Tag Archives: Boeing

Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The newest Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol, reconnaissance aircraft took to the skies over Puget Sound bringing the total number of P-8s delivered to 150. The 150th multi-mission P-8A Poseidon will be operated by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) One based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

P-8A Poseidon
Boeing Delivers 150th P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

«There are now 150 P-8s around the world delivering confidence and an unmatched capability to our global customers», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager, P-8 Programs. «Our focus has been, and will be, on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft».

Amassing more than 450,000 mishap-free flight hours, the global P-8 fleet includes 112 aircraft delivered to the U.S. Navy, 12 to Australia, 12 to India, nine to the United Kingdom and five to Norway. The aircraft are designed for anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and search and rescue.

The 150 P-8s in service do not include six test aircraft provided to the U.S. Navy during the initial stages of the program. Boeing tested those aircraft during development to assess capabilities and performance. As development of system enhancements and new technology continues, the test aircraft perform a critical role in ensuring Boeing provides state-of-the-art capabilities to global P-8A Poseidon customers.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

First Red Hawk

Boeing has unveiled the first T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer jet to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force. The jet, one of 351 the U.S. Air Force plans to order, was unveiled prior to official delivery.

T-7A Red Hawk
The first T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer has rolled out of the production facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Ushering in a new era of training for U.S. Air Force fighter and bomber pilots. The jets have red tails to honor the legendary Tuskegee Airmen who flew their aircraft with red tails during World War II. First jets scheduled to arrive at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph next year (Photo Credit- Eric Shindelbower)

The fully digitally designed aircraft was built and tested using advanced manufacturing, agile software development and digital engineering technology significantly reducing the time from design to first flight. The aircraft also features open architecture software, providing growth and flexibility to meet future mission needs.

«We’re excited and honored to deliver this digitally advanced, next-generation trainer to the U.S. Air Force», said Ted Colbert, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. «This aircraft is a tangible example of how Boeing, its suppliers and partners are leading the digital engineering revolution. T-7A Red Hawk will prepare pilots for future missions for decades to come».

The T-7A Red Hawk incorporates a red-tailed livery in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. These airmen made up the first African American aviation unit to serve in the U.S. military.

«The Tuskegee Airmen are one of the most celebrated units in our Air Force history, and the T-7A Red Hawk honors the bravery and skill of these trailblazers», said Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force. «Like the Airmen they were named and painted to pay homage to, the T-7A Red Hawks break down the barriers of flight. These digitally-engineered aircraft will make it possible for a diverse cross section of future fighter and bomber pilots to be trained, and provide an advanced training system and capabilities that will meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s national security environment».

The aircraft will remain in St. Louis where it will undergo ground and flight tests before being delivered to the U.S. Air Force. The T-7A Red Hawk program resides at Boeing’s St. Louis facility with the aft section of the trainer being built by Saab in Linkoping, Sweden. Saab will soon start producing that section at their new production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Ghost Bat

Boeing Australia congratulates the Australian Government and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on their selection of ‘MQ-28A Ghost Bat’ as the military designator and name for the first Australian-produced military combat aircraft in over 50 years.

MQ-28A Ghost Bat
The newly-named MQ-28A Ghost Bat during the second test flight series at Woomera Range Complex in South Australia

Australia’s Defence Minister, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, announced the designator and name at a dedicated ceremony held at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland.

«The introduction of the new popular name is a rare and special moment in aviation history for our RAAF partners and industry team of over 35 Australian suppliers», said Glen Ferguson, director Airpower Teaming System Australia and International.

«Selecting the Ghost Bat, an Australian native mammal known for teaming together in a pack to detect and hunt, reflects the unique characteristics of the aircraft’s sensors and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance abilities, and is a fitting name for this pioneering capability», said Ferguson.

With a rapid development timetable of just three years from ideation to first flight, the development program leverages advancements in digital engineering, advanced manufacturing and unique Australian supply chain technologies.

While the RAAF Loyal Wingman development program name will phase out, Boeing’s product name for global customers will remain the Airpower Teaming System.

«Our enduring partnership with Commonwealth of Australia and Australian Defence Force (ADF) is fundamental to the successful development of MQ-28A’s complex technologies and capabilities, and has global export potential for Australia», said Dr Brendan Nelson AO, president Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.

