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  • Joe Breitfeller

Japan Air Self Defense Force Orders Two Additional Boeing KC-46A Tankers

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has awarded Boeing a contract for two additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers, bringing the total contract to six airplanes. Boeing delivered their first KC-46A tanker to Japan in October 2021, and a second in February 2022.


Japan KC-46 flies with US KC-46 - Photo Credit: Kevin Flynn/Boeing

On Tuesday (November 29, 2022), Boeing announced that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has ordered two additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers, expanding their commitment to the type to six aircraft. Boeing has already delivered two KC-46As to Japan, the first in October 2021, and the second in February 2022. The aircraft has been designed to refuel all allied and coalition aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling operations. The Pegasus has flown over 10,000 sorties, and is currently delivering millions of pounds of fuel monthly to allied forces worldwide. The KC-46A also delivers multi-mission capabilities, including data connectivity, as well as personnel, cargo and aeromedical transportation.

In Tuesday’s announcement, Boeing Vice President and KC-46 Program Manager, James Burgess, said,


“The unmatched versatility and multi-mission capabilities of the KC-46A tanker further support JASDF’s air mobility mission. The growing global KC-46A fleet increases the interoperability advantages for our customers, ensuring mission readiness as well as value for their investment.”


Also commenting on the incremental KC-46A tanker order, Boeing Japan’s President, Will Shaffer, added,


“This additional KC-46A acquisition reinforces the U.S.-Japan security alliance to support security and stability throughout the Pacific region. Boeing is proud of our enduring partnership with Japan, and we look forward to supporting the nation’s KC-46A fleet that will fly for decades to come.”

JASDF Boeing KC-46A Tanker - Video Credit: Kevin Flynn/Boeing


Boeing has delivered a total of 67 KC-46A tankers, including 65 to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and two to Japan. The aircraft is built on the proven Boeing 767 airframe, an aircraft with over 1,200 deliveries. The contract with the JASDF was awarded by the USAF under the Foreign Military Sales process. Boeing’s KC-46As are built on the company’s 767 production line in Everett, Washington. Additionally, Boeing’s partners in Japan produce approximately 16 percent of the KC-46A airframe structure. The JASDF also currently operates four previous generation Boeing KC0767 aircraft.


Boeing (NYSE: BA) is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading supplier of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, as well as global services. The aerospace giant tops the list of the largest U.S. exporters, providing a significant positive impact to America’s annual GDP. Boeing supports government and commercial customers in over 150 countries and employs more than 160,000 team members worldwide. As Boeing continues to deliver for customers, they are committed to their legacy of aerospace leadership in technology and innovation and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.



Source: Boeing/PRNewswire

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