Boeing has received an order to provide the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) with the third and fourth KC-46 tanker.

The new order follows the exercise of option by the US Air Force (USAF) for additional tankers under a contract that was awarded through the US foreign military sale process.

USAF KC-46 System programme manager colonel Jason Lindsey said: “Japan’s new tankers will play an invaluable role in the security alliance between our two countries.”

Boeing KC-46 aircraft is a multirole tanker that can refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft, which are deployed for any mission at any time.

It can also transport fuel, cargo, passengers, and patients, when necessary.

Boeing Japan president Will Shaffer said: “This order further enhances our enduring partnership with Japan.

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“The KC-46 will be an unparalleled asset to Japan’s air mobility fleet for decades to come.”

In December 2017, Boeing secured a $279m contract to deliver Japan’s first KC-46 aircraft after it won the Japan Ministry of Defense’s KC-X aerial refuelling competition

In December 2018, Boeing secured a contract to deliver a KC-46 aerial refuelling and strategic military transport tanker aircraft to JASDF.

In March this year, Boeing’s KC-46 tanker was hit with a new setback. The company confirmed the same after the USAF reported a new Category 1 fault with the aircraft.