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KC-46 tanker aircraft completes flight tests ahead of first delivery

July 13 (UPI) — The KC-46 Pegasus has successfully completed its final flight tests, setting the stage for delivery of the first aircraft to the U.S. Air Force in late October.

The joint Boeing and Air Force team tested the Remote Vision System and completed tanker aircraft refueling certifications for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-17 Globemaster III, the Air Force announced Friday.

The testing also included the KC-46 being refueled by the current KC-135 Stratotanker, which fulfills minimum qualifications for delivery of the aircraft.

“With this milestone complete, the test program has demonstrated a level of maturity that positions Boeing to deliver, and the Air Force to accept, an aircraft by the end of October 2018,” Air Force service acquisition executive Dr. Will Roper said in a press release.

The successful testing and certifications mean that operational testing of the tanker can begin in 2019.

The KC-46 Pegasus is a wide-bodied aerial refueling tanker jet being developed for the U.S. Air Force. It is capable of refueling all U.S. and allied military aircraft capable of mid-air refueling.

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