The Japanese Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) has received its fourth KC-767 aerial refuelling tanker from Boeing.

The 1st Airlift Wing of the JASDF at Komaki Air Base has received the KC-767 from Itochu Corp, Boeing’s partner on the tanker programme.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said that because of these tankers, Japan now had the capability to perform vital self-defence, refuelling and airlift missions.

“Also, when necessary, it possesses the capability to perform critical humanitarian and disaster-relief missions across the Pacific region and beyond using the KC-767,” Muilenburg said.

A military derivative of the proven 767-200ER commercial wide-body aircraft, the KC-767 has been built at Boeing’s commercial production facilities in Everett, Washington.

Configured with the advanced Boeing air refuelling boom and remote aerial refuelling operator (RARO) II system, the KC-767 tanker also has an open architecture cockpit.

The convertible freighter configuration enables the KC-767 to carry cargo or passengers while maintaining its primary role as an aerial tanker.

The KC-767 fleet, which achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in March 2009, is currently undergoing operational evaluation by the JASDF.

Japan received its first three KC-767 tankers from Boeing in February 2008, March 2008 and March 2009.