The first of four Boeing 767s destined for the Japan Tanker Program arrived at the modification center in Wichita, Kansas, last week for conversion into a KC-767 aerial refueler. The Japan defense agency ordered the tanker for the Japan air self defense force in 2001 after a competition between the KC-767 and the Airbus A310. Boeing plans to deliver the first Japanese KC-767 in December 2006.
Boeing will outfit Japan’s tankers with an air refueling boom and a remote aerial refueling operator II system. The JDA also chose the convertible freighter configuration for its tanker, allowing flexibility to carry either cargo or passengers, while maintaining its primary role as an aerial tanker. The tanker will be powered by General Electric GECF6-80 turbofans.