The State Department approved a possible $1.9 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) request to Japan for KC-46A aerial refueling aircraft and related equipment, training, and support.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential sale on Sept. 21.

KC-46 refuels A-10 during testing on July 15. Photo: Air Force.
KC-46 refuels A-10 during testing on July 15. Photo: Air Force.

The sale would include four KC-46A aerial refueling aircraft., which is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Model 4062 (PW4062) Turbofan engines, with one additional spare engine. Each KC-46A is set to be delivered with GPS capability and defensive systems installed plus spares. This capability set includes the Raytheon [RTN] ALR-69A Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), Raytheon Miniaturized Airborne GPS Receiver (MAGR) 2000 (2K) to provide GPS Selective Availability AntiSpoofing Module SAASM capability, and Northrop Grumman‘s [NOC] AN/AAQ-24(V) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system.

Each LAIRCM system comprises of three Guardian Laser Terminal Assemblies (GLTA), six Ultra-Violet Missile Warning System (UVMWS) Sensors AN/AAR-54, one LAIRCM System Processor Replacements (LSPR), one Control Indicator Unit Replacement, one Smart Card Assembly, and one High Capacity Card. All of the above major defense equipment (MDE) in the sale is worth about $1.5 billion.

Non-MDE equipment in the sale includes 12 AN/ARC-210 UHF Radios, six APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders, initial spares and repair parts, consumables, support equipment, technical data, engineering change proposals, publications, Field Service Representatives’ (FSRs), repair and return, depot maintenance, training and training equipment, and contractor technical and logistics personnel services.

The sale also includes U.S. government and contractor representative support, Group A and B installation for subsystems, flight test and certification, and other related elements of logistics support.

The primary contractors for the sale are Boeing [BA] as aircraft manufacturer, Raytheon as manufacturer of the ALR-69A and the MAGR 2K, and Northrop Grumman as producer of the AN/AAQ-24(V)N LAIRCM system. Final assembly and delivery of the KC-46A occurs at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., production facility, DSCA said.

Japan would use these aircraft and equipment to increase its capability to participate in Pacific region security operations and improve the country’s security posture as a U.S. ally, the agency said. DSCA characterized the KC-46A sale as a “needed capability” that will help Japan meet its legitimate security and defense needs.