Why Japan is seeking the KC-130R
Update: Apparently, the KC-130R was bought to replace the JMSDF’s fleet of aging YS-11M. The in-flight refueling capability will be removed.
In case you are wondering why Japan wants to buy the KC-130R, it may be because there is a requirement to provide aerial refueling for the JASDF UH-60Js.
The program started back in 2009 with the installation of refueling probes on the helicopters and pilots from the JASDF trained with the USAF on helicopter aerial refueling. We actually reported this news back in April 2009.
But then, the DSCA notification did not mention anything on refueling equipment. So, the true usage of the aircraft is still unknown.