Earlier this week Boeing detailed some of the features of our offering in the U.S. Air Force tanker competition.


The KC-7A7 family of tankers.

As you can see in the image above, the Boeing tanker could be be 767-based or 777-based. Each offers compelling solutions.

I would encourage you to check out the new Boeing Web site launched with the announcement, United States Tanker.

The site has a lot of great features, including facts about our offering and our long history with aerial refueling tankers, links to stories in the media, photos, videos, and a new blog.

Comments (13)


If the RFP doesn't prohibit, why not submit 3 proposals: one for the KC-777 alone, another for the KC-767, and one for a "split buy" of KC-777s and KC-767s?


I support the Boeing product, and downselected the 767.

Robust airframe, predictable engine, loads of spare parts in the market, new, surplus or used serviceable that comes with FAA tags.

The costs are quite predictable, at least from the commercial applications (frieght and pax).

All the SBs to be performed on earlier versions would have been incorporated into the structure. Line Replacement Unit (LRU) components abound, as long as the Air Force sticks to commercial off-the-shelf available products.

In the event of conflict, multiple facilities in the US capable of repairing them, including OEM.

Unlike the competition, airframe may be made here in the US, but some of the components will not be US-made. The risks associated with this is higher.

Just my 2 pennies worth of thoughts.

Don Harrington (Bellevue, WA):

It's good to see that Boeing is prepared to offer a 777-based tanker so that DoD can actually compare apples-to-apples. Since the boom technology is the same, proven design, we should still beat the A330-based offering.

David Serna (San Antonio, Texas):

After some research and study on the tanker situation. Is it correct to say the 777 tanker has the advantage in speed than the 767 especially to support the fleet of fighter aircraft in operation.

James Robinson (Long Beach):

Is it possible to offer a 787 based tanker? Or is the aircraft too immature?

Jeff F (Huntsville, AL):

Boeing worked on a KC-777 in 2006 (see "Ready to fill 'er up") before bidding the KC-767 the next spring. Things should be much further along on that by now. Good luck!

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The KC-777 is a great replacement for the KC-10, great for cargo too.

Any order for the tankers should be split between the KC-767 as a replacement for the KC-135 Stratotankers and the KC-777 to replace the KC-10 Extender.

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

The 767 tanker for KC-135 replacement.
The 777 tanker for KC-10 replacement.


Gregory Schmitz (Anchorage, Ak, USA):

The Air Force .. All their own studies show that the KC-135 typically unloads only 30% of its fuel.

Seldom can you combine a freight flight with a fuel mission (dragging a squadron out to deployment is about the only time)

The Air Force does not need a 777 (as terrific an aircraft as that is), it needs a 767.

What we need is clear criteria and Boeing can win either one, but what the warfighters really need is the 767.

Keith Owen (Johannesburg, South Africa):

For a international view, I present my views:

When I look at the KC-10 I look at a single, limited usage for only Cargo & Fuel. That will need a replacment after the KC-135. The 777 would be best for that.

When I look at the KC-135?, I look at a very flexible platform, that can or has exceed the flexible C-130 in different tasking that it has done.

The 767 is a great plane, and a huge improvement over the KC-135, it is a great step forward, as an incremental step, and since there will be a great number of 767 to spare on the market, which can be used for all those one off special planes the C-135 is known for. While new builds can be used for KC's, E's etc.

Later on when larger platform is need the 2nd hand market of 777-200, can be used to replace earlier 767, and new build of 777 will keep that line open.

Now to add some European spice to the mix, may be the A330, can be used for the European needs of USAFE. However it would be more like a KC-10 fleet, with only Fuel/Cargo usage.

I look forward to a full spectrum of 767's, 777's been used from anything like the E-777(AWACS/JSTAR /TACAMO all in one), RC-767, KC-777/767, AL-777 (Baby Airborne Laser), WC-767, VC-777 (Angel), OC-767, C-777 & C-767 (much like the C-19 idea) , NC-767, JC-767.

Tom DePew (Lewisville, Texas, USA):

Good luck on this competition. I liked the Boeing submission, and it's clear why the last competition was flawed. In a fair competition, I think Boeing has to be the favorite - not because of a national champion perspective, but because it has the better product.

I've been through the RFP process in a different industry, and the key will be how the write the RFP. While I respect NG and EADS, assuming a neutral RFP, Boeing will win.

juice (Oldenburg, Germany):

As late as this comment is, and as great a plane the 777 is, please don't call this a competition anymore. It really is just an act of lobbying and protectionism.

The real competition was won by EADS-Grumman and you should not boast off your new won chances but humbly accept them, they were not deserved in the first place.
I will refrain from wishing you luck or success with the renewed "call" as you have already won it in the Congresses back rooms.

JC (Florida, USA):

Coming from a staunch 'patriot', I find the Boeing award (although beneficial to the USA) to be somewhat hollow and should be 'muted' as was suggested earlier. It will be all-but-impossible for the USAF to prove the Boeing offer was better in the light of the first award and revocation. The best response from the EADS team should be "We have no desire to win this competition a second time." If the issue is related to subsidies - then ban companies that accept those from their host governments from competing! Is that too courageous a stance? That being said, instead of the obvious monkey-dust and lobbying that went on behind-the-scenes, why not just enact legislation that requires a US-based solution for all strategic acquisitions? That would be far more pallatable than a second sham competition. For the most part, I'm glad the solution is staying in the U.S. (there should not be a question), but I feel like a parent who has to take their child home after bullying the smart kid! Shame on us.

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