“One Boeing” leads way for P-8, KC-46A; 767-2C commercial order seen

“One Boeing” is the strategy that blends all the company enterprises–Boeing Commercial, Boeing Defense, Boeing Commercial Aviation Services and other business units into a single set of resources rather than operating as solo businesses.

The P-8A Poseidon program is just such a blend. Using the commercial 737-800 as the platform with the 737-900ER wing, Commercial and Defense integrate the technologies of the two units and assemble the P-8A in what is actually the third 737 production line.

The US Navy has plans to acquire 117 P-8As to replacing the Eisenhower-era Lockheed P-3 Orion. The P-3 and the P-8 has a primary mission of anti-submarine patrol but the airplanes are increasingly being used for maritime patrol in a variety of countries for fisheries, immigration and more recently anti-piracy surveillance.

India ordered eight. Boeing sees a potential market for more than 150 more with countries now flying the P-3.

The Poseidon’s One Boeing approach was copied for the re-bid of the USAF KC-X tanker competition. The original platform, the KC-767 International program, was largely a Boeing Defense effort. The KC-767I, which involved taking a commercial 767-200ER and converting it to a cargo aircraft at Italy’s Alenia and finishing it out at Boeing Wichita, was a disastrous effort. Boeing pulled the work back from Alenia and design and flutter issues caused the program to be several years late to customers Italy and Japan. Only eight were built.

In the re-bid against EADS, BCA and BDS joined forces in an effort patterned after the Poseidon project. Boeing won with a bid that was 10% below EADS. So far, the USAF reports the project is going according to plan.

Boeing is now talking with customers to sell the KC-46A tanker outside the US, which was always part of the plan, according to this Bloomberg article. The platform, called the 767-2C, is about six feet longer than the 767-200ER but shorter than the 767-300ER. Air Force officials were quoted in trade press that commercial cargo versions could be offered, but nothing has been said about this prospect since.

However, we understand that Boeing is nearing a commercial order from FedEx for the -2C that will enable Boeing to boost production of the 767 lines to as much as 2.5 aircraft per month by October 2016.

3 Comments on ““One Boeing” leads way for P-8, KC-46A; 767-2C commercial order seen

  1. One Boeing ? How original ! Some old ex Boeing Guy named Alan Mulally used ONE FORD almost immediately on going to Ford.

    It appears to be in this case a variation of ” my way or the hiway “

  2. “Boeing’s defense unit is working with the commercial division to offer the aircraft to overseas customers from 2017, Jeff Kohler, Boeing’s vice president for military international business development, told reporters in Paris today. ”

    Any potential customer may know how long it took Boeing to make the original KC-767 operational for Japan and Italy. KC-767Italy was about 6 years late. It is a cheap excuse to blame Alenia for all delays. Now Boeing will use a new wing design for KC-46, an all new boom…

    “So far, the USAF reports the project is going according to plan.” So far the aircraft is not flying. For all the KC-135 crews I hope the program is on time.

  3. Pingback: FedEx takes first 767-300ERF; sources say readies 767-2CF order | Leeham News and Comment

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