Boeing KC-767

Boeing KC-767

infobox Aircraft
name = KC-767
type = Air-to-air tanker
manufacturer = Boeing

caption = Japan Air Self-Defense Force KC-767J
designer =
first flight = May 21, 2005
introduced =
retired =
status =
primary user = Italian Air Force
more users = Japan Air Self-Defense Force
produced = 2003- present
number built = 8 planned
unit cost = ~US$130-150 million
developed from = Boeing 767
variants with their own articles =

The Boeing KC-767 is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft developed from the Boeing 767-200. The tanker received the designation KC-767A in 2002 [ DoD 4120.15L, Model Designation of Military Aerospace Vehicles] , 2004-05-12.] after being selected by the US Air Force initially to replace older KC-135Es. [ "Boeing Given Nod on Tanker Lease"] , Military-Aerospace Technology Magazine; volume: 1, issue: 2, 1 May 2002 ( [ archive link] ).] In December 2003, the contract was frozen and later canceled due to corruption allegations.

The tanker is currently being developed for use by the Italian and Japanese air forces, who have ordered four tankers each. [ "First Boeing 767 Aircraft for Japan Tanker Program Arrives in Wichita"] , Boeing news release, 2005-06-08.] Financing of the development of the aircraft, over $1 billion, has been borne by Boeing, in that it hoped to get major orders from the U.S. Air Force. [ "KC-767 tanker completes first contact"] , Boeing news release, 2007-01-24.]

For the KC-X competition, Boeing offered a KC-767 based on the forthcoming 767-200 Long Range Freighter. In February 2008 the DoD selected Northrop Grumman/EADS's KC-30 offering, now officially designated the KC-45A. The Boeing Company submitted a protest to the Air Force's decision on March 11, 2008.cite web |url= |title=GAO backs Boeing tanker protest |publisher=King 5 News |date=2008-06-18 |accessdate=2008-06-18] The United States Government Accountability Office upheld their protest on June 18, placing the status of the KC-45A in doubt and allowing for a rebid of the contract by Boeing. However in September 2008, the KC-X bidding was canceled. [ "DoD Announces Termination of KC-X Tanker Solicitation"] , US DoD, 10 September 2008.]


Commercial Derivative Air Refueling Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) ran a procurement program to replace around 100 of their oldest KC-135E Stratotankers, part of the "Commercial Derivative Air Refueling Aircraft" program. Most USAF KC-135s are of the updated KC-135R variant.

On March 28, 2002, the US Air Force selected Boeing's KC-767 stating they "have clearly demonstrated that only the Boeing Corp. can currently meet the requirements".

The USAF was listed as giving four main reasons for this selection of the KC-767 over Airbus's KC-330 (aircraft's name at the time).
*""The KC-330 increase in size does not bring with it a commensurate increase in available air refueling offload,..." (USAF quote)
*The KC-330 "..presents a higher-risk technical approach and a less preferred financial arrangement." (USAF quote)
*" the size difference of the EADS-proposed KC-330 results in an 81 percent larger ground footprint compared to the KC-135E it would replace, whereas the Boeing 767 is only 29 percent larger." (USAF quote)
*The KC-330 requires "..greater infrastructure investment and dramatically limits the aircraft's ability to operate effectively in worldwide deployment." (Summary of Quote by MAT magazine)

The Boeing tanker received the KC-767A designation from the DoD in 2002 and appearing in the 2004 addition of DoD Model Designation report.

USAF lease and cancellation

For its Commercial Derivative Air Refuelling Aircraft program, the U.S. Air Force decided to lease around 100 KC-767 tankers from Boeing after it won the selection process.

Despite many other nations engaging in leased aircraft, there was some criticism. U.S. Senator John McCain questioned whether it is really cost-effective for the USAF to "lease" aircraft at all, particularly as the aircraft would probably not have many, if any, buyers when their military service was concluded. This was derided as an uninformed criticism, as there were many U.S. allies in need of tanker aircraft. The Congressional Budget Office has also criticized the draft leasing agreement as fiscally irresponsible. In November 2003, a compromise was struck where the Air Force would purchase 80 KC-767 aircraft and lease 20 more. [ [ Tanker Twilight Zone] , Air Force magazine, February 2004, Vol. 87, No. 2.] [Pope, Charles. [ "Pentagon finalizes Boeing tanker deal"] , Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7 November 2003.]

