The Seattle Times
Boeing has made its its first international sale of the Everett-built KC-46 tanker — to Japan.
The jetmaker said Friday that it won a $279 million contract to supply the Japan Air Self-Defense Force with its first KC-46 tanker and the necessary logistics support.
Japan already operates four 767-based aerial refueling tankers, a version of the original tanker Boeing proposed for the United States Air Force in 2001. Japan took delivery of those between 2008 and 2010.
The KC-46, the more advanced tanker Boeing developed when the USAF competition was opened up to Airbus, is still completing flight tests.
On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the KC-46 tanker’s base 767-2C aircraft configuration, including the jet’s avionics, auto-flight and environmental control systems and its new fuel system.
Boeing must still earn a second certificate for the military systems on the aircraft before it can be delivered to the Air Force.
After multiple delays, the initial tanker delivery is expected in the first quarter of 2018.
Boeing is contractually required to deliver 18 certified and operational KC-46 tankers by October 2018 or face additional penalties.