How Boeing’s KC-46A Accelerates Mission Readiness for the Joint Power At the moment and into the Future

June 1, 2023

As near-peer adversaries have elevated their attain and lethality, the U.S. Air Power is accelerating the tanker fleet recapitalization and aggressively pulling ahead the Subsequent Technology Aerial Refueling System (NGAS) to fulfill the risk.

Globally working the KC-46A has superior mission readiness for the joint drive because the service strategizes the trail to a future “staff of programs” for aerial refueling.

Extending the KC-46A program of document presents three key distinct benefits to the warfighter:

  • First, the KC-46 is prepared now and primed to evolve for the long run. 
  • Second, the KC-46A presents unmatched entry and operational functionality.
  • Third, extending the KC-46A fleet frees up sources for future U.S. Air Power funding in NGAS.

Prepared Now, Evolving for the Future

Boeing is already constructing and delivering combat-ready KC-46As to the U.S. Air Power and allies in partnership with its provider community of 650 U.S. enterprise. These suppliers make use of 37,000 American staff all through greater than 40 states

No different tanker meets the stringent airworthiness and efficiency necessities of the U.S. Air Power and Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing’s substantial investments to fulfill these exact and distinctive necessities have made the KC-46A essentially the most superior multi-mission refueling system on the earth. Some other plane would require restarting the event course of simply to catch as much as the KC-46A, delaying the mission readiness of the warfighter—and at a value which the taxpayer would bear. 

With the KC-46A, the U.S. Air Power can concentrate on evolving for the long run by integrating emergent technological capabilities that can profit generations of service members. For instance, Boeing partnered with the Air Power to subject the Pegasus’s Distant Imaginative and prescient System 2.0 improve, which has been designed and developed side-by-side with engineers and increase operators to make sure it’s precisely what’s wanted for the mission. 

The U.S. Air Power has additionally designated the Pegasus for the primary Superior Battle Administration System implementation, constructing on the KC-46A’s current knowledge and communications connectivity.

Unmatched Entry and Operational Functionality

Along with refueling assist, the KC-46A delivers combat-ready defensive options and knowledge connectivity mandatory in a multi-mission tanker for the twenty first century warfighter—capabilities that weren’t historically baked into legacy tankers.

Proven right here with a C-17, the Pegasus delivers knowledge to the joint drive, in addition to gasoline, enabling fleet battlespace consciousness and decision-making benefit. (Photograph credit score: Paul Weatherman, Boeing)

Armed with knowledge hyperlinks and an built-in tactical situational consciousness suite, the KC-46A tanker and crew can relay complete battlespace consciousness to warfighters and long-range again to base for real-time data superiority in operational choices. That data benefit that can additional improve because the KC-46A integrates Superior Battle Administration System capabilities in addition to upgrades together with military-certified Gen 6 radios and extra line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight communications applied sciences with anti-jamming and encryption options. Delivering knowledge and communications connectivity in addition to gasoline makes the KC-46A a sport changer for the joint drive.

The multi-mission KC-46A Pegasus tanker additionally allows Agile Fight Employment—one of many Air Power’s seven Operational Imperatives—by accessing extra small bases and austere airfields, maximizing maneuverability of the USAF fleet all through huge operational theaters, and guaranteeing fleet connectivity in contested environments. 

By leveraging a community of smaller, dispersed places, the KC-46A facilitates ‘extra booms within the air’—extra refuelers unfold all through the operational theater and nearer to the battlespace—giving warfighters faster entry to gasoline to allow them to keep within the combat the place they’re wanted. The KC-46A also can obtain gasoline, in contrast to many legacy tankers, extending its mission vary and suppleness.

With its defensive options and countermeasures, the KC-46A gives gasoline, knowledge and multi-mission transportation to assist all aspects of air mobility into the tactical fringe of contested environments.

Sustainment Financial savings to Make investments for the Future

The KC-46A fleet additionally brings lifecycle sustainment benefits for the U.S. Air Power, liberating up sources to fulfill future wants.

With extra KC-46As already in service than any tanker besides the Boeing-built KC-135, extending the KC-46 program of document ensures mission readiness at the moment and generates operational and sustainment financial savings that may be reinvested in future capabilities. (Photograph credit score: Tech. Sgt. Victoria Nelson, U.S. Air Nationwide Guard)

Because the KC-46 fleet lately surpassed 50,000 flight hours and 1000’s of upkeep duties carried out, the Air Power and Boeing can confidently start fine-tuning the upkeep program primarily based on sturdy fleet efficiency knowledge, an enchancment relative to the preliminary conservative assumptions of a brand new program. For instance, because the KC-46A fleet flight hours have grown, the U.S. Air Power and Boeing are optimizing the frequency of scheduled upkeep primarily based on the platform’s confirmed efficiency and dependability, yielding value avoidance and growing upkeep efficiencies. 

This is only one side of the time, effort, and useful resource financial savings that will likely be gained by extending the KC-46A program of document—financial savings that may be reinvested in future programs and capabilities, comparable to NGAS, and in advancing Operational Imperatives, together with resilient basing improvement.

Accelerating Aerial Refueling Mission Readiness

At the same time as recapitalizing the KC-135 with the KC-46A stays a precedence, Boeing will assist the Air Power because it defines the necessities and idea of operations for future aerial refueling groups of programs. Boeing repeatedly develops progressive options to ship superior capabilities for purchasers, together with subsequent era “staff of programs”-enabling platforms, applied sciences and ideas of operation, in addition to manufacturing and lifecycle assist. The Pegasus is the world’s most superior multi-mission aerial refueling system at the moment and continues to evolve as a pathway to NGAS. Extending the KC-46 program of document gives manufacturing, operational and sustainment benefits that guarantee U.S. mission readiness now and enduring fast world mobility and energy projection benefit for the long run.