EVERETT, Washington, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Earlier this week, 10th December 2018, Boeing revealed that the U.S. Air Force has exercised the option for the Japan Air Self-Defence Force’s second Boeing KC-46 tanker through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) process, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
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Col. John Newberry, U.S. Air Force KC-46 System Program Manager, commented, “Japan’s new tankers will not only enhance interoperability with the U.S. Air Force, but also play an important role in the security partnership between our two countries.”
The initial FMS contract for the first KC-46 aircraft and miscellaneous logistics services for the needs of Japan was awarded to Boeing in December 2017.
John Suding, Boeing Global Sales and Marketing Asia regional executive, reminded that Japan is the first KC-46 international partner of the company and added, “We look forward to delivering this highly capable, multi-role tanker to the JASDF. The KC-46 will be much easier to maintain than previous tankers, improving reliability and lowering life-cycle costs. It will be a valuable addition to Japan’s air mobility fleet for decades to come.”
The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a multirole tanker developed to refuel military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures. It can carry cargo, passengers, and patients.
Boeing began developing the KC-46A Pegasus tanker for the U.S. Air Force in 2011. The first flight of the fully-provisioned KC-46 tanker was performed in September 2015. As of the moment, more than 3,700 flight hours have been completed by six test aircraft that have supplied more than four million pounds of fuel in flight to AV-8B, C-17, A-10, F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, B-52, KC-10, KC-46 and KC-135 aircraft.
Japan was reportedly attracted to its capability to refuel MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors.
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Source: Boeing, Wikipedia