Japan Tankers

Boeing has been awarded a contract to deliver two additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), bringing the total on contract for Japan to six. Boeing delivered the first KC-46A Pegasus tanker to Japan in October 2021, and a second in February 2022.

KC-46A Pegasus
Japan KC-46A Pegasus flies with U.S. KC-46A Pegasus (Boeing photo)

«The unmatched versatility and multi-mission capabilities of the KC-46A Pegasus tanker further support JASDF’s air mobility mission», said James Burgess, vice president and KC-46A Pegasus program manager. «The growing global KC-46A Pegasus fleet increases the interoperability advantages for our customers, ensuring mission readiness as well as value for their investment».

Designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, the proven KC-46A Pegasus has flown more than 10,000 sorties and is delivering millions of pounds of fuel every month to allied forces around the globe. In addition to refueling, the KC-46A Pegasus delivers multi-mission capabilities necessary for the 21st century fleet, including data connectivity and personnel, cargo and aeromedical transportation.

«This additional KC-46A Pegasus acquisition reinforces the U.S.-Japan security alliance to support security and stability throughout the Pacific region», said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan. «Boeing is proud of our enduring partnership with Japan, and we look forward to supporting the nation’s KC-46A Pegasus fleet that will fly for decades to come».

Boeing has delivered 67 KC-46A Pegasus tankers, including 65 to the U.S. Air Force and two to Japan. Built on the proven 767 airframe that has more than 1,200 delivered – and with more KC-46A Pegasus aircraft operational globally than any tanker except the Boeing-built KC-135 Stratotanker – the Pegasus also provides crucial mission reliability for global customers.

The contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales process. Boeing builds KC-46A Pegasus aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, the JASDF and other allied customers on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington. In addition, Boeing’s Japanese partners produce 16 percent of the KC-46A Pegasus airframe structure. The JASDF also operates four earlier generation Boeing-built KC-767 aircraft.


General Characteristics

Primary Function Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor The Boeing Company
Power Plant 2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust 62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan 157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
Length 165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
Height 52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 415,000 lbs/188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs/140,614 kg
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs/96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load 207,672 lbs/94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity 65,000 lbs/29,484 kg
Maximum Airspeed 360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance 7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions 18 pallet positions
Air Crew 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment