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Wed, Feb 20, 2008

Boeing Delivers First KC-767 Tanker To Japan

Second Plane Will Immediately Follow

It's one delivery Boeing was quite happy -- we'd say relieved -- to finally make. On Wednesday, the American planemaker delivered Japan's first KC-767 Tanker to the Itochu Corp., for Japan's Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). It is the first aerial refueling aircraft in Japan's history.

"The KC-767 will have an immediate impact and significantly increase Japan's capabilities," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "This delivery also confirms Boeing's standing as the world's leading provider of aerial refueling tankers and continues our company's proud 75-year history of producing tankers."

The 12-hour non-stop flight to Gifu, Japan, near Nagoya, originated in Wichita, KS near Boeing's tanker modification center, following a final review by Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD) Air Staff. Itochu will deliver the KC-767 Tanker to the MoD following in-country acceptance processes.

Japan has ordered four convertible freighter 767s, providing flexibility in carrying cargo or passengers while maintaining its primary role as an aerial refueling tanker. The aircraft feature Boeing's advanced aerial refueling boom and Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO II) system.

As ANN reported, Boeing received FAA approval for the KC-767 in the JASDF configuration last week. That certification had been a major sticking point for the delivery of the tankers, and delayed the first KC-767 delivery over one year. Boeing plans to deliver Japan's second tanker immediately following acceptance of the first Japan delivery.

Additionally, Boeing is building four tankers for Italy with delivery of the first two aircraft planned in 2008. The KC-767 also is Boeing's offering in the US Air Force's KC-X competition for its next-generation tanker aircraft.

Since the 1930s, Boeing has built and delivered more than 2,000 tankers.



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