KC-46A Tanker

KC-46A Tanker The KC-46 is a widebody, multi-role tanker that promises to revolutionize the air mobility mission. It can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, any time, on any mission, and can carry passengers, cargo and patients whenever and wherever needed. The ability to detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection will allow the KC-46 to operate safely in medium-threat environments. With unmatched operational flexibility, the KC-46 is a mobility game changer.

A New Generation of Capability

  • Proven Platform -- KC-46 is based on a commercial 767 with more than 1,000 767s built to date. It is a proven commercial airliner, freighter and tanker already in service.
  • Delivers More -- KC-46 delivers more fuel at all ranges and from shorter runways, three times more cargo pallets, up to twice as many passengers and over 30 percent more aeromedical evacuation patients than the KC-135 that it is replacing.
  • Enhanced Survivability -- New robust defensive systems and cockpit armor protection enhances KC-46 crew survivability.
  • Superior Situational Awareness – Large Boeing 787 15” displays allow KC-46 pilots to quickly optimize flight parameters for critical decision making and mission success.
  • Improved Refueling Capability -- The KC-46’s ability to refuel all fixed-wing receiver aircraft anytime, on every mission, including simultaneous multi-point refueling, is enabled by an advanced design fly-by-wire boom based on the proven KC-10 boom, and 21st century centerline and wing-mounted hose and drogue systems.

A New Generation of Efficiency and Affordability

  • Superior Operating Economics – KC-46 is based on the most fuel-efficient commercial airplane in its widebody class.
  • Lower Cost – Highly efficient design saves the Air Force hundreds of millions of dollars through lower KC-46 maintenance, depot and repair costs.
  • Higher Utilization – Onboard KC-46 aircraft health diagnostic systems provide real-time health monitoring and improve operational availability and mission capability.
  • Superior Dispatch Reliability – 99 percent dispatch reliability means greater mission effectiveness for the KC-46 and unprecedented availability to meet more mission requirements with fewer tankers.

A New Generation in Trust and Partnership

  • Global Support – A proven global support network ensures around-the-clock, around-the-world service for the KC-46, underpinned by a fleet of more than 1,000 commercial 767s flying for over 70 airlines worldwide.
  • Boeing-Designed and -Built – Building the KC-46 tanker with the world’s most skilled and experienced workforce, and most advanced manufacturing and production processes. A new Lean production line is set up to produce new tankers faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Key Milestones:

  • KC-46A tanker first flight: The first part of 2015
  • 1st delivery to USAF: 2016
  • Complete delivery of 179 tankers: 2027

For more information, read the KC-46A (PDF) overview.

Charles Ramey
KC-46A Communications

James Eisenhart
Director - USAF Mobility Business Development


Boeing image


Boeing image