KC-46A Pegasus: The World's Most Advanced Multi-Mission Aerial Refueling Aircraft

Built to meet the requirements of the U.S. Air Force and allies for the full spectrum of missions, the combat-ready KC-46 Pegasus air refueling plane delivers proven multi-mission capabilities today, and evolves to meet the needs of tomorrow.

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On a mission: Meet the people who build the KC-46A

We’re building the only multi-mission tanker that’s produced in America for the U.S. Air Force and allies. A team that’s 37,000 employees and suppliers strong, with the ingenuity and tenacity to support those who serve around the world. Because refueling, connecting and protecting are missions that must be accomplished.

#KC46 tanker today

KC-46 Stories: Built in America, Operating around the world

Crews from the 60th and 349th Air Mobility Wings pose in front of Travis Air Force Base’s first KC-46A at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington.

Boeing delivers first KC-46A to Travis Air Force Base

October 5, 2023 in Defense

The U.S. Air Force’s “Gateway to the Pacific” begins a new era of air mobility operations.

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Fueling America’s tanker

August 28, 2023 in Defense

A partnership of Boeing employees and hundreds of suppliers from across the country build the KC-46A Pegasus to be the world’s most advanced multi-mission aerial refueler for the U.S. Air Force and allies.

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Farwest Aircraft mechanical assembler Erin Anderson displays a boom pedal door spring compressor for the KC-46A Pegasus tanker.

KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: Farwest Aircraft

August 3, 2023 in Defense

Less than 25 miles south of Boeing’s Military Delivery Center – where the KC-46A Pegasus flies to U.S. Air Force bases around the country – a small business helps keep the world’s most advanced multi-mission tanker in the skies.

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Nasco Aerospace and Electronics co-CEOs Frank (left) and Rick Bagnasco shake hands in Nasco's lobby in St. Petersburg, Florida.

KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: Nasco Aerospace & Electronics

June 29, 2023 in Defense

Nasco is one of more than 650 suppliers in 43 states that supports the KC-46 program and helps fuel the U.S. Air Force’s global mission.

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Aurora Mississippi quality manager Jackson Walters handles a composite skin manufactured for the MQ-25 Stingray, the first unmanned, carrier-based refueler for the United State Navy.

Boeing and Aurora Flight Sciences partner to bolster refueling innovation

June 19, 2023 in Defense

Boeing’s KC-46A Pegasus and MQ-25™ Stingray™ technology continues to evolve in Mississippi’s nexus of innovation.

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Jaime Garcia still supports the U.S. Air Force’s global mission at the same base where he once served.

Veteran follows KC-46A back to the desert

April 25, 2023 in Defense

Jaime Garcia still supports the U.S. Air Force’s global mission at the same base where he once served.

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KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: Sensor Systems LLC

April 18, 2023 in Defense, Our Partners

Sensor Systems is one of more than 650 suppliers in 43 states that supports the KC-46 program and helps fuel the U.S. Air Force’s global mission.

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Two Marines and the KC-46 supply chain

Two Marines and the KC-46 supply chain

April 4, 2023 in Defense

Using skills they developed in the Marine Corps, two veterans work side by side with suppliers across the country to build the world’s most advanced multi-mission aerial refueler.

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Delivering Data and Fuel to the Fight

Delivering Data and Fuel to the Fight

April 3, 2023 in Defense

How Boeing is Enabling KC-46 for Tomorrow’s Command and Control Network.

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KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: Pacific Component Xchange

KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: Pacific Component Xchange

March 22, 2023 in Defense, Our Partners

Pacific Component Xchange is one of more than 650 suppliers across 43 states that supports the KC-46 program and helps fuel the U.S. Air Force’s global mission.

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Two KC-46 tankers conduct a successful refueling flight out of Boeing Field in Seattle.

KC-46A charging into new year with momentum

March 1, 2023 in Defense

Air Mobility Command leader highlights a momentous 14 months for the KC-46A.

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two men looking at a computer while working in a factory

KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: Advanced Ground Systems Engineering, LLC

February 21, 2023 in Defense, Our Partners

Advanced Ground Systems engineering is one of 650 suppliers across 43 states that support the KC-46 program and help fuel the U.S. Air Force’s global mission.

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Captain Michelle McMillen poses with cousins Chad and Wade Holliston at Boeing's Military Delivery Center in Tukwila, Washington before she delivers the 64th KC-46A to the U.S. Air Force.

KC-46A Family Connection

January 10, 2023 in Our People

U.S. Air Force captain flies the Pegasus that her Boeing cousins build.

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KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: PSI Solutions, Inc.

KC-46 U.S. Supplier Spotlight: PSI Solutions, Inc.

December 12, 2022 in Defense, Our Partners

PSI Solutions is one of more than 650 KC-46A Pegasus suppliers in communities across the nation that deliver critical components to assemble the world’s most advanced multi-mission aerial refueler.

