The U.S. Air Force has exercised the option for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) third and fourth Boeing [NYSE: BA] KC-46 tanker through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) process. Boeing’s KC-46 will be a force multiplier in the U.S.-Japanese defense alliance. It can refuel U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, any time, on any mission, and can carry passengers, cargo and patients whenever and wherever needed.
“Japan’s new tankers will play an invaluable role in the security alliance between our two countries,” said Col. Jason Lindsey, U.S. Air Force KC-46 System program manager.
“This order further enhances our enduring partnership with Japan,” said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan. “The KC-46 will be an unparalleled asset to Japan’s air mobility fleet for decades to come.”
Boeing was awarded the initial FMS contract for Japan’s first KC-46 aircraft and logistics services in December 2017 following the Japan Ministry of Defense’s KC-X aerial refueling competition. A contract for a second KC-46 was awarded to Boeing in December 2018. Boeing assembles KC-46A aircraft for both the U.S. Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF, Kōkū Jieitai), on its 767 production line in Everett. Japan’s first KC-46 is scheduled for delivery in 2021.
The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. In February 2011, the tanker was selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. The first aircraft was delivered to the Air Force in January 2019.The Pegasus is a variant of the Boeing 767 and is a widebody, low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional tail unit featuring a single fin and rudder. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and a hydraulic flight control system. The Pegasus is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines, one mounted under each wing.