Wed, Feb 20, 2008
Second Plane Will Immediately Follow
It's one delivery Boeing was quite happy -- we'd say relieved --
to finally make. On Wednesday, the American planemaker delivered
Japan's first KC-767 Tanker to the Itochu Corp., for Japan's Air
Self-Defense Force (JASDF). It is the first aerial refueling
aircraft in Japan's history.
"The KC-767 will have an immediate impact and significantly
increase Japan's capabilities," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO
of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "This delivery also confirms
Boeing's standing as the world's leading provider of aerial
refueling tankers and continues our company's proud 75-year history
of producing tankers."
The 12-hour non-stop flight to Gifu, Japan, near Nagoya,
originated in Wichita, KS near Boeing's tanker modification center,
following a final review by Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD) Air
Staff. Itochu will deliver the KC-767 Tanker to the MoD following
in-country acceptance processes.
Japan has ordered four convertible freighter 767s, providing
flexibility in carrying cargo or passengers while maintaining its
primary role as an aerial refueling tanker. The aircraft feature
Boeing's advanced aerial refueling boom and Remote Aerial Refueling
Operator (RARO II) system.
As ANN reported, Boeing
received FAA approval for the KC-767 in the JASDF configuration
last week. That certification had been a major sticking point for
the delivery of the tankers, and delayed the first KC-767 delivery
over one year. Boeing plans to deliver Japan's second tanker
immediately following acceptance of the first Japan delivery.
Additionally, Boeing is building four tankers for Italy with
delivery of the first two aircraft planned in 2008. The KC-767 also
is Boeing's offering in the US Air Force's KC-X competition for its
next-generation tanker aircraft.
Since the 1930s, Boeing has built and delivered more than 2,000
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