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Boeing delivers first KC-767 to the Italian Air Force


Boeing handed over the first of four KC-767A tankers to the Italian air force; it first flew in May 2005 and was due to be delivered in April 2006. Photo: Boeing.

PRATICA DI MARE (BNS): The Italian Air Force has received the first of four KC-767 aircraft from Boeing, at its Pratica di Mare base south of Rome.

The aircraft MM 62229 (military registration name), will go through a series of trials and activities to prepare for its successive operational employment, the Air Force said in a statement.

The KC-767A will replace the existing Boeing B-707T/T fleet of Italian Air Force. It will support the long-distance projection capabilities of the Italian Air Force and will also contribute to NATO missions.

The KC-767A is derived from the airframe of the ubiquitous Boeing 767 airliner. Boeing has fitted three “probe and drogue” refueling points and a refueling boom on the centerline, for the Italian version of the aircraft.

This unique configuration will allow it to carry out all kinds of in-flight refueling, with fighters as well as transport aircraft. Its advanced avionics and mission equipment allow it to operate with only three crew members for transport missions, and four for in-flight refueling.

These missions are managed by an operator via a highly automated central control station which tracks and controls the fuel transfer, the receiving aircraft and refueling equipment and the fuel flow. The KC-767 can offload or take on fuel from another KC-767A thanks to a refueling receptacle located on its upper fuselage, behind the cockpit, so as to further boost its already considerable range and operational capabilities.

Boeing has scheduled the flight test of the second aircraft at its plant, which will be handed over to the Italian Air Force in coming months.

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