During 2022, the program will continue to accelerate the development and testing of the MQ-28A Ghost Bat, with a focus on sensor and missionisation capabilities to deliver on RAAF commitments. These requirements will continue to expand as Boeing moves towards the aim of delivering an operational capability for the ADF.

Boeing unveils Ghost Bat, the new name for Loyal Wingman

Poseidon

Boeing P-8A Poseidon team members and Spirit AeroSystems employees have laid the keel beam for New Zealand’s first P-8A Poseidon. This process, also called ‘keeling,’ was done at the Spirit AeroSystems facility where all Boeing 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are designed and built. Laying the keel is an important production milestone during the build of any ship or aircraft and represents the cornerstone of this latest P-8A Poseidon.

P-8A Poseidon
Boeing begins build on New Zealand’s first P-8A Aircraft

Rosemary Banks, New Zealand’s ambassador to the United States, who was on hand to witness the keeling said, «Today’s keeling ceremony is the beginning of a new era for New Zealand’s maritime patrol and response capability. Our four P-8A Poseidons will better equip our defence forces to extend their reach into the Pacific and beyond, working with our partners and friends».

An aircraft keel runs the length of the fuselage belly. Due to the innovative in-line approach to the build of commercial derivative aircraft pioneered on the P-8A Poseidon, the keel beam on a P-8A Poseidon is different from the typical 737 keel beam. The P-8A Poseidon keel includes unique aspects of the P-8A Poseidon configuration, such as the integration of an internal weapons bay.

«The excitement of seeing this come together was contagious», said Brian Stuart, P-8A Poseidon program manager for New Zealand. «Not only are we kicking off the journey to the first New Zealand P-8A Poseidon delivery, but we are strengthening our relationships with suppliers like Spirit as well as our U.S. Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force customers».

The panel and other fuselage components will be completed on Spirit’s existing 737 production line. Spirit will ship the P-8A Poseidon fuselage to a Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility in Renton, Washington for final assembly. After that, Boeing Defense, Space & Security employees will install mission systems and complete testing prior to delivery to New Zealand later this year.

In total, four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will eventually replace New Zealand’s current fleet of six aging P-3K2 Orion aircraft providing advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below the surface of the ocean.

The New Zealand Defence Force is a P-8 Poseidon foreign military sales customer and is one of eight global customers. Current P-8 operators include the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy, United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Norway’s Royal Norwegian Air Force.

To date, the global operating P-8A Poseidon fleet has amassed more than 400,000 mishap-free flight hours. The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8A Poseidon performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.

Initial Operational Capability

The U.S. Navy announced Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the CMV-22B Osprey, confirming the platform’s operational readiness following the successful completion of its maiden deployment, on February 18, 2022.

CMV-22B Osprey
CMV-22B Ospreys, attached to Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30, fly over Naval Air Station North Island, California. VRM-30, as part of Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, returned to Naval Air Station North Island, California, February 12, 2022, following an eight-month deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations. The Carl Vinson CSG is the first carrier strike group to deploy with a combination of fourth and fifth-generation platforms within CVW 2 that predominantly represent the «Airwing of the Future», including the F-35C Lightning IIs of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 and the CMV-22B Ospreys of VRM-30 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Olympia O. McCoy)

The aircraft was formally declared IOC on December 14, 2021, aligning with the scheduled first-quarter fiscal year requirement.

«The CMV-22’s maiden deployment with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) team is an operational success, giving me the confidence necessary to make the declaration», said Rear Admiral Andrew Loiselle, Director, Air Warfare Division, N98, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. «As we continue to deliver the advanced platforms that will make up the Air Wing of the Future, the CMV-22B Osprey provides the necessary support and more to carry our future force».

Loiselle’s designation marks a key milestone in the design, development, acquisition and testing of the CMV-22B Osprey and confirms its relevance and readiness to meet the needs of the Navy’s Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) mission. The aircraft transports personnel, mail, supplies and cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea, and will eventually replace the C-2A Greyhound.

«IOC designation is more than a stamp of approval», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Brian Taylor, V-22 Joint program manager. «It is a vote of confidence from top Navy leadership that the design, testing and production of this aircraft meet the logistical needs of the carrier air wings designated to fly the CMV-22B Osprey».

This past summer marked the first deployment for the CMV-22B Osprey. Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 embarked on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) alongside the F-35C Lightning II and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye squadrons. The first deployed detachment has executed a mission completion rate of 98% and a mission capable rate of 75%. The CMV-22B Osprey is a crucial element of future carrier airwings due to the cargo capacity needed to transport F-35 power modules and additional logistics support for future carrier air wing deployments with next-generation platforms.

