Boeing might find another customer for its 767-based aerial tankers

Staff writerDecember 2, 2013 

The spin-off sales that Boeing hoped would result from the U.S. Air Force's decision to pick the Boeing 767-based KC-46A as its next generation aerial tanker are beginning to materialize.

Israel is considering leasing KC-46As from Boeing to replace its older Boeing 707-based aerial refuelers, Flightglobal.com is reporting.

The KC-46A is a twin-engine tanker derived from Boeing's 767 airliners.  After a long and contentious fight with rival planemaker Airbus, Boeing won the Air Force contract for 179 of the tankers to replace the KC-135 tankers which the Air Force now flies.

The KC-46A will be built in Boeing's Everett wide-body aircraft plant where the 767 has been assembled since the early '80s.

Boeing has sold other 767-based tankers to Italy and Japan.  Those tankers, however, are different in some technical aspects than the KC-46As the U.S. Air Force will use.

The first KC-46A is due to fly in mid-year 2014.

Boeing has been hoping for follow-on sales for the tanker either to the Air Force or to foreign buyers to help spread the design and set-up costs over a larger number of examples.

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