Air Force Taps Selfridge ANGB as Next KC-46A Location

The next-gen aerial refuelers are projected to start arriving in 2029.

A Boeing KC-46A Pegasus takes off at Yokota Air Base, Japan, in 2018. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

Selfridge Air National Guard Base (ANGB), Michigan, has been selected as the preferred base for a dozen KC-46A Pegasus, the U.S. Air Force announced.

The decision would modernize fleet operations at the base, where the 12 tankers would replace aging KC-135 Stratotankers, set to begin divestment in 2028, and A-10C Thunderbolt II fighters, which will begin divestment in 2026.

The final decision about the KC-46A host location is pending review of an environmental impact analysis, which is expected in 2026, the service said.

Once completed, it would still be years before the aircraft would arrive, according to the Air Force.

"Selfridge ANGB is slated to receive 12 new KC-46s that are projected to start arriving in 2029 and will bring enhanced capabilities, such as boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, worldwide navigations and communication, cargo capacity on the entire main deck floor, receiver air refueling, improved force protection, and multipoint air refueling capability," the Air Force said.

Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.) commented on the announcement in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“This decision will not stop me from pushing to bring a new fighter mission to Selfridge as well,” Peters said. “Selfridge is absolutely essential not only to Michigan's defense footprint and economy but to American national security." 

The door for fighters at the base remains open, according to service officials. "Selfridge ANGB is not precluded from being considered for a fighter aircraft mission or other potential missions in the future," the Air Force said.

The Air Force first began operating the next-gen tanker in 2019 and has signed a contract with Boeing to purchase up to 179 of the aircraft, including options for more. In December, the Air Force awarded Boeing a $2.3 billion contract award to purchase 15 additional KC-46A tankers, which increased global orders for the aerial refuelers to 153, Boeing said at the time.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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