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Boeing wins new KC-46A Pegasus contract

Boeing wins new KC-46A Pegasus contract

The global prime has been tasked with delivering additional tanker aircraft to the Japanese government.

The global prime has been tasked with delivering additional tanker aircraft to the Japanese government.

Boeing has secured a contract to deliver two additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), taking the total size of the future fleet to six.

Thus far, Boeing has delivered two of the six aircraft in October 2021 and February 2022.

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“The unmatched versatility and multi-mission capabilities of the KC-46A tanker further support JASDF’s air mobility mission,” James Burgess, vice president and KC-46 program manager, said.

“The growing global KC-46A fleet increases the interoperability advantages for our customers, ensuring mission readiness as well as value for their investment.”

The KC-46A Pegasus is designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures.

The platform has flown more than 10,000 sorties and reportedly delivers millions of pounds of fuel each month.

The KC-46A is also capable of delivering data connectivity, personnel, cargo, and aeromedical transportation.

“This additional KC-46A acquisition reinforces the US-Japan security alliance to support security and stability throughout the Pacific region,” Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan, added.

“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.”

In total, Boeing has delivered 67 KC-46A tankers — 65 of which were delivered to the US Air Force.

This latest contract with the government of Japan was awarded via the US Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales process.

The aircraft are built in Everett, Washington, with 16 per cent of the KC-46A airframe set to be manufactured by Japanese partners.

The announcement of this award comes just days after Boeing’s High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) — designed to enable the Boeing P-8A Poseidon to deploy MK 54 torpedoes from near or below its cruising altitude —officially achieved initial operational capability (IOC) after satisfying US Navy requirements during a test and evaluation process.

This follows Boeing’s receipt of a full-rate production contract in August for the provision of squadron training and low-rate initial production units.

HAAWC leverages a modular Air Launch Accessory (ALA) kit, which attaches to a MK 54 torpedo, transforming it into a precision-guided glide weapon.

[Related: Boeing HAAWC achieves IOC]

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