Boeing

Meet the World's Most Advanced Multi-Mission Aerial Tanker

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

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#KC46 today

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.: 62 tankers

To date, Boeing has delivered 62 KC-46A tankers to the U.S. Air Force.

Japan: 2 tankers

Japan has received two KC-46A tankers, with two more on contract.

Israel: 4 tankers on contract

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

Fuels 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.

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 lbs of fuel capacity enables the full spectrum of refueling missions.
  • 94M lbsThe proven KC-46A has offloaded 94 million pounds of fuel to receivers globally.

Connects and protects the fleet

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

As a connectivity hub at the tactical edge, the KC-46A provides data as well as fuel to the joint force.

Armed with data links and Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) integration, it 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 combat-ready KC-46A features layers of defensive countermeasures to detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats.

  • Modernized defenseInfrared countermeasures provide modernized defense support.
  • Advanced detectionThe KC-46A detects threats using radio frequency and a Tactical Situational Awareness Suite.
  • 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. It is operationally supporting the highest-priority missions, including providing presidential support, and performing real-world 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.

  • 400+ sortiesThe KC-46A performs more than 400 sorties per month.
  • Combat readyThe KC-46A is approved by U.S. Air Force for all global mission deployments, including combat operations.
  • 3M+ lbs of fuelEvery month, the KC-46A offloads more than three million pounds 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.

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 tanker from day one, 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.

  • 5 U.S. Air Force basesCurrently, five U.S. Air Force bases operate the KC-46A.
  • 40+ U.S. statesThe KC-46 supply chain includes 40+ U.S. states.
  • 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.

Technical specifications

KC-46 Tech Specs Product Card

Technical specifications

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

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Capabilities overview

Discover the broad capabilities of the advanced tanker.

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Multi-layered protection

Electromagnetic pulse, chemical, biological and nuclear hardening, along with fuel tank ballistic protection and cockpit armor, provide unparalleled protection.

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)

Meet the teams and the KC-46

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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Blueprints

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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Dani sitting in engine

Boeing honors Gold Star family at KC-46 delivery

March 5, 2020 in Defense

Tribute to Air Force staff sergeant who served as tanker boom operator

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Senior Air Force official calls Boeing a 'US icon' Image

Senior Air Force official calls Boeing a 'US icon'

December 9, 2019 in Defense

Boeing-USAF team clears flight-test milestones

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Watch the KC-46 in action