In December 2003, the Pentagon announced the project was to be frozen while an investigation of allegations of corruption by one if its former procurement staffers, Darleen Druyun (who had moved to Boeing in January) was begun. Some documents found in congressional investigation indicated the A330-based tanker met more of the USAF specifications than the Boeing tanker and had a lower proposed cost. [ [ "Air Force Allowed Boeing to Rewrite Terms of Tanker Contract, Documents Show"] by Joseph L. Galloway, March 28, 2004.] [ [,13190,Galloway_033104,00.html "Air Force Let Boeing Rewrite Contract"] by Joseph L. Galloway, March 31, 2004.] Verify source|date=July 2008 Druyun pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months in jail for "negotiating a job with Boeing at the same time she was involved in contracts with the company". [cite news |last=Cahlink |first=George |url= |date=2004-10-01 |accessdate=2006-12-21 | |title= Ex-Pentagon procurement executive gets jail time] Additional fallout included the resignation of Boeing CEO Philip M. Condit and the termination of CFO Michael M. Sears. In January 2006, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced the cancellation of the Air Force's KC-767A lease. This was designed as a cost cutting measure and as part of a larger reorganization and redefinition of the Air Force's mission which included the retirement of the E-4B fleet, the cancellation of the 767-based E-10 program, as well as the elimination of all but 58 B-52s. Rumsfeld stated that this move will in no way impair the Air Force's ability to deliver the mission of the KC-767A which will be accomplished by continuing upgrades to the KC-135 and KC-10 fleets. Boeing's development of the aircraft for other customers was unaffected by the cancellation however.

International programs

Boeing continued development of the aircraft. Italy selected the KC-767 and signed a contract in 2002 becoming the launch customer. [ [ "Boeing, Italian MoD Sign Contract for 767 Tanker Transports"] ]

In 2001, Japan selected the KC-767 over a tanker version of the Airbus A310 and signed a contract in 2003. [ [ Boeing, Japan Sign 767 Tanker Transport Contract] ] This version is named the KC-767 Tanker Transport and is based on the 767-200ER. The Italian Air Force and the Japan Self-Defense Forces (which designated the aircraft KC-767J) have ordered four aircraft each.

Delivery of the first KC-767J for the JASDF was delayed approximately two years due to development issues and the addition of the aircraft receiving FAA certification. Boeing and its Japanese representative Itochu agreed with Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD) to pay a penalty fee for the delivery delay, according to the MoD Statement. [ [ KC-767 tanker transport aircraft for delivery delays] , Japan's MoD, 2007-07-30, [ translation] ] [ [ KC-767 tanker transport aircraft for delivery delays] , Japan's MoD, 2007-03-16, [ translation] ] The first operational KC-767A was delivered to Japan on February 19, 2008, [ [ "Boeing Delivers First KC-767 Tanker to Japan"] , Boeing, February 19, 2008.] with the second KC-767 following on March 5. Delivery of two remaining tankers are planned for 2009 and 2010. [ [ "Boeing Delivers 2nd KC-767 Tanker to Japan"] , Boeing, March 5, 2008.]

Australia selected the A330 MRTT in April 2004 after competition with the KC-767 due the A330's larger fuel and cargo capability. [ [ Senator Robert Hill Press Conference transcript] , Australian Department of Defence, 16 April 2004.]


Boeing, teamed with BAE Systems and British Airways, offered the KC-767 to the UK's RAF for its Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft. The companies formed the Tanker Transport Services Consortium (TTSC). British Airways would provide the 767 aircraft. Boeing would provide the conversion technology based on its KC-767 tanker design. BAE Systems would perform the majority of aircraft modifications. Marshall Aerospace, Serco, Spectrum, and Capital were also part of TTSC. The Ministry of Defence announced in January 2004 that it had selected the Airbus A330 MRTT to fulfill this requirement. [ Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) fact sheet] , UK Ministry of Defence.]

