The US State Department has approved a sale of four KC-46As to Japan, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday. The estimated $1.9 billion deal would include a spare Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engine, according to a news release. Each aircraft would include the GPS and defensive systems. The release notes the aircraft would allow the Pacific nation to participate in regional security operations, but not affect the basic military balance in the region. Japan is also buying the F-35A, and the first Japanese jet, called the AX-1, took its maiden flight Aug. 24. (See also: It’s Not a Sanctuary Anymore.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.