With the addition of two new aircraft, the total number of JASDF’s KC-46A aircraft under contract with Boeing becomes six.
The KC-46A Pegasus air-to-air refuelling aircraft has been developed for refuelling allied and partner nations’ military aircraft in compliance with international aerial refuelling procedures.
Boeing Japan president Will Shaffer said: “This additional KC-46A acquisition reinforces the US-Japan security alliance to support security and stability throughout the Pacific region.”
The initial contract for delivering Pegasus aircraft to Japan was awarded to Boeing in 2018, as part of a foreign military sale deal with the US.
In 2020, Boeing received another follow-on contract for the delivery of the third and fourth KC-46A aircraft to Japan.
Boeing handed over the first tanker aircraft to JASDF in October last year. It was the company’s first international delivery of KC-46A aircraft.
The company also completed the delivery of the second aircraft in February.
Including the first two deliveries to Japan, Boeing has so far delivered a total of 67 KC-46A aircraft, of which 65 were for the US Air Force.
The KC-46 aircraft, including that of JASDF, were all built at the company’s 767 production line in Everett, Washington.
However, Boeing said that 16% of the JASDF’s KC-46A airframe structure has been produced by its Japanese industry partners.
Japan’s air force also operates four Boeing-built KC-767 tanker transport aircraft, which is Pegasus’ previous generation.
Boeing vice-president and KC-46 programme manager James Burgess said: “The growing global KC-46A fleet increases the interoperability advantages for our customers, ensuring mission readiness, as well as value for their investment.”