Japan has received its fourth and last Boeing KC-767 tanker/transport, with the fleet expected to complete operational evaluation activities later this year.
Handed over by local programme partner Itochu on 8 January, the aircraft had arrived in Japan in late December, following the completion of modification work at Boeing's Wichita site in Kansas.
Japan's previous three KC-767s were delivered to the nation's air force between February 2008 and March 2009, when initial operational capability was declared. The tankers are flown from the service's Komaki air base.
Noting that the last aircraft delivery was achieved "on schedule and on cost", Boeing Defense, Space & Security chief executive Dennis Muilenburg says: "Japan now has the capability to perform vital self-defence, refuelling and airlift missions".
Tokyo's KC-767s have been manufactured in a convertible freighter configuration. They feature an aft refuelling boom to be used in support of air force types such as the Mitsubishi/Lockheed Martin F-2A and Mitsubishi/Boeing F-15J fighters.
Japan also operates a fleet of four 767-based airborne warning and control system aircraft, deliveries of which took place between 1994 and 1997, according to Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.
Separately, Boeing says three of Italy's eventual four KC-767 tankers are in flight test, "with the fourth airplane still being modified".
Source: Flight International