Boeing has received a contract from the US Air Force to build a second KC-46A tanker for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The deal is reportedly worth $159 million (£126.4 million).

Boeing was awarded the initial contract for Japan’s first KC-46 aircraft and various logistics services in December 2017, following the Japan Ministry of Defense’s KC-X aerial refuelling competition.

The KC-46 is a multi-role tanker designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures. It can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Col. John Newberry, US Air Force KC-46 System Program Manager, said: “Japan’s new tankers will not only enhance interoperability with the US Air Force, but also play an important role in the security partnership between our two countries.”

John Suding, Boeing Global Sales and Marketing Asia regional executive, added: “Japan is our first KC-46 international partner and 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.”

Boeing began developing the KC-46A Pegasus tanker for the US Air Force in 2011 and is assembling the aircraft, which is derived from the 767-2CA, at its Everett, Washington facility.

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