Strapped for cash to buy Boeing’s new KC-46 tanker in sufficient numbers to fully replace the legacy fleet, the U.S. Air Force is looking instead to outfit its 60-year-old KC-135 Stratotanker with state-of-the-art survivability upgrades so it can fly for another 40 years. The service is buying 179 next-generation KC-46s as the first step in an ambitious effort to recapitalize its tanker fleet. But even after Boeing’s Pegasus is fully fielded in fiscal 2028, the remaining 300 ...


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