The U.S. Air Force posted a brand new video that displayed the refueling capabilities of two of its the latest planes – of the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus refueling tanker and F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter.
Air Force’s latest aircraft completed a significant accomplishment recently at Edwards Air Force Base, California, based on 412th Test Wing Public Affairs.
In July, the 418th Flight Test Squadron, who’s overseeing testing of the KC-46 Pegasus, and the 461st FLTS, who’s managing testing of the F-35 Lightning II, completed receiver certification testing with the platforms.
The most recent milestone is another step towards enhancing capabilities that will straight impact the warfighter said Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton, 461st FLTS commander and F-35 Integrated Test Force director.
“The ability for the F-35 to receive fuel from the KC-46 is an amazing capability for the warfighter,” Hamilton said. “Via our combined test effort, the F-35 will quickly gain clearance that’s the foundation of a plane pairing, F-35, and KC-46, that will define the battlespace for years to come.”
The KC-46A Pegasus is intended to begin replacing the Air Force’s aging tanker line, which has been refueling planes for over five decades. With more refueling quota and enhanced capabilities, improved performance and increased capabilities for cargo and aeromedical evacuation, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling assistance to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps in addition to allied nation planes.
The Air Force accepted the KC-46, and the first two planes were delivered to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, on January 25. The KC-46 builds on the capabilities of different refuelers like the KC-10 and KC-135. The KC-46 can be refueled mid-air and has improved communication, self-protection, and situational awareness abilities.