«This aircraft went from first flight to first deployment in 19 months; a feat possible through the dedication of the Navy’s acquisition, engineering, test and operational communities, as well as industry, all working in tandem, toward a common goal», said Taylor.

With 50% more internal fuel than the Marine Corps’ Osprey variant, CMV-22B Osprey can transport up to 6,000 pounds/2,721.5 kg of cargo and personnel over a 1,150 nautical mile/1,323 mile/2,130 km range. The U.S. Navy redesigned the forward sponson fuel tanks and added two wing fuel tanks to add capacity and extend the flight range.

«As our fighter/attack and surveillance aircraft expand in both capability and size to extend the range of the carrier air wing, we must also evolve our support aircraft, in tandem, to supply those platforms. The CMV-22B Osprey will transport cargo and personnel to outfit the most advanced aircraft carrier strike groups as we continue to meet the needs of our missions worldwide», said Taylor.

The program will continue to refine and test capabilities on the aircraft, addressing the agile needs of the fleet. To date, Bell Boeing has delivered 14 aircraft with 44 on contract and full operational capability expected in 2023.

Cryogenic Fuel Tank

A new type of large, fully-composite, linerless cryogenic fuel tank, designed and manufactured by Boeing, passed a critical series of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center at the end of 2021. The successful test campaign proves the new technology is mature, safe and ready for use in aerospace vehicles.

Space Launch System (SLS)
Boeing’s all-composite cryogenic fuel tank undergoing pressure testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (Boeing photo)

The 4.3-meter (14 foot) diameter composite tank is similar in size to the fuel tanks intended for use in the upper stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which is the foundational capability in NASA’s Artemis lunar and deep space human exploration program. If the new composite technology were implemented in evolved versions of the SLS’s Exploration Upper Stage, the weight savings technology could increase payload masses by up to 30 percent.

«Composites are the next major technological advancement for large aerospace cryogenic storage structures», said Boeing Composite Cryotank Manufacturing Lead Carlos Guzman. «And while they can be challenging to work with, they offer significant advantages over traditional metallic structures. Boeing has the right mix of experience, expertise and resources to continue to advance this technology and bring it to market in a variety of applications across aerospace and aeronautics».

During the testing, which was funded by DARPA and Boeing, engineers from Boeing and NASA filled the vessel with cryogenic fluid in multiple test cycles, pressurizing the tank to expected operational loads and beyond. In the final test, which intended to push the tank to failure, pressures reached 3.75 times the design requirements without any major structural failure.

«NASA’s support through this testing has been invaluable», said Boeing Test Program Manager Steve Wanthal. «We were able to use their technical expertise and investments made in the testing infrastructure at the Marshall Space Flight Center to continue to advance this technology, which will ultimately benefit the entire industry».

Applications for the technology expand past spaceflight. The test which builds upon Boeing’s extensive experience with the safe use of hydrogen in aerospace applications will inform Boeing’s ongoing studies of hydrogen as a potential future energy pathway for commercial aviation. In addition to use in space programs, Boeing has completed five flight demonstration programs with hydrogen.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

FLRAA Mission Profile

The Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT successfully completed FLRAA mission profile test flights, including confined area landings and low-level flight operations. These flights validate DEFIANT’s relevancy to the Army’s mission, providing agility at the objective (also known as the «X»), and increased survivability, all while reducing pilot workload. View the video of the latest flight testing.

DEFIANT
The SB>1 DEFIANT Technology Demonstrator recently executed a confined area landing among the trees in south Florida as part of the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing team’s effort to validate aircraft design and relevance to the Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft mission profile. (Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing photo)

«We fully demonstrated DEFIANT’s ability to execute the FLRAA mission profile by flying 236 knots in level flight, then reducing thrust on the propulsor to rapidly decelerate as we approached the confined, and unimproved, landing zone», said Bill Fell, DEFIANT chief flight test pilot at Sikorsky and a retired U.S. Army Master aviator. «This type of level body deceleration allowed us to maintain situational awareness and view the landing zone throughout the approach and landing without the typical nose-up helicopter deceleration. This confined area was extremely tight, requiring us to delay descent until nearly over the landing spot, followed by a near-vertical drop. We landed DEFIANT precisely on the objective with little effort as we descended into this narrow hole while maintaining clearance on all sides».

