ST. LOUIS, May 07, 2008 — The KC-767 Advanced Tanker developed by Boeing [NYSE: BA] was sized to meet the aerial refueling requirements of the U.S. Air Force’s mission and exceeded performance requirements to replace the aging, yet storied fleet of KC-135 medium tankers. Despite the fact that the stated parameters for evaluating the aircraft said no extra credit would be assigned for exceeding certain requirement objectives, the Northrop Grumman and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) team received such credit. As a result, the oversized Airbus A330-based KC-30 was selected. Boeing has protested the decision to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
According to the Statement of Objectives for the KC-X program, the primary mission of the new tanker would be aerial refueling rather than hauling cargo or transporting passengers. In order to meet the documented mission requirements, Boeing offered the KC-767, which efficiently fulfills the vital mission of a mid-sized aerial refueling fleet while also exceeding the highest requirements for airlift, passenger and aeromedical evacuation capabilities.
"Tanker flight crews are asked to bring the right amount of fuel to the fight in the most efficient, reliable manner, and the KC-767 meets that fundamental requirement," said Mark McGraw, vice president, Boeing Tanker Programs. "Asking these aircrews to fly longer missions in larger, less survivable planes with more fuel capacity than needed and vast amounts of unused cargo and passenger space just doesn’t add up.
"The Boeing KC-767 exceeded the requirements in a manner that still kept the plane right-sized and efficient," McGraw said. "Our competition likes to talk about offering more, more, more — but in reality, the KC-30 will cost more to operate, more to maintain, and more to house, with the U.S. taxpayer footing the bill."
A larger plane — like the KC-30 tanker offered by Northrop Grumman and EADS — simply results in wasted capacity, wasted efficiency and wasted taxpayer dollars.
The contrasts between the KC-767 and the KC-30 are notable and worth considering in determining the appropriate tanker for the mission:
Source: Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
Picture provided and copyrighted by Boeing
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