February 14, 2007 With the U.S. Air Force officially releasing a request for proposal for a replacement tanker aircraft, the competition is now preparing for battle in the KC-X Tanker competition. While the USAF has a number of urgent acquisition priorities such as a new combat rescue helicopter, space-based early warning and communications satellites, the F-35 Lightning II and the next-generation, long-range strike bomber, the number one priority is seen as the replacement for the Air Force's aging "Eisenhower-era" fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers, which have been in service since 1959. The Air Force intends to replace about 500 KC-135s with a smaller number of new aircraft, with the major contender being the Airbus-built KC-30 from EADS and Northrop Grumman. Boeing announced this week that it will offer the KC-767 Advanced Tanker, an advanced derivative of the future 767-200 Long Range Freighter.
Read the full article: US Air Force invites RFP for tanker replacement