The Air Force Will Soon Have a Plane That Will Make the F-22, F-35 and F-15 Ever Deadlier

The first new, high-tech next-generation KC-46A aerial refueling tanker will be delivered to the service later this year, marking the beginning of a long-sought-after effort to replace the current aging fleet and better enable attack and ISR missions around the globe, The KC 46A will refuel F-22s, F-15s, F-16s, F-35s, C-17 and KC 10s, among others. A new tanker, which will, of course, modernize and sustain the refueling mission for the Air Force, is fundamental to the service’s air superiority and rapid deployability priorities. The new KC-46A tanker will build upon the mission current tankers currently serve, meaning it will be forward- stationed at strategically vital locations around the globe to increase mission length and effectiveness, as needed, for a wide-range of aircraft, Air Force developers said. Extending the strike range of attack aircraft such as an F-15, F-35 or F-22 brings great tactical significance in a modern threat environment wherein long-range strike weapons used by potential adversaries could make it challenging for the Air Force to base and launch fighters within the proper striking proximity. Such a dynamic may be of particular relevance in places like the Pacific, where a much-discussed "tyranny of distance" imposed by the region's geographical expanse can make attack mission access much more challenge Read more: Subscribe:
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