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Israel moving closer to order KC-46A tanker aircraft for its Air Force


The Israeli armed forces are moving closer to placing an order for new KC-46 tanker aircraft in order to renew the Air Force's fleet.


Israel moving closer to order KC 46A tanker aircraft for its Air Force A Boeing-built KC-46A refuelling a fighter aircraft (Picture Source: Boeing)


On June 19, IsraelDefense magazine reported that the Israeli government had submitted a Letter of Request (LoR) for the purchase of two Boeing KC-46 in-air refuelling tanker aircraft. The request indicates an option for an additional six, the publication noted.

A contract has not yet been signed. Israel has been known to be examining a possible buy of either the KC-46 or Lockheed Martin's Multi-Role Tanker Transport, based on the Airbus A330. Several publications, including IsraelDefense, reported in April 2019 that the government was preparing to move forward with an LoR for the Boeing aircraft.

Assuming Israel purchases the KC-46s, the first of the two could be delivered in either 2022 or 2023. In addition to new tanker aircraft, Israel is in the process of evaluating new purchases of fighter aircraft as well as transport helicopters. It is examining options produced by Boeing and Lockheed Martin and could complete decisions on these in the coming months.

As a reminder, the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a military aerial refuelling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. Boeing began developing the KC-46A Pegasus tanker for the U.S. Air Force in 2011 and is assembling the 767-derivative aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility. The first flight of the fully-provisioned KC-46 tanker took place in September 2015. Six test aircraft have now completed more than 2,200 flight hours and conducted refuelling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10 and KC-46 aircraft.