EVERETT, WA—Boeing has begun assembling KC-46A refueling aircraft for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) at its 767 production facility here. Following initial assembly, workers install the tanker’s military unique systems at the site’s Modification Center. The jets are then flight tested at Boeing Field prior to delivery.
“We look forward to building and delivering these multi-role tankers to the JASDF,” says Jamie Burgess, Boeing vice president and KC-46 program manager.
Boeing was awarded a Foreign Military Sale contract for one KC-46A aircraft and logistics services in December 2017. The U.S. Air Force exercised an option for Japan’s second aircraft in December 2018.
The KC-46 will be certified to refuel all JASDF aircraft, as well as U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft. Built to carry passengers, cargo and patients, the KC-46A is a derivative of the commercial 767-2C airliner and freighter. Boeing has delivered more than 1,150 767s worldwide.
Boeing began developing the KC-46A for the U.S. Air Force in 2011 and delivered the first tanker in January 2019. Japan is the program’s first international customer. Deliveries to the JASDF will begin in 2021.