Japan Picks Pegasus

Japan selected Boeing’s KC-46A Pegasus to augment the Japan Air Self Defense Force’s existing tanker fleet, becoming Pegasus’ first export customer, Japan’s Ministry of Defense stated in a release. “We look forward to working alongside the US g?overnment to help Japan expand its aerial refueling capabilities with Boeing’s next-generation KC-46 tanker,” Boeing wrote in a statement to Air Force Magazine, Oct. 27. The JASDF currently operates a fleet of four KC-767s and plans to purchase three KC-46As to expand its aerial refueling capacity. Japan’s existing tankers were delivered through 2010, and are based on a slightly shorter variant of Boeing’s 767. Airbus declined to offer its A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport in Japan’s KC-X competition, citing selection criteria that favored Boeing’s design, reported Flight Global. The fully provisioned KC-46 made its maiden flight in September. The US is also providing six surplus KC-130R tankers, refurbished from storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., under a separate foreign military sales deal.