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.
Boeing KC-46 for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) being moved to the compass rose at Paine Field yesterday pic.twitter.com/JDGR48QzpH
— Sabian404 (@Sabian404) January 9, 2021
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.
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.