First E-2D Capable of Aerial Refueling Joins the Fleet

September 12, 2019 – An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye capable of aerial refueling landed at Naval Station Norfolk Sept. 9, officially marking the arrival of this upgraded aircraft to the fleet. “This is an important day for naval aviation as we continue to increase our capabilities and maintain our competitive edge in the skies,” said Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, “This capability will extend the endurance of Hawkeyes, increasing the Navy’s battlespace awareness and integrated fire control – both from the air and the sea.” The…

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Effort to Clear Navy, USMC F-35 Night Refueling Envelope

March 27, 2019 – The F-35 program recently completed testing on an improved lighting assembly with the KC-135 that will enable the Navy and Marine Corps F-35 variants to refuel behind the tanker at night. Flight testing of the redesigned light, which attaches to a refueling probe, was led by Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, and supported by Edwards Air Force Base, California. The test demonstrated teamwork across three services and between test units located on opposite coasts, all focused on quickly evaluating this lighting fix under specific nighttime…

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Boeing Awarded $2.9 Billion for Fourth KC-46A Tanker Production Lot

September 10, 2018 – The U.S. Air Force today awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $2.9 billion contract for 18 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spares, support equipment, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits. With this fourth production lot, Boeing now is on contract for 52 KC-46 tankers. Boeing received its first two production lots, for 7 and 12 aircraft, in August 2016. The third lot, for 15 aircraft, was awarded in January 2017. “We’re excited to partner with the Air Force on an aircraft that will provide its fleet unmatched…

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Boeing Shares Sneak Peek of Aerial Refueler for MQ-25 Competition

Boeing for the first time is showing what it believes is the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) best suited for refueling U.S. Navy jets operating from aircraft carriers. Through its MQ-25 competition, the Navy is seeking unmanned refueling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. The MQ-25 will also have to seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems. “Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years,” said Don…

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E-2D Aerial Refueling Test Flight Results in a Topped-off Tank

Another major milestone was reached on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program this summer, when the first E-2D equipped with aerial refueling successfully received its first in-flight fuel transfer from a tanker aircraft on July 14. During the four-hour flight, the pilots performed 10 dry plugs and two wet plugs, resulting in the successful transfer of more than 1,700 pounds of fuel from a U.S. Navy KC-130 Hercules to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. ”Passing fuel for the first time airborne is a significant milestone in the development of this critical technology…

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