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Japan orders three Boeing KC-46A aerial refuelling and transport aircraft

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World Defense & Security News - Japan
 
 
Japan orders three Boeing KC-46A aerial refuelling and transport aircraft
 
The Japanese government said Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, it has selected Boeing Co.'s KC-46A as country's new aerial tanker, and plans to begin adding the aircraft to the Air Self-Defense Force fleet from around fiscal 2020. Japan's Defense Ministry plans to buy three air tankers under the country's medium-term defense buildup program through fiscal 2018, which underscored the need to enhance the capability to protect remote islands.
     
Japan orders three Boeing KC 46A aerial refuelling and transport aircraft 640 001Boeing's KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling and strategic transport military aircraft performing its maiden flight on Sept. 25, 2015
(Credit: Boeing Defense)
     
"With more aerial tankers, our aerial defense capability will be reinforced," Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said at a news conference.

The United States proposed a sales price of about 20.8 billion yen ($172.8 million) per tanker, according to the ministry, which will book the costs in the fiscal 2016 budget.

Only the U.S. government participated in the bidding through early September.

Boeing and U.S. Air Force team successfully completed the first flight of a KC-46A tanker aircraft on Sept. 25, 2015.

The KC-46 is equipped with the latest and most advanced technology, including a digital flight deck with the same large 15-inch electronic displays as on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft is equipped with the Raytheon AN/ALR-69A(V) Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and the Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24(V) Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system.

The KC-46A will be able to refuel any fixed-wing receiver-capable aircraft. This aircraft is equipped with a modernized KC-10 refueling boom integrated with a fly-by-wire control system. The hose and drogue system adds additional capabilities that are independently operable from the refueling boom system. Almost all internal fuel can be pumped through the boom, drogue and wing aerial refueling pods. The centerline drogue and wing aerial refueling pods are used to refuel aircraft fitted with probes.