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KC-46A “is the game-changer”

KC-46A “is the game-changer”

October 31, 2022 in Defense

Customer salutes Boeing’s Team Tanker before his final flight.

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KC-46A modification electrician Chris Beers holds up a white shirt from the Museum of Aviation in Georgia.

From ‘humble’ beginnings to team lead: How a KC-46A modification electrician found success at Boeing

September 21, 2022 in Our People

Chris Beers followed his childhood passion across the country to play a vital role in building the world’s most advanced aerial refueler.

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Veteran gives KC-46A stamp of approval

Veteran gives KC-46A stamp of approval

May 31, 2022 in Defense

Kareem Foster is one of the last people “to put eyes on” each KC-46A Pegasus before delivery. It’s a responsibility that energizes the 20-year Army veteran and his team.

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KC-46 refueling F-16

KC-46A Pegasus Supports Missions Around the Globe

May 23, 2022 in Defense

The Air Force has been putting the multirole Pegasus to work across a spectrum of operational missions.

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Boeing Delivers 50th KC-46A to U.S. Air Force

Boeing Delivers 50th KC-46A to U.S. Air Force

January 13, 2022 in Defense

See the history-making arrival of the first two KC-46A tankers to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

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Boeing Delivers First KC-46A Tanker to Japan

October 31, 2021 in Defense

First international KC-46A delivery.

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Boeing KC-46A Tanker for Japan Completes First Refueling Flight

August 16, 2021 in Defense

First KC-46A for a non-US customer gives and receives fuel with another KC-46A.

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KC-46: Meeting Tomorrow’s Needs Today

July 14, 2021 in Defense

The KC-46A Pegasus is adding another line to its resume. Beyond aerial refueling and the transportation of passengers, cargo and patients.

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Boeing’s First Japan KC-46 Tanker Takes Flight

February 9, 2021 in Defense

First KC-46 for an international customer completes successful first flight.

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15 More Boeing KC-46 Tankers to Fuel the Air Force into the Future

January 21, 2021 in Defense

New multirole tanker contract brings number of U.S. Air Force orders to 94.

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First KC-46 tanker delivered to Seymour Johnson AFB

First KC-46 tanker delivered to Seymour Johnson AFB

June 12, 2020 in Defense

On June 12, Boeing delivered its 34th KC-46 Pegasus tanker to the U.S. Air Force, the first to be stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

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Operating globally

The KC-46A tanker is approved by the U.S. Air Force for global deployments, including combat operations. With more in service globally than any tanker except the Boeing-built KC-135, the KC-46A is delivering fuel, data and multi-mission capability for the U.S. and allies around the globe.

U.S.: 70 tankers

To date, Boeing has delivered 70 KC-46A tankers to the U.S. Air Force.

Japan: 2 tankers

Boeing has delivered two KC-46A tankers to Japan, of the six on contract.

Israel: 4 tankers on contract

Currently, four KC-46A tankers are on contract to be delivered to Israel.

Air refueling for the full spectrum of missions

The KC-46A delivers more fuel at all ranges and from shorter runways than the KC-135 aircraft it’s replacing — while utilizing less ramp space than competing tankers — ensuring mission reach from forward and austere airfields.

Currently, KC-46A air refueling receiver certifications include: AV-8B, B-1, B-2, B-52, C-5, C-17, C-130, C-135, CV-22, E-3, E-8, EA-18, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, F-35, KC-10, KC-46, KC-135, P-8A and V-22.

Unlike many existing tankers, the KC-46A can also receive fuel, which significantly extends the range and flexibility of global mobility and power projection maneuvers.

The combat-readiness and agile-combat-capable design of the KC-46A enables more booms in the air throughout the operational theater, making it the ideal aircraft for refueling missions.

  • 3X larger receiver envelopeThe KC-46A boom provides a receiver envelope three times larger than the KC-135.
  • 212,000 lbs The KC-46A’s 212,000 pounds (96,162 kilograms) of fuel capacity enables the full spectrum of refueling missions.
  • 100M+ lbsThe proven KC-46A has offloaded more than 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of fuel to receivers globally.

Connects and protects the fleet

Top-down front view of KC-46 flying ahead of a KC-10 aircraft.

The KC-46A has already been described as “game changer” for its ability to exchange data and provide fleet situational awareness at the tactical edge.

Armed with data links and Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) integration, the Pegasus tanker connects multi-domain warfighters, providing tactical situational awareness and real-time information superiority.

As the needs of the mission evolve, the KC-46A can efficiently integrate new capabilities and advanced technology thanks to its in-line production. The Air Force and Boeing are investing in a Block 1 upgrade of additional advanced communications capabilities to further enhance the Pegasus’s data connectivity and situational awareness.

The combat-ready KC-46A features layers of defensive countermeasures to detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats.

