Boeing announced yesterday that it has submitted its KC-767 Advanced Tanker proposal for the US Air Force KC-135 Tanker Replacement Program.
The KC-X proposal describes a tanker designed for its primary air refuelling 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 refuelling pods, a centreline hose drum refuelling unit, an advanced commercial digital flight deck and a third-generation remote vision refuelling system.
‘The KC-767 Advanced Tanker will do for refuelling 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 refuelling orbits and offloads more fuel.’
According to Boeing, the KC-767 Advanced Tanker will save US taxpayers nearly $10bn in fuel costs.
Boeing will produce the tanker at its facilities in Everett, Washington on an existing commercial line. Installation of military refuelling systems and flight test activities will take place at the company's finishing centre in Wichita, Kansas.
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.