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Boeing Gets OK To Deliver Tanker to Japan

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Boeing Gets OK To Deliver Tanker to Japan

By andrew chuter

Published: 19 Feb 03:44 EST (22:44 GMT)

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The Japan Air Self-Defense Force has given Boeing the green light to deliver

the first of four tanker aircraft it has on order from the U.S. aerospace


The delivery approval comes in the wake of the 767 tanker aircraft receiving

a Federal Aviation Administration Supplemental Type certificate allowing it

to also carry passengers and cargo last week.


The JASDF completed a review of the program in the last couple of days

allowing it to approve handover of the aircraft to Japanese trading house

Itochu ahead of delivery to the air force.

The delivery flight of the first aircraft from Boeing's Wichita plant is

"imminent," Joe Song, the company's vice president for Asia Pacific business

development told reporters at the Singapore Airshow today.

A second aircraft is scheduled to be delivered before the end of the first

quarter of this year with the final two KC-767s following in 2009. The

aircraft will be the first tankers operated by Japan.

The 767 tanker, ordered by Japan and Italy, has been beset by technical

issues and delays. The first of the Japanese aircraft were originally

scheduled to be delivered in 2005.

The FAA previously certified the KC-767 for everything except passengers and

main deck cargo.

In a statement last week Boeing said it used a combination of Japanese and

Italian KC-767 tankers to complete the testing.

"The completed tests also will help Boeing obtain FAA certification for the

Italy KC-767 followed by delivery of the country's first two tankers later

in 2008." Boeing said.

The Japanese approval comes at just the right time for Boeing. The company's

767 Advanced Tanker is in the final stages of a fierce competition with

Airbus for a huge U.S. Air Force order.

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