The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] submitted its KC-767 Advanced Tanker proposal Tuesday for the U.S. Air Force KC-135 Tanker Replacement Program.
The 7,000-page KC-X proposal describes a tanker uniquely designed for its primary air refueling mission, but also capable of moving cargo, passengers, patients and medical crewmembers. Based on a new version of the 767-200 Long Range Freighter, the KC-767 Advanced Tanker’s innovations include an advanced fly-by-wire boom, new wing refueling pods, a centerline hose drum refueling unit, an advanced commercial digital flight deck and a third-generation remote vision refueling system. The next-generation tanker utilizes cutting-edge technology to meet every aspect of the global mobility mission.
„The KC-767 Advanced Tanker will do for refueling what the C-17 has done for airlift — it will revolutionize mobility operations,“ said James Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. „Right-sized to enable access to 1,000 more bases than the KC-135, this robust aircraft allows commanders to deploy more tankers, ensures more booms are in the sky, covers more refueling orbits and offloads more fuel.“
The Boeing KC-767 Advanced Tanker will be designed, built and supported by 44,000 Americans and 300 U.S. suppliers and save taxpayers nearly $10 billion in fuel costs compared to the competitor.
Boeing will produce the tanker at its facilities in Everett, Wash., on the existing commercial line where it has built more than 950 highly reliable and maintainable 767s. Installation of military refueling systems and flight test activities will take place at the company’s finishing center in Wichita, Kan.
The Boeing Global Tanker Team producing the KC-767 Advanced Tanker includes Smiths Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Vought Aircraft Industries, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Spirit AeroSystems. The experienced team has proven expertise in aerial refueling systems, network centric operations, integrated avionics solutions and lean manufacturing concepts.
Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for nearly 75 years. The company is flying KC-767s today and has logged more than 1,000 hours on the tanker platform. Recently, Boeing demonstrated its advanced air refueling systems by transferring fuel through its fifth-generation boom to a B-52 and F-15, and extending and retracting the Hose Drum Unit.