SB>1 DEFIANT is the technology demonstrator proving out transformational capabilities for the DEFIANT X weapon system, the Sikorsky-Boeing team offering for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition as part of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program. DEFIANT X will enable crews to fly low and fast through complex terrain, where Army aviators spend most of their time. It will extend capabilities of Army Aviation on the modern battlefield – and is designed to fit in the same footprint as a BLACK HAWK. With DEFIANT X, the U.S. Army will deliver troops and cargo in future combat at twice the range of the current fleet.

«It’s what we call building combat power rapidly, and aircraft like the DEFIANT X can do that», said Tony Crutchfield, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General and now vice president of Army Systems at Boeing. «In the Pacific, it’s even more important because your lines of operation are going to be dispersed over a wide area; you’re going to have these small bases and supply lines that’ll be positioned either on ships or on islands. You’re going to want to move more assets, maneuver in confined terrain and survive to build that combat power faster than your adversary can – so you can win».

DEFIANT X incorporates Sikorsky X2 Technology to operate at high speeds while maintaining low-speed handling qualities. This critical capability provides pilots with increased maneuverability and survivability in high-threat environments, allowing them to penetrate enemy defenses while reducing exposure to enemy fire. DEFIANT X’s X2 coaxial rotor system and pusher prop allows for a high degree of maneuverability in and around the objective which is also directly linked to survivability.

DEFIANT achievements include:

  • Greater than 60-degree banked turns.
  • Demonstrating mission-relevant cargo capacity by lifting a 5,300-pound/2,404-kg Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System external load.
  • Exceeding 245 knots/282 mph/454 km/h in level flight.
  • Demonstrated Level 1 low-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls.
  • Integration of U.S. Army test pilots into the Defiant program.
  • Based on the Collier Award-winning X2 Technology.

DEFIANT X Tech Demonstrator Shows Low-Level Flight and Confined Area Landing Capabilities

First Carrier Tests

The U.S. Navy and Boeing have successfully maneuvered the Boeing-owned T1 test asset on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier for the first time – an early step forward in ensuring the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueler will seamlessly integrate into carrier operations.

MQ-25 Stingray
An MQ-25 Stingray test asset conducts deck handling maneuvers, including connecting to the catapult and clearing the landing area, while underway aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). This unmanned carrier aviation demonstration marked the first time the Navy conducted testing with the MQ-25 at sea (Boeing/Tim Reinhart)

During an underway demonstration aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), Navy flight deck directors – known as «yellow shirts» – used standard hand signals to direct T1 just like any other carrier-based aircraft. Instead of a pilot receiving the commands, however, it was a Boeing MQ-25 Stingray Deck Handling Operator (DHO) right beside the «yellow shirt» who commanded the aircraft using a new handheld deck control device.

«This is another significant step forward in demonstrating MQ-25’s integration into the Carrier Air Wing on the flight deck of our Fleet’s aircraft carriers», said Captain Chad Reed, Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. «The success of this event is a testament to the hard work of our engineers, testers, operators and the close collaboration and teaming from Naval Air Force Atlantic and the crew aboard USS George H.W. Bush CVN-77».

The demonstration was intended to ensure the design of the MQ-25 Stingray will successfully integrate into the carrier environment and to evaluate the functionality, capability and handling qualities of the deck handling system both in day and night conditions. Maneuvers included taxiing on the deck, connecting to the catapult, clearing the landing area and parking on the deck.

«The Navy has a rigorous, well-established process for moving aircraft on the carrier. Our goal was to ensure the MQ-25 Stingray fits into the process without changing it», said Jim Young, MQ-25 Stingray chief engineer. «From the design of the aircraft to the design of the system moving it, our team has worked hard to make the MQ-25 Stingray carrier suitable in every way».

DHO’s trained in Boeing’s deck handling simulation lab in St. Louis, where they practiced entering commands from simulated «yellow shirts» into the real handheld device. A simulated MQ-25 Stingray, running the aircraft’s real operational flight code and interfaces, would move accordingly. The handheld controller is a simple, easy-to-use device designed specifically for a generation of sailors who natively understand such handheld technology and have experience with controllers used in the gaming industry today.

The deck handling demonstration followed a two-year flight test campaign for the Boeing-owned T1 test asset, during which the Boeing and Navy team refueled three different carrier-based aircraft – an F/A-18 Super Hornet, an E-2D Hawkeye and an F-35C Lightning II.