USAF KC-X Program

In 2006 the USAF released a request for proposal (RFP) for a new tanker program, KC-X, to be selected by 2007. Boeing had also announced it may enter an even higher capability tanker based on the Boeing 777, currently named the KC-777 Strategic Tanker. Airbus has partnered with Northrop Grumman to offer the Airbus A330 MRTT, the tanker version of the A330, which was being marketed to the USAF under the unofficial designation of KC-30. [ [ Northrop Grumman KC-30 marketing web site] ]

In late January 2007 the USAF issued the KC-X Aerial Refueling Aircraft Request for Proposal. The RFP calls for 179 (4 system development and demonstration and 175 production) tankers, worth an estimated US$40 billion. [ [ Air Force Posts KC-X Request for Proposals] , 2007-01-30] However, Northrop and EADS expressed their displeasure at how the RFP was structured and have threatened to withdraw, leaving only Boeing to offer an aircraft.Evens, Ben and Daly, Matthew (AP), "Northrop-EADS threatens to withdraw bid for US Air Force contract leaving only Boeing", "Aerotech News and Review", 2007-02-02]

On February 12, 2007, Boeing announced it is offering the KC-767 Advanced Tanker in the KC-X Tanker competition. [ "Boeing Unveils Air Force Tanker in $40 Billion Contract Competition"] , Borak, D. Associated Press. 2007-02-12.] Boeing stated for KC-X's requirements, the KC-767 was a better fit than the KC-777. [ In More Depth: Why the 767?] ] On April 11 2007, Boeing submitted its KC-767 tanker proposal to U.S. Air Force. [ [ Boeing Submits KC-767 Advanced Tanker Proposal to U.S. Air Force] ]

In September 2007, the USAF rejected having a mixed fleet new tankers from both Boeing and Northrop Grumman as being unfeasible because of increased costs in buying limited numbers of two types annually. [ [ "Dual Sourcing Tanker Unfeasible, Wynne Says"] , ABC News, September 20, 2007.] Boeing submitted the final version of its proposal on January 3, 2008. [ [ "Boeing Submits Final KC-767 Advanced Tanker Proposal to U.S. Air Force"] , Boeing, January 3, 2008.] On 29 February 2008, the DoD chose the Northrop Grumman/EADS KC-30, now officially designated the KC-45A, over the KC-767.Butler, Amy, Fulghum, Davis A and Wall, Robert. [ "Northrop/EADS Clinches U.S. Refueler Deal"] , "Aviation Week", February 29, 2008.] Boeing submitted a protest to the United States Government Accountability Office on March 11, 2008 and began waging a fierce public relations campaign in support of their protest. On June 18, following a series of admissions by the Air Force on the flaws in the bidding process, the GAO upheld Boeing's protest and recommended the contract be rebid. On July 9, 2008, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that the Air Force would reopen bidding on the tanker contract. [ [ Air Force to Reopen Bidding on Tanker Contract] , New York Times, July 10, 2008] Secretary Gates put the contract for the KC-45 into an "expedited recompetition" with Defense Undersecretary John Young in charge of the selection process instead of the Air Force.Kruzel, John J. [ "Pentagon Reopens Bidding on Tanker Contract"] , US DoD, July 9, 2008.] A draft of the revised RFP was provided to the contractors on 6 August 2008 for comments. By mid-august the revised RFP is to be finalized. Proposals are due in October 2008 and selection is planned to be done by the end of the year. [ [ "Pentagon Issues New Tanker Bid Parameters"] , "Aviation Week", 6 August, 2008.] On 10 September 2008, the US Defense Department canceled the KC-X solicitation. Funding for KC-X is to be requested for FY10-FY15.

Development of aircraft

Italy's aircraft became the first KC-767 to be assembled. The aircraft are initially built as 767-200ER commercial airplanes, then flown to a separate facility for conversion into tankers. Italy's first aircraft made its maiden flight on May 21, 2005, [ "Boeing Built First Italian Air Force KC-767 Tanker Makes First Flight"] , Boeing, 2005-05-21.] and in June the same year, Japan's first aircraft arrived at Boeing's Wichita, Kansas modification center to be fitted out with the tanker equipment.

