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DUBAI: KC-46A makes debut amid big USA presence

The US Air Force and Navy have made a significant show of force at Dubai this year, with 13 aircraft in the static park spread over 11 different types.

Notable USAF combat assets include the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle. In addition, the KC-46A tanker is making its Dubai debut, alongside an E-3G Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.

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Max Kingsley-Jones / FlightGlobal

The KC-46A is a potential candidate for the UAE. The country operates three Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transports, but has a requirement for three additional tankers.

USN assets visiting from the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln include all variants of the F/A-18 Super Hornet: the single-seat F/A-18E, twin-seat F/A-18F, and the EA-18G electronic warfare aircraft. Also appearing at the show is the carrier-borne E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning & control aircraft, the latest iteration of the venerable E-2.

One notable USN asset is the Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter, which is optimised for mine-hunting missions.

The service says the MH-53E has undergone a fatigue life extension programme, extending the type’s service life to 10,000h, allowing it to serve until 2020.

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