Japan Gets First Boeing KC-46A Tanker

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:08 AM, November 1, 2021
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Japan Gets First Boeing KC-46A Tanker
KC-46A Pegasus tanker @Boeing

Boeing said it delivered the first KC-46A tanker to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) marking the program’s first delivery to a customer outside the United States.

The KC-46A has already completed more than 5,000 sorties and transferred more than 50 million pounds of fuel to other aircraft through its boom and drogue systems.

“With its ability to carry cargo and passengers, the KC-46A tanker can also support Japan’s humanitarian and disaster relief efforts,” said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan.

The multi-role tanker carries 18 military standardized pallets (463L) in cargo configuration and accommodates a mixed load of passengers and cargo. It is also equipped with defensive and tactical situational awareness systems that will help Japan secure and maintain its air superiority.

The U.S. Air Force and JASDF awarded Boeing a Foreign Military Sale contract for this first JASDF KC-46A in December 2017, and exercised an option for a second in December 2018. Options for the third and fourth JASDF KC-46As were exercised in October 2020.

Boeing builds KC-46A aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, JASDF and other international customers on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington. In addition, Boeing’s Japanese partners produce 16% of the KC-46A airframe structure.

Boeing is currently assembling the second KC-46A for Japan and has delivered 48 KC-46As to the U.S. Air Force, beginning with the first delivery in January 2019.

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