Boeing expects to announce a new international consumer for the KC-46A Pegasus tanker by the end of the calendar year as desire in employing the air-to-air refueler is expanding amongst overseas militaries, in accordance to a Boeing software official.
“There’s several countries that have normally been lukewarm, that have now stated, ‘Hey, what does your line appear like?’” Mike Hafer, Boeing’s senior manager for KC-46 small business progress, said in the course of a latest press celebration, Breaking Protection noted.
6 global militaries have approached Boeing about getting the aircraft considering that 2020, with some fascinated in shopping for a cargo variation with no the refueling boom, Hafer advised reporters.
Boeing, nevertheless, will only market the KC-46 in its present configuration for aerial refueling, Aviation Week reported.
A Boeing spokesperson declined to comment to Flying with regards to which unique international locations experienced expressed interest.
Overseas navy desire in the KC-46A emerged through the COVID-19 pandemic, as properly as adhering to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hafer instructed reporters.
“A lot of—especially NATO—countries are doubling some of their defense expenditures, which has amplified the fascination in all varieties of abilities, all varieties of Boeing merchandise,” he stated, according to Breaking Defense. “We’ve seen that replicate alone in this article [in the KC-46 program] as very well. …Russian aggression has stimulated company. But it is not what I preferred to encourage business enterprise.”
The KC-46A—which signifies the Air Force’s 1st phase of recapitalizing its growing older tanker fleet—is capable of refueling most fixed-wing, receiver-able plane, as effectively as airlifting up to 65,000 lbs of cargo.
The Air Force commenced traveling the aircraft in early 2019, and underneath its existing contract, is set to get 179 copies of the air-to-air refueler.
The tanker, which is primarily based upon the 767 airframe, can accommodate 18 army standardized pallets in cargo configuration, a capability that helps make it attractive to several intercontinental militaries. In late 2017, Japan grew to become the 1st intercontinental customer for the KC-46A with an get of 4 tankers, two of which have been shipped.
“With its means to have cargo and passengers, the KC-46A tanker can also help Japan’s humanitarian and disaster reduction initiatives,” Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan, said final year.
The Israeli Ministry of Protection has also signed Letters of Supply and Acceptance for four tankers, Boeing stated.