The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] Monday celebrated the delivery of the fourth commercial 767 that will be modified into a KC-767 Tanker for the Italian Air Force. In a brief ceremony at the company's Everett, Wash. facility, Boeing Commercial Airplanes delivered the aircraft to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, who will transform it into an aerial refueling tanker.
"We're eager to start modifying the fourth 767 for the Italian Air Force," said Joe Shaheen, director of Boeing International Tanker Programs. "Once completed, Italy will have an advanced tanker fleet with unrivaled capability and operational flexibility."
Event attendees included Italian Maj. Gen. Giovanni Perrone Compagni, Italian Ministry of Defense, and Lt. Col. Roberto Poni, Italian Air Force Tanker program liaison in Wichita, Kan. Boeing executives included Shaheen, Jeff Keller, KC-767 Italian Tanker program manager, Beverly Wyse, vice president for 767 Airplane Production, and Jack Jones, director of Everett Field Operations and Delivery.
Italy's first KC-767 Tanker, currently in the aerial refueling flight test phase, recently completed its first contact with a B-52 and extended and retracted the refueling hose from the centerline Hose Drum Unit for the first time. The company has logged more than 235 flights and nearly 715 flight test hours on the KC-767.
Boeing will deliver the first KC-767 to Italy later this year. In addition to flight-testing the KC-767 for international customers, Boeing announced Feb. 12 that it will offer the KC-767 Advanced Tanker for the U.S. Air Force's KC-X Tanker competition.
Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for nearly 75 years.