Japan orders second KC-46A

Boeing received a $158.95 million firm-fixed-price contract from the US Air Force to build a second KC-46A Pegasus for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) on December 6. Work on the tanker/transport must be complete by June 30, 2021. Japan has already ordered one KC-46A via the US Air Force in a $279 million deal signed in December 2017.

The US State Department approved a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal in 2016 allowing Japan to buy four KC-46As, related equipment, training, and support for the JASDF at a cost of $1.9 billion.

Japan’s first Pegasus is scheduled for delivery in 2020, but the whole KC-46A programme has been dogged by delays, chiefly because of Boeing’s failure to achieve certification for various aspects of the programme. The delivery date of the first 18 aircraft to the US Air Force slipped from August 2017 and the first one was not delivered until January 10, 2019.