First KC-46 for an international customer completes successful first flight Japan Air Self-Defense Force scheduled to receive tanker this year EVERETT, WA (STL.News) The first Boeing KC-46 tanker destined for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) took to the skies on its maiden flight yesterday.\u00a0 This successful flight highlights an important milestone as the aircraft now transitions into the certification phase of development. \u201cThis is an exciting milestone for the JASDF and Boeing,\u201d said Jamie Burgess, KC-46 program manager.\u00a0 \u201cJapan is getting closer to receiving the most advanced air refueling tanker in the world.\u201d Japan is the KC-46 program\u2019s first international customer and is scheduled to receive its first jet this year. \u201cBoeing\u2019s KC-46 and its robust defensive systems will play an invaluable role in the security alliance between our two countries,\u201d said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan.\u00a0 \u201cThis tanker\u2019s ability to carry cargo and passengers also makes it a critical tool to support humanitarian relief efforts across the Pacific region and beyond.\u201d The KC-46 refueling certification encompasses U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and JASDF aircraft. The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $279 million contract for the JASDF\u2019s first KC-46A tanker in December 2017.\u00a0 The agreement was completed through the Foreign Military Sale process between the U.S. government and Japan. Japan is now on contract for a total of four KC-46 tankers. Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft for both the U.S. Air Force and Japan on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington.\u00a0 Boeing\u2019s Japanese partners produce 16% of the KC-46 airframe structure.