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Japan receives last KC-767 tanker aircraft

The KC-767 tanker aircraft. A Boeing photo

ST. LOUIS, USA (BNS): Japan has received the fourth and last KC-767 air-to-air refueling tanker aircraft from the US.

The US defence major Boeing delivered the military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft to Japanís Defence Ministry on January 8 within the contracted schedule and budget, the company said.

The advanced tankers will be based at the Japan Air Self-Defense Forceís (JASDF) Komaki Air Base.

Japan had placed an order in 2001 to procure four KC-767s from the US. The first operational KC-767 was delivered to JASDF on 19 February 2008, followed by the other two in March 2008 and March 2009. They were re-designated KC-767J.

The aircraft, at present, are undergoing operational evaluation which is likely to be completed by this year end.

The KC-767 has been designed to carry both passenger and freight transport. Its cargo carrying capacity is up to 19 standard military 463-L pallets. In the passenger configuration, the tanker can transport 200 passengers.

It is fitted with additional pumps and auxiliary fuel tanks, enabling it to carry out simultaneous refuelling and airlift operations.

Italy has also placed an order for four such aircraft with Boeing.

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