The first Boeing KC-46 tanker destined for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) took to the skies on its maiden flight yesterday.
The aircraft now transitions into the certification phase of development.
Japan is the KC-46 program’s first international customer and is scheduled to receive its first jet this year.
The KC-46 refueling certification encompasses U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and JASDF aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $279 million contract for the JASDF’s first KC-46A tanker in December 2017. The agreement was completed through the Foreign Military Sale process between the U.S. government and Japan. Japan is now on contract for a total of four KC-46 tankers.
Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft for both the U.S. Air Force and Japan on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington. Boeing’s Japanese partners produce 16% of the KC-46 airframe structure.