Almost six years late, Boeing has delivered the first of four KC-767A tanker/transports to the Italian air force. The aircraft, serial MM 62229, was handed over at Practica di Mare airbase south of Rome on Jan 27.
'It's all yours, mate." (Photo: Aeronautica Militare)
But it won't go to work just yet. First it will have to undergo in-country tests before entering operational service with 14 Stormo (Wing). Boeing will deliver the second aircraft within a few months, says the air force. The KC-767As are replacing four ageing Boeing 707T/T tanker/transports. Delivery was planned for 2005, but was delayed by flutter problems caused by the underwing hose-and-drogue refueling pods.
Italy's KC-767As are equipped for three-point refueling, with a centerline boom in addition to the pods. The aircraft also can carry a combination of passengers and freight, whereas Japan's KC-767s are equipped with just the boom and can carry either passengers or cargo.