Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire has begun updating 1950s-era hangars once occupied by Boeing B-47 Stratojets and KC-97 Stratofreighters, of Strategic Air Command, to accommodate the manufacturer’s newest creation, the Boeing KC-46.

As part of the hangar expansion and modernisation, buildings 253 and 254 will be remodelled ahead of the arrival of 12 Pegasus tankers in February 2018.

The US Air Force broke ground on the construction project last week and said, in a 24 September statement, that construction will be completed in 2017.

Pease ANGB is third in line to receive the new tanker, after McConnell AFB in Kansas and the KC-46A formal training unit being established at Altus AFB, Oklahoma.

McConnell AFB will accommodate 36 tankers and should start receiving the aircraft in 2016.

The air force expects to introduce 179 KC-46As up to 2028 to replace the Boeing KC-135, and the manufacturer is under pressure to deliver the first batch of 18 operational aircraft by August 2017.

The development programme is over budget and about a year behind schedule. The first fully-configured tanker is scheduled make its first flight on 25 September.


The first KC-46 test aircraft, in the 767-2C configuration, has been conducting airworthiness certification flights since December, 2014.