«The U.S. Navy gave us two key performance parameters for the program – aerial refueling and integration onto the carrier deck», said Dave Bujold, Boeing MQ-25 program director. «We’ve shown that the MQ-25 Stingray can meet both requirements, and we’ve done it years earlier than traditional acquisition programs».

Norwegian Poseidon

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) on November 18, 2021 accepted the first of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that will be operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).

P-8A Poseidon
Boeing delivers first P-8A Poseidon to Norway

«Norway is responsible for large maritime areas in a strategically important part of the world, and the new P-8A Poseidon will represent a tremendous improvement in our ability to both protect our sovereignty and understand developments in these areas. Today’s delivery of our first P-8A Poseidon is an important milestone in the modernization of Norway’s maritime patrol aircraft capability», said Mette Sørfonden, director general of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency. «I’m very pleased that the NDMA will soon be able to provide the Norwegian Armed Forces with a whole new generation of aircraft that will play an important role in preserving our national security for many years to come».

Norway’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft, named Vingtor, was delivered to the NDMA during a ceremony at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. The milestone comes four years after the NDMA entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy for the P-8A Poseidon, and two years before the new aircraft are scheduled to begin taking over maritime patrol duties in Norway’s high north.

«We’re honored to provide this unmatched, multimission maritime patrol capability to Norway», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager, P-8 Poseidon Programs. «Norway joins seven other global customers that have selected or already operate the P-8 Poseidon and benefit greatly from its long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. We look forward to enhancing our continued and enduring partnership with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and supporting the future fleet’s sustainment and training needs».

Norway’s four remaining aircraft are all in advanced stages of production and will be delivered to the NDMA in 2022. The five P-8As will replace the RNoAF current fleet of six P-3 Orions and two DA-20 Jet Falcons and will be operated by 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station.

Norwegian companies Nammo, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Andoya Space and Berget currently have agreements with Boeing that are part of a tailored industrial cooperation plan related to Norway’s acquisition of five P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Boeing continues to work with the NDMA and Norwegian industry to expand that plan and support economic growth throughout Norway.

The delivery to Norway also marks the 142nd P-8 Poseidon aircraft delivered to global customers, including the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. First deliveries to New Zealand, Korea and Germany will take place in 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively.

To date, the global operating P-8 Poseidon fleet has amassed more than 400,000 mishap-free flight hours. The P-8 Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8 Poseidon performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.

Japanese Pegasus

Boeing has delivered its first KC-46A Pegasus tanker to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) marking the program’s first delivery to a customer outside the United States.

KC-46 Pegasus
Boeing Delivers First KC-46A Pegasus Tanker to Japan

«This is an exciting and historic moment for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Boeing as Japan joins the United States with the world’s most advanced, proven and safe multi-mission combat aerial refueling capability», said James Burgess, Boeing vice president and program manager, KC-46 Pegasus Program. «We are looking forward to decades of partnership with our Japan customer to ensure aircraft mission effectiveness and enable the success of the JASDF».

The Japan KC-46A Pegasus is capable of refueling JASDF, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft. Globally, the KC-46A Pegasus has already completed more than 5,000 sorties and transferred more than 50 million pounds of fuel to other aircraft through its boom and drogue systems.

«Japan’s acquisition of KC-46A Pegasus tankers marks a significant milestone for both the program and U.S.-Japan cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and plays a critical role in the security alliance between both countries», said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan. «With its ability to carry cargo and passengers, the KC-46A Pegasus tanker can also support Japan’s humanitarian and disaster relief efforts».

The versatile, multi-role tanker carries 18 military standardized pallets (463L) in cargo configuration and accommodates a mixed load of passengers and cargo. It is also equipped with robust defensive and tactical situational awareness systems that will help Japan secure and maintain its air superiority.

The U.S. Air Force and JASDF awarded Boeing a Foreign Military Sale contract for this first JASDF KC-46A Pegasus in December 2017, and exercised an option for a second in December 2018. Options for the third and fourth JASDF KC-46As were exercised in October 2020.

Boeing builds KC-46A Pegasus aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and other international 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.

Boeing is currently assembling the second KC-46A Pegasus for Japan and has delivered 48 KC-46As to the U.S. Air Force, beginning with the first delivery in January 2019.