Defense

April 23, 2014

Altus, McConnell AFBs selected to receive KC-46A Pegasus aircraft

Air Force officials announced April 23, that Altus Air Force Base, Okla., is the Air Forces KC-46A Pegasus formal training unit and McConnell AFB, Kansas, is the first active duty-led Pegasus main operating base.

The KC-46A Pegasus aerial tanker remains one of our top three acquisition priorities, said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. Making a final basing decision is an important step in recapitalizing the tanker fleet. We will begin to replace our aging tanker fleet in 2016, but even when the program is complete in 2028, we will have replaced less than half of the current tanker fleet and will still be flying over 200 half-century-old KC-135 (Stratotankers).

Both Altus AFB and McConnell AFB were selected as preferred alternatives in May 2013. The Air Force recently completed the environmental analysis required by the National Environmental Protection Act to provide further information concerning the basing process.

Air Force officials analyzed operational considerations, installation attributes, economic and environmental factors for each location before making a final basing decision. They also explained their rationale for choosing Altus AFB and McConnell AFB.

“The Air Force chose these bases using operational analysis, results of site surveys and military judgment factors,” said Timothy Bridges, the Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations.

Altus was selected as the formal training unit for the KC-46A because it provides great training opportunities, Bridges said. There is significant benefit of collocating KC-46A trainers with both tanker and heavy receiver aircraft for training purposes.

The formal training unit and first main operating base will begin receiving aircraft in fiscal year 2016. A final basing decision for the first Air National Guard main operating base is expected in summer 2014, with the first aircraft scheduled to arrive in fiscal 2018.

Altus AFB also has better infrastructure capacity and requires considerably less new construction, Bridges added.

There is already a formal training wing located at Altus AFB; therefore, less active-duty manpower will be required to stand up the training operation.

The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are vital to accomplishing our air refueling mission, Bridges explained. Therefore, the Air Force will also build on the existing classic association with the Air Force Reserve.

Officials said McConnell AFB was selected as the first main operating base for the KC-46A because it has the lowest military construction costs and is located in a region of high air refueling receiver demand. McConnell AFB already has 44 KC-135 refueling aircraft assigned. Replacing those aircraft with 36 KC-46A aircraft will require the lowest manpower adjustments of the candidate installations.

Tankers are the lifeblood of our joint forces ability to respond to crisis and contingencies, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. The Pegasus will be capable of day and night operations and enable a rapid, global capability that will support U.S., joint, allied and coalition forces. The aircraft will also underpin our humanitarian missions.

Welsh also committed to ensuring continued support of combatant commander tanker requirements during a tanker recapitalization effort that will last decades by continuing to fully fund upgrades and improvements to the KC-135 fleet.

As the first KC-46As enter into service, older KC-135s will be retired or transferred.

With the selection of McConnell AFB, the special operations air refueling training mission will remain close to its primary customers in the Southeast. McConnell is also an ideal central location for the new KC-46A Regional Maintenance Training Center.
Subsequent KC-46A decisions will use similar criteria.

The KC-46A will provide improved capability, including boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, world-wide navigation and communication and airlift capability on the entire main deck floor. It is also capable of receiver air refueling, improved force protection and survivability, and multi-point air refueling capability.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 1, 2015

News: Marine F-35 jets deemed ready for combat – A small batch of the highly anticipated – and much criticized – F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets have been approved for combat by the U.S. Marine Corps.   News: Reports: China to sell J-10 fighter to Iran, Syria? – Iran is rumored external link to be buying 150...
 
 

News Briefs August 3, 2015

Russian military helicopter crashes during air show, one dead A Russian military helicopter crashed Aug. 2 during an aerobatic display, killing one of its crewmembers and injuring another, the Defense Ministry said. The Mi-28 helicopter gunship was part of a flight of helicopters performing aerobatics at the Dubrovichi firing range in Ryazan region, about 170...
 
 
Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

Improved Multiple Launch Rocket System tested at White Sands Missile Range

Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton A Multiple Launch Rocket System with an improved armored cab fires a training rocket during a test. The rockets were simple training rockets and not equipped with a warhead, but still gen...
 

 

Missile Defense Agency, Raytheon demonstrate SM-6’s new anti-ballistic missile defense capability

In a first-of-its-kind test, the U.S. Navy fired a Raytheon Standard Missile-6, intercepting and destroying a short-range ballistic missile target at sea. The successful U.S. Missile Defense Agency test proved a modified SM-6 can eliminate threat ballistic missiles in their final seconds of flight. “SM-6 is the only missile in the world that can do...
 
 

Northrop Grumman-developed stealthy data link validated as combat ready with U.S. Marine Corps

the U.S. Marine Corps achieving F-35B initial operating capability, the Multifunction Advanced Data Link waveform developed by Northrop Grumman has been proven a key combat-ready capability of the F-35 Lightning II program. MADL is a high-data-rate, directional communications link that allows fifth-generation aircraft to communicate and coordinate tactics covertly. During testing of the Lockhee...
 
 

Lockheed Martin technology helps pilots, UAS operators share data, stay safe

As Unmanned Aircraft Systems take to the skies, it is essential for safety that UAS operators and pilots are aware of each other. To help provide this shared situational awareness, Lockheed Martin has deployed the first components of a UAS traffic management system that is available to the UAS community now. Lockheed Martin’s online Flight...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>