skip to main content

Paris Air Show 2023: Boeing to team with Aurora to enhance KC-46A defensive aids suite

A US Air Force KC-46A Pegasus tanker-transport featured in the US Department of Defense corral at the Paris Air Show 2023. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Boeing is to team with Aurora Flight Sciences to enhance the defensive capabilities of its KC-46A Pegasus tanker-transport aircraft, the manufacturer announced at the Paris Air Show on 20 June.

Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing company, is leading the research and conceptual design of composite components geared at enhancing operational survivability for aerial refuelling and mobility missions, Boeing said. This work will also focus on producibility and manufacturing at Aurora's Columbus, Mississippi, manufacturing facility.

According to Boeing, the KC-46A already features defensive systems and data integration for multimission aerial refuelling support closer to the battlespace than existing tankers. β€œWith more data for the crew and fleet, including recent Block 1 upgrades to further enhance connectivity, the Pegasus can see and relay threat information to joint force warfighters for greater fleet survivability and mission success,” the company said.

In service with the US Air Force (USAF), and selected by Israel and Japan also, the KC-46A is a 767-2C provisioned freighter with a 767-400 flight deck (this flight deck features the Rockwell Collins large-format displays of the 787 airliner). The KC-46A has a minimum crew of three comprising a pilot, a co-pilot, and a mission system operator or officer. It can carry 96 tonnes of fuel, although it should be noted that the KC-46A loses much of its underfloor cargo space with auxiliary tanks in doing so.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...