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KC-46A tanker gets new name: Pegasus

Feb. 20, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said the KC-46A tanker will be called 'Pegasus.'
US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said the KC-46A tanker will be called 'Pegasus.' (Boeing)
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ORLANDO, FLA. — The Air Force’s next-generation tanker has a new name, the service’s chief of staff announced Thursday.

Gen. Mark Welsh announced that the KC-46A has been dubbed “Pegasus” during his keynote address at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

“It’s a proud name,” Welsh said. “I had a chance to see the first airplane on the assembly line a few weeks back. It will be flying in June. It’s a real thing now.”

The KC-46A is one of the big three recapitalization programs the Air Force has acted to protect in the budget, alongside the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and new long-range strike bomber. The tanker program will produce 179 new planes to replace the aging KC-135 tanker fleet, with 18 tankers delivered by 2017 and completion of production in 2027.

Welsh used the opportunity to laud the work of Air Mobility Command head Gen. Paul Selva, who was recently nominated to be President Obama’s head of US Transportation Command.

Selva will appear before the Senate March 11, according to Air Force officials.

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