Italian KC-767 tanker completes its first F-35 refuelling – 8/6/2015 – Flight Global

Italy’s F-35 programme has passed a key test, with an Italian Air Force KC-767A taker refuelling a Lockheed Martin F-35A for the first time.The milestone comes as Italy prepares to flight test its first domestically-assembled F-35A, which rolled off the Cameri assembly line in March and will eventually be flown to the US to support pilot training at Luke AFB in Arizona.The joint strike fighter top-up took place 29 July over Edwards AFB in California, with 25 