Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

USAF gets 767 tankers

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Looks like the House and Senate agreed on the lease plan.


Boeing wins Air Force deal for 767 tankers
Wednesday, December 19, 2001


WASHINGTON -- Congressional negotiators yesterday delivered a $22 billion gift to The Boeing Co. and its beleaguered work force, requiring the Air Force to lease 100 Boeing 767s that will be converted into midair tankers.

The tanker conversion project, derided by critics as a government-sponsored bailout for Boeing, emerged as a top priority for Washington state lawmakers in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The attacks sent Boeing's fortunes -- and its commercial airline business -- spiraling downward and led to the company announcing it would lay off 30,000 workers.

With the agreement by House and Senate negotiators, the legislation is virtually assured of passing and being signed into law. The agreement, said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., "all but guarantees final passage later this week."

The deal will save about 2,500 jobs at Boeing's Everett plant and create a total of 17,000 indirect jobs over the 10-year term of the lease.

Most of those jobs will be in the Puget Sound region, which is mired in one of the worst recessions in the nation and is in dire need of some economic good news. The first planes are expected to be delivered in 2003.

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., who was a prime advocate for the provision in the House, said the final deal exceeded his expectations. He also defended it against critics who said it was a bailout.

"You never can justify these kinds of things on jobs," Dicks said. "There has to be a strong national security basis to support it."

Replacing the tanker fleet is one of the Air Force's highest priorities. Dicks said the tanker program could eventually lead to Boeing planes replacing the entire fleet of 400 aging planes now used by the Air Force for surveillance, refueling and other tactical missions.

The Boeing program is part of a $318 billion defense-spending bill that is a high priority given the worldwide campaign against terrorism and the war in Afghanistan.

The deal reached yesterday by negotiators for the House and Senate calls for the Air Force to lease 100 wide-body 767s over 10 years. Boeing would then have the option of taking the planes back and reselling them at a relatively young age.

The negotiators also provided money for the Air Force and Navy to buy four of Boeing's smaller 737 jets for use as executive passenger planes for high-ranking government and military officials.

A Boeing spokeswoman declined comment, but the agreement generated bright smiles by Dicks and Washington's two senators, Patty Murray and Cantwell.

"This is an amazing moment," said Murray, noting that few believed they would succeed in pushing a lease arrangement through Congress. Dicks said leasing the planes was the only option because there wasn't enough money in the budget to buy the planes. He added that getting the new planes would save $5.9 billion that is needed to refurbish and add new engines to the existing fleet.

"I'd rather spend it on leasing new planes than spending it on old planes that still will be 43 years old when you fix them up," Dicks said.

"The thing that convinced (House and Senate conferees) was, we need the tankers. Every single member there understood that these tankers were essential for national security. They finally understood this was the only way we could do it."
Is it possible the USAF already has 767's? I was on approach in to Macon, GA (MCN), and we were given extended vectors because a 767 was on a VOR approach into Robins AFB. I didn't think they'd have 767's as tankers yet, but is the USAF using them yet as AWAC airplanes?

Does this mean that some KC-10s will come down to guard units? I'd love to get into a DC-10.
The Air Force has 757's for VIP transport, but no 767's so far. Japan has 767 AWAC's, and both Italy and Japan have orders for the 767 tanker but none have been delivered yet. So far no replacements for the E-3's and E-8's are planned, but they're getting older too.

Air Force Reserve squadrons already fly KC-10's at both Travis and McGuire AFB's. I'd be surprised if they moved the KC-10's around, but you never know. Where the 767's will end up is a good question, though. I'd love to see them at my guard unit!

The question I have is what is going to happen in 2013 when the leases start to run out? Is the Air Force really going to just give the aircraft back? I think they'll either have to re-lease the 767's or just buy them, since they're going to have to replace the 135's sooner or later anyway.

It doesn't make that much sense that the 135s would be leaving soon? If so why spend all the money upgrading them to -R models?
It doesn't make that much sense that the 135s would be leaving soon? If so why spend all the money upgrading them to -R models?

one of those mysteries like why the military re-paves all the roads and fixes up base housing just before closing a base that has been on BRAC for over 5 years! I don't think the brass listen to the accountants too much in the military!

I wonder if they'll allow any interservice transfer types go into the 767? My guess is it will be highly sought after for obvious reasons.

I'm all for the love. A little love for Lockheed, a little love for Boeing.
Common Wide Body

Hello Aviators,

Yes, the U. S. Air Force wants a new common wide body aircraft and has selected the B-767 as the future aircraft to replace the aerial refueling tankers/cargo and command/control/communication/surveillance platforms. This will replace the aging B-707 fleet now in service and will have a common cockpit (with some variations for the mission, of course) to standardize training of it's aircrews and combine depot maintenance functions. There are a lot of technical obstacles and paradigms to overcome, but should result in a more efficient and streamlined operation. Take care and Happy Holidays to all.
Hi Guys and Gals,
Personally, I think that the whole 767Tanker/Transport is nothing more than corporate welfare. The USAF has already spent 10's of millions to modify to the C-141C standard and even more on the KC-135R/T program, including the PACER CRAG EFIS cockpit.
This program is just like the C-130J that was also rammed down the USAF's throat by parochial and "hometown" congressmen. The AF has stated that the 767 program is going to be much more expensive than a procurment program. However, a nice fat lease with almost all the maintenance tied to the contractor gives the congressmen that backed this a lot of clout with the hometown Boeing people ( I cannot cite the congresswoman, but she was a Democrat from Washington, who's district just happens to be home to the Boeing Everett facilty where these airplanes will be manufactured). This all works out to be very expensive for the US taxpayer in the long-run.
How would the money be spent? Here is where I'd spend it and why:

1. Use the money to accelerate the C-5 re-engining and reliablity mods. Why? The airplane is the most capabe strategic aircraft in the world and it's suffered under the last administration due to underfunding.

2. Accelerate the production rate of the C-17 and realize unit cost savings, which will allow another 12-16 aircraft to be produced at the same cost. This is something that the USAF has indicated that it would like to do.

As a final comment, if they are so fired up to do this via a leasing agreement. Put the whole **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**ed program up for bid and let private enterprise operate and maintain the airplanes. This would be far cheaper and could be run in a similar fashion as MSC ships (civilian crews).

There are currently around 550 KC-135's still flying, and over 100 of these are the E models with the old engines. The Air Force has been putting off replacing these aircraft forever, at the very least the 767 tankers will allow them to get rid of the KC-135E's.

The reason the PACER CRAG upgrade is needed is that the majority of the KC-135's will still be flying 10 years from now, and probably much longer. Even if you assumed that one 767 can do the job of two KC-135's, that still leaves you with about 350 KC-135's that this new lease program won't replace. And keeping 350 40 year old aircraft flying ain't cheap...

I hope that once the 767 tanker is built and in the inventory they can find some money to actually start a low rate acquisition. One nice thing about buying a civilian derived aircraft is that the government doesn't have to worry about keeping the production line running.

Any guesses as to when the KC-135's will finally be retired??? I'd say no earlier than 2025.


Latest resources