The United States Air Force (USAF) has accepted the first KC-46A tanker aircraft which will allow the aircraft’s delivery to delivery to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas in the coming weeks.
The KC-46 was selected as the winner of the USAF’s KC-X program in 2011 to replace its ageing KC-135 fleet. The aircraft is based on the Boeing 767-200 airliner and had its first flight in September 2015.
During the aircraft’s flight test program, six KC-46 completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than four million pounds (1.8 million kilograms) of fuel to A-10, B-52, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, KC-46, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft.
With the signing of what’s known as the DD250 paperwork, the delivery activities can proceed. McConnell Air Force Base will receive the first four KC-46 aircraft, all of which are ready for delivery. The next four aircraft destined for Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base will begin as early as next month.
Boeing is on contract for 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the USAF.