 22nd Air Refueling Wing (ARW) at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.  A further two aircraft, 16-46022 (c/n 34136/1126, ‘VH022’ ex N5573S) and 16-46030 (c/n 34112/1139), were flown from Seattle to McConnell on January 31, bringing the 22nd ARW’s complement to four KC-46As.

During extensive flight testing to date, six KC-46 aircraft have completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than four million pounds of fuel to A-10, AV-8B, B-52, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, KC-46, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft.  Boeing is currently on contract for 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the Air Force.