Italy's second aircraft arrived for modification at the Naples, Italy facility of Boeing's partner, Aeronavali on May 6, 2005. [ "Italy KC-767 Tanker #2 Arrives in Naples for Modifications"] , Boeing, 2005-05-06.]

On January 23, 2007, the KC-767 flight test aircraft set a program milestone by making its first hookup with a receiver aircraft, a B-52 Stratofortress. The "dry contact" transferred no fuel, but was intended to test the tanker's fifth-generation fly-by-wire telescoping boom. Unlike the KC-135 boom operator, who is prone, the KC-767 operator uses a remote station with a video display. The testing is being done at Edwards Air Force Base, and the test aircraft is destined for Italy once testing is complete. Even if the KC-767 is not the final winner of the KC-X competition, Boeing expects the refueling boom being developed in the current program to be used on the KC-X airframe.

The KC-767 extended its air refueling boom and transferred fuel to another aircraft for the first time on March 5 2007. [ Boeing KC-767 Tanker Completes First Fuel Offload to Receiver] ] The tanker completed another test milestone on April 12 2007 when its aircrew successfully extended and retracted both wing refueling hoses. [ Boeing KC-767 Tanker extends wing refueling hoses for first time] ] Flight testing has resumed on Japan's tanker after modifications were completed. [ [ "Boeing resumes flight testing of KC-767 Tanker for Japan"] , Boeing, August 30, 2007.] In November 2007, Boeing decided to shift modification work on the KC-767A tankers for Italy and Japan from subcontractor Aeronavali's facility in Italy to Boeing's Wichita facility in an effort to meet delivery schedules. [ [ "Boeing rejigs KC-767 modification, testing to meet schedule"] , Flight International, 27 November 2007]

The KC-767 Advanced Tanker offered for the KC-X competition was based on the in-development 767-200LRF (Long Range Freighter), rather than the -200ER that the Italian and Japanese aircraft are based. [ "Boeing Offers KC-767 Advanced Tanker to U.S. Air Force"] , Boeing, 12 February 2007.]


Specifications for KC-767A Tanker Transport (767-200ER based), except for KC-767 Advanced Tanker (767-200LRF based) data at bottom.

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet
ref=KC-767A, [ KC-767A product card] ] KC-767 Advanced [ KC-767 Advanced Tanker product card] ]

crew=3: 2 pilots, 1 boom operator
capacity=up to 200 passengers or 19 463L pallets
payload main=
payload alt=
length main=159 ft 2 in
length alt=48.5 m
span main=156 ft 1 in
span alt=47.6 m
height main=52 ft
height alt=15.8 m
area main=
area alt=
empty weight main=181,610 lb
empty weight alt=82,377 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=395,000 lb
max takeoff weight alt=186,880 kg
more general= Maximum Fuel Load: 160,660 lb (72,877 kg)

engine (jet)=GE CF6-80C2
type of jet=turbofan
number of jets=2
thrust main= 60,200 lbf
thrust alt= 268 kN
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
max speed main=Mach 0.86
max speed alt= 570 mph, 915 km/h
cruise speed main= Mach 0.80
cruise speed alt= 530 mph, 851 km/h
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main=
range alt=
ceiling main=40,100 ft
ceiling alt=12,200 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=
* For KC-767 Advanced Tanker:
**Max takeoff weight: over 400,000 lb (181,000 kg)
**Maximum Fuel Load: over 202,000 lb (91,600 kg)
**Capacity: 190 passengers, 19 463L pallets or 19 patients
**Powerplant: 2x Pratt & Whitney PW4062, [ "Pratt & Whitney Selected To Supply Engines For KC-767"] , 2007-03-13.] 63,500 lbf (282 kN) each

ee also

* Boeing 767
* Boeing E-767
* E-10 MC2A
similar aircraft=
* Northrop Grumman KC-45
* Airbus A310 MRTT
* Airbus A330 MRTT
* KC-135 Stratotanker
* KC-10 Extender
* List of military aircraft of the United States
see also=


External links

* [ KC-767 tanker page on]
* [ KC-767 page]
* [ KC-767 Tanker Transport page on]
* [ "Boeing completes first KC-767 Tanker night refueling"] , Boeing, January 29, 2008.

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