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Boeing’s First Japanese KC-46 Tanker performs maiden flight

Cover photo by @mikekeightleyphotography

The first Boeing KC-46 produced for the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has performed its first flight.

The 767-based aerial refuelling plane flew from Paine Field, Washington, marking an important milestone as the aircraft now shifts into the certification phase of development.

Japan is the first KC-46 Pegasus international customer, with the first delivery is scheduled for this year. The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force has ordered three tankers so far. The fact that the JASDF is not planning to retire the currently-operated KC-767s suggests that the new Pegasus aircraft will integrate with them.

A Japanese Air Self-Defense Force KC-767 refuelling an F-15. Source: JASDF

The KC-46 will be assembled in the Everett production line, however, Boeing states that 16% of the airframe structure will be produced by Japanese partner industries.

Matteo Tivan

Matteo is a writer for AviationHub365, who lives in Northern Italy. Whilst he enjoys all types aviation, he mainly focuses on military news and analysis. Matteo enjoys flying RC aircraft and going to airshows to capture images of aircraft.

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