Last month Boeing submitted to the U.S. Air Force our proposal for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker. It’s a big milestone, and a big step in a process that has gotten a lot of attention.

Our entry in this competition is based on a new version of the 767-200 Long Range Freighter, and encompasses 75 years of Boeing tanker technology. It has a smaller footprint than its competitor, which allows the Air Force to deploy more tankers, access more, closer bases, ensure more refueling booms are in the sky, cover more refueling orbits, and offload more fuel.


This is an artist’s rendition of the KC-767 Advanced Tanker.

The new tanker is going to be a very advanced aircraft, with the latest flight deck technology, avionics, mission equipment, and engines. And as I mentioned, the Air Force is getting an airplane with outstanding capabilities. In addition to being able to refuel other aircraft with either a boom or a hose and drogue system, it can also carry significant amounts of cargo, passengers, or patients. Best of all, Air Force planners will be able to “mix and match” these capabilities based on the mission.

What’s significant for this program here in the Puget Sound area is that if Boeing wins the contract, these new tankers will be built in the Everett factory on the existing 767 commercial line.

And under the proposal we submitted to the Air Force, a majority of the structural and systems changes to make the 767 a tanker would also be designed and installed in the airplanes here in Everett, before the tankers are flown to Boeing’s facility in Wichita, Kansas for final modifications and flight tests.

It’s a project that would be designed, built, and supported by 44,000 Americans and 300 U.S. suppliers – building a tanker for the Air Force that would save taxpayers nearly $10 billion in fuel costs compared to the competitor.

And in the meantime, the “mighty 767” program continues to do well - with 60 unfilled orders for passenger and freighter models.

Comments (11)

Cristiano Cruz (Campo Grande, MS, Brazil):

The KC-767 has a huge potential. The world air forces will acquire many of them. Together with the C-17, they are wonderful products that should be shown down here in South America (Brazil, Chile); and Europe, Asia, and Australia once more.

John L:

Lets look at assembing the KC-767 at Long Beach to keep The Boeing Company Team together.

Yes it is expensive, but what is the right call..

Run it past W. James Mcnerney, Jr. Chairman President and Chief Executive Officer of The Boeing Company (And the best CEO ever)

Nancy Vesely (Indianpolis, Indiana USA):

"Supported by 44,000 Americans and 300 U.S. Suppliers" - YES we need more of the large long term projects kept in the US. Good Job!

Peter (Austin, Texas):

I was hoping that Boeing would submit a KC-777. It can fly farther than the competition and carry a bigger payload. The GE90 115B engines would have been great.

Ted Cook (WA):

Will we see raked wingtips on the 767-200 LRF. I see raked wingtips on the Navy's new 737 derivative. I hear that American airlines is adding blended winglets to their 767 fleet. Will UPS have winglets on their new 767's. Considering that airlines are wingletting 15 year old 737-300, 737-500 and 767-200, why would a new build plane not have this improvement.

DRG (Boston):

Would the Air Force not benefit greatly by going to a KC-767 in that they have a lot of derivatives of the 767 already and their pilots are already trained to fly this aircraft. Not alone the savings replacement parts. Come on USAF lets look at the smaller or hidden savings in mechanics, parts, and pilots. I think also the idea that they could have more of these aircraft then the more expensive KC-30 and use them in dual roles as cargo & passengers.

Ed (Ireland):

What features on this aircraft qualify it to be known named 'Advanced'? Besides the existing 767-400 cockpit, what other changes will it have over existing 767 tankers?

Frank (Livermore, Calif 90744):

Why is there no mention of using the Gen Ex engines
similar to the ones being installed on the 787.
They have more thrust and wouldn't they be more
economical on fuel and maintenance?

Jeff (Clarkston, Mich ):

Having 15-years as a boom operator in the KC-135 A, E, R and T models I look forward to a new tanker. I wonder why Boeing didn't submit the 767-300 versus the 200 series. Airbus is hoping it's increased cargo capacity and fuel load will be a selling point. By using a 300 series, you gain additional capability, although not near what the Airbus would have. But again the selling point is the 767 can operate out of smaller airfields and a smaller foot print. Still, a 300 series would give more bang for the buck.

Dennis C (Washington) (Washington):

This SHOULD BE a no brainer for the UNITED STATES Air Force. Why would they even consider using a platform from a foreign country. Let alone the French. Who have not been one of our great allies in recent years!

Dennis G (Bedford,NH):

Whats next for the USAF? An A-330 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to replace the current 66 707 AWACS aircraft? The Japan E- 767 AWACS and the KC-767 Tanker are based on the same aircraft model.

In the long run when the USAF needs to replace the 66 707 AWACS they would be able to save in cost by have more of the same aircraft

We welcome your comments. However all comments are moderated and may not post immediately. Offensive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not treat any comments you submit as confidential information. Please do not submit comments that contain any confidential information belonging to anyone else.

By submitting a comment to Randy's Journal, you agree to our site terms and privacy policy, and to having your name displayed with your comment. All or part of your comment may be posted or cited in the blog. Your name and personal information will not be used for any other purpose, and we will not publish your e-mail address.


More posts