  • Combat readyDefensive countermeasures strengthen ability to deliver fuel and data at the tactical edge.
  • Battlespace awarenessThe KC-46A provides unmatched tactical situational awareness to the crew and relays real-time data to the fleet.
  • Unparalleled protectionNuclear, chemical and biological hardening and flight deck armor provide added protection.

Serves the highest-priority air-to-air refueling missions

The KC-46A is the only tanker to meet the stringent Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Air Force airworthiness and performance requirements. The KC-46A is approved by the U.S. Air Force for all global mission deployments, including combat operations.

In addition, the proven boom and hose-and-drogue systems are capable of refueling all U.S., allied and coalition aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures.

With its track record of success, the KC-46A is proven for today’s missions and demonstrating next-generation aerial refueling system capabilities.

  • Proven and operational nowThe KC-46A provides interoperable capability to U.S. and allied forces and international partners.
  • More booms in the airFour KC-46A tankers can be used for the same operating cost of three larger refuelers, meaning more booms in the air and more fuel where it’s needed.
  • Fueling the joint forceEvery month, the KC-46A flies more hundreds of sorties and offloads more than five million pounds (22.7 million kilograms) of fuel to receivers globally.

Adapts for rapid mobility

The KC-46A can convert between cargo, passenger and aeromedical evacuation modes in just two hours — with emergency oxygen and electrical power for medevac support included — and is compatible with all U.S. Air Force loaders.

With a large cargo door and cargo rollers, the KC-46A is adaptable to rapid cargo loading and mission versatility for Agile Combat Employment.

When compared to the KC-135 it holds:

  • 3X more palletsThe KC-46A holds as many pallets as a C-17.
  • 2X more passengersWith ample room for passengers, the KC-46A can hold twice as many people as the KC-135.
  • 30% more medevac capacityThe KC-46A can hold 30% more patients than the KC-135.

Delivers life-cycle value

Built as a combat-ready tanker from day one of production, the KC-46A has a longer lifespan and a reduction in the airframe corrosion that can occur in post-production modification. Furthermore, fleet commonality and interoperability leverages economy of scale for the U.S. Air Force and allies.

The operating cost of four KC-46A tankers is the same as just three larger refuelers, so operators can have more booms in the air and bring more fuel to the fight.

Supported by a robust KC-46 supply chain that includes more than 650 American businesses and 37,000 American workers throughout more than 40 U.S. states, the current production line in Everett, WA, is delivering mission-ready aircraft today.

Ultimately, the in-production KC-46A has lower acquisition, operations and sustainment costs than any existing widebody aerial refueler and represents the best value over its total lifecycle.

  • 6 U.S. Air Force basesThe KC-46A serves at six U.S. Air Force main operating bases.
  • 40+ U.S. statesThe KC-46 supply chain includes 40+ U.S. states.
  • InteroperabilityWith more than 130 on contract and more than 65 in service globally, the KC-46 offers unrivaled interoperability for mission success.

Next Generation Aerial Refueling System Capabilities

KC-46 Tech Specs Product Card

Technical specifications

Learn more about the technical specifications of the KC-46A.


Capabilities overview

Discover the capabilities of the KC-46A, the world’s most advanced multi-mission aerial refueler.


Multi-layered protection

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP), chemical and biological hardening, along with armoring and countermeasures, provide unparalleled combat readiness on the KC-46A.

Spacious crew compartment

The KC-46A contains enough space for 15 crew members, bunks, storage, a galley and a lavatory.

Superior situational awareness

Large Boeing 787-style 15-inch displays allow pilots to quickly optimize flight parameters for critical decision-making and mission success.

Delivers data

Certified and flight-test-proven Wing Air Refueling Pods integrate Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) capability to make the KC-46A fleet a “connectivity hotspot” at the tactical edge.

State-of-the-art defensive systems

Infrared countermeasures, radio frequency warning and night vision lighting for covert operations give the aircraft the defensive edge.

Enhanced refueling capability

The KC-46A boasts a fly-by-wire boom with independent disconnect and automatic load alleviation as well as both centerline and wing-mounted hose and drogue systems.

Proven powerful platform

Based on the 767 freighter, and paired with Pratt and Whitney PW4062 Engines with 62K thrust per engine and 120 kVA generations, the KC-46A is both powerful and fuel efficient.

Higher utilization

Onboard aircraft health diagnostic systems provide real-time health monitoring and improve operational availability and mission capability.

  • KC-46 Specifications
Width 156 ft 1 in (47.5 m) Length 165 ft 10 in (50.5 m)
Height 52 ft 10 in (16.1 m) Engines Two Pratt & Whitney PW 4062 with
62,000 lbf (289.13 kN) thrust
Maximum Takeoff Weight 415,000 lbs (188,241 kg) Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs (140,614 kg)
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs (96,265 kg) Maximum Air Speed 0.86 Mach (650 mph)

Watch the KC-46 tanker in action