21:01 GMT20 April 2021
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    Assembly of the first 19 Pegasus tanker planes is set to begin under a $2.8 billion contract from the US Air Force, the defense contractor Boeing announced in a press release.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The KC-46 Pegasus is a wide-body, multirole tanker that can refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, according to the Boeing website.

    "The KC-46 tanker will provide the Air Force unprecedented refueling capabilities, operational flexibility and combat readiness," Boeing Defense, Space and Security President Leanne Caret said in the release on Thursday.

    Boeing received an initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the next-generation tanker aircraft, the release noted.

    The company has since built four test aircraft, which have completed more than 1,000 flight hours to date, the release explained.

    Boeing said the first planes from the $2.8 billion contract are scheduled for delivery in 2017.


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