Boeing has been awarded two contracts – with a combined worth that exceeds $3bn – to produce another 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers for the US Air Force (USAF) and to build and deliver the four examples ordered by Israel through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process.
The two separate contracts were awarded to Boeing by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center on August 31. The first – worth approximately $2.2bn – is a contract modification that exercises the USAF’s option to acquire 15 additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers under Production Lot 8. This deal also includes the provision of related data, subscriptions and licences. Work under this contract will be performed at Boeing’s facility in Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by November 30, 2025.
The second deal – worth approximately $927.4m – is a not-to-exceed undefinitized contract action that involves the production and delivery of four KC-46As to the Israeli Air Force (IAF). This contract also covers the non-recurring engineering design and test for platform-specific mission equipment, including the Remote Vision System 2.0 and the Air Refueling Operator Station 2.0, along with the provision of pre-delivery integrated logistics support and technical publications. Work under this contract will also be performed at Boeing’s facility in Seattle and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2026.
US State Department approval of this FMS, which covers up to eight KC-46As and related equipment, to the Israeli government was announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on March 3, 2020. With this order, Israel will become the third nation to operate the Pegasus – an extensively modified and militarised tanker derivative of the Boeing 767 airliner – after the US and Japan. The Israeli Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced it had signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for the first two KC-46As on February 22, 2021.
At present, the IAF operates an ageing fleet of Boeing KC-707 Re’em tankers, which entered operational service in the 1980s and are currently operated by No 120 ‘Desert Giants’ Squadron from Nevatim Air Base. The KC-46A is expected to replace the Israeli KC-707 fleet in the air-to-air refuelling role when it formally enters operational service later this decade.