NEW DELHI: The U.S. Air Force has exercised the option for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) third and fourth Boeing KC-46 tanker through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) process.
“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.
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.
“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 JASDF on its 767 production line in Everett. Japan’s first KC-46 is scheduled for delivery in 2021.