Let’s take a break from the Line 2 drama: Boeing issued this news internally about the KC-767 International (Italian) tanker program today:
Boeing’s International Tanker Program on Sept. 23 completed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification requirements for Italy’s KC-767 Tanker, receiving FAA approval for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC).
The Italian Air Force configuration for its KC-767A aerial refueling tanker, with the ability to carry all passengers, all cargo, or a combination of passengers and cargo, is one not normally found on military aircraft. The FAA-issued STC approval provides certification for those enhanced capabilities.
“This is an extremely important achievement and significant milestone for our International Tanker Program and the development of the KC-767A tanker for our Italian customer,” said Dave Bowman, vice president and general manager of Boeing Tanker Programs.
“Combined with this summer’s successful Military Utility Observation with the U.S. Air Force, our hard-working Boeing tanker team has much to be proud about,” Bowman said.
“It certainly could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of each and every one of our teammates. This was a total team effort,” said Pam Leblond, deputy manager of the International Tanker Program.
To achieve the Supplemental Type Certificate, the International Tanker Program team successfully performed 55 FAA Certification flight and ground tests, 41 Certification functional tests, and collectively conformed more than 8,300 jobs at the aircraft. The STC document summarizing all of the compliance activity was more than 2,400 pages.
With the FAA STC certification, only Boeing can say it has developed and FAA Certified an aerial refueling tanker, which includes the variation built and delivered to the Japan Ministry of Defense and currently in Initial Operational Capability, and the variation that is being built and currently in flight test for the Italian Air Force, said Leblond.
Boeing has three KC-767s in flight test for the Italian Air Force while building one additional tanker for the customer.
Boeing has delivered three KC-767J refueling tankers to the Japan Air Self Defense Force. A fourth is scheduled for delivery later this year. Japan’s KC-767J has an open architecture cockpit and is configured with the advanced Boeing air refueling boom and an advanced RARO II system. The Japan Ministry of Defense selected a convertible freighter configuration, allowing it to carry cargo or passengers, while maintaining its primary role as an aerial tanker. With a convertible freighter interior, the Japan tanker can be rapidly converted from all-passenger to all-cargo configurations.
Following completion of the flight test program, and when all resultant findings have been addressed, Boeing will work with the U.S. Navy to schedule and complete a Military Utility Observation (MUO) required under contract. That is similar to the MUO conducted with the U.S. Air Force earlier in the summer.
Upon completion of the Navy MUO, the Tender for Acceptance process will begin with the Italian customer for delivery of Italy’s advanced KC-767 tanker.