The first Boeing KC-46 tanker aircraft destined for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has completed its maiden flight.
The first flight marks a major milestone in the delivery programme as the aircraft will now move into the certification phase of development.
KC-46 programme manager Jamie Burgess said: “This is an exciting milestone for the JASDF and Boeing.
“Japan is getting closer to receiving the most advanced air refuelling tanker in the world.”
Japan will receive a total of four KC-46 tankers, the first of which is expected to be delivered this year. Notably, Japan is the KC-46 programme’s first international customer.
The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aircraft is designed as a multirole tanker capable of refuelling all US, allied and coalition military aircraft. The aircraft can carry passengers, cargo and patients, as well as operate safely in medium-threat environments.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
It has a maximum take-off weight of 415,000lb and can travel at a maximum speed of 650mph.
Boeing Japan president Will Shaffer said: “Boeing’s KC-46 and its robust defensive systems will play an invaluable role in the security alliance between our two countries.
“This tanker’s ability to carry cargo and passengers also makes it a critical tool to support humanitarian relief efforts across the Pacific region and beyond.”
The company is assembling KC-46A aircraft for US Air Force (USAF) and Japan at its 767 production line in Everett, Washington, US.
Last month, Boeing received two multi-billion KC-46 tanker contracts for the USAF. The contracts increased the total number of aircraft ordered by the USAF to 94.