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Boeing lands $158M order for Japan's second KC-46A tanker


Boeing has been awarded a $158 million contract to produce a second KC-46A aircraft for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), the US Department of Defense said on December 6, 2018.


Boeing lands 58M order for Japans second KC 46A tanker 001 Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker and transport aircraft
(Credit: Boeing)


This modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of one aircraft being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Seattle and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2021. 

On December 2017, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $279 million contract for the JASDF’s first KC-46 tanker and logistics support, marking the aircraft’s first international sale.

Japan chose Boeing’s KC-46 tanker over competitors following its KC-X aerial refueling competition. The KC-46 adds to the JASDF’s current fleet of four KC-767J tankers.

The KC-46 is a multirole tanker designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Boeing began developing the KC-46A Pegasus tanker for the U.S. Air Force in 2011 and is assembling the 767-derivative aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility.

First flight of the fully-provisioned KC-46 tanker took place in September 2015. Six test aircraft have now completed more than 2,200 flight hours and conducted refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10 and KC-46 aircraft.

In addition to refueling, the KC-46 features a main deck cargo door and strengthened cargo deck. The floor includes seat tracks and a cargo handling system, allowing for a variety of mission configurations. The system enables KC-46 to simultaneously carry palletized cargo, personnel and aeromedical equipment in a variety of combinations. The highly reliable 767 derivative will also deliver tremendous savings through lower lifecycle costs compared to other larger or used aircraft.

Sixteen percent of the 767 airplane, on which the KC-46 tanker is based, is made with Japan. The Boeing-Japan relationship grows and expands with partnership opportunities in the space, commercial and defense businesses, continuing a legacy that spans more than 60 years. Boqseing currently spends more than $5 billion annually in Japan, making the country the largest supply base for Boeing outside the United States. Boeing opened its first office in Japan in 1953 and now has approximately 200 employees at more than 20 major sites across the country.