Gen, Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of Air Mobility Command (AMC), said AMC plans to adopt a conditions-based approach to increase operational use of the KC-46 Pegasus tanker manufactured by Boeing as the aircraft program reaches for full operational capability, the Air Force reported Wednesday.
“AMC is working hard to ensure U.S. Transportation Command has the tanker capacity necessary to meet Joint Force requirements,” Van Ovost said Wednesday during a media roundtable at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. “To meet these requirements, we are exploring a variety of options or ‘tanker levers’ to relieve stress on today’s force, including a limited, operational use of the KC-46 on a conditions-based approach.”
Through the approach, Van Ovost said the command intends to certify mission sets on an incremental basis to increase tanker capacity to support Joint Force operational taskings.
“What changes with this approach is we will now commit the KC-46 to execute missions similar to those they’ve been conducting over the past few years in the Operational Test and Evaluation plan, but can now include operational tasking from USTRANSCOM,” said Van Ovost. “Through this conditions-based approach, we expect to increase overall tanker capacity by bringing daily taskable KC-46 operational capabilities at scale and predicted reliability for joint force employment.”
Boeing kicked off low-rate initial production of the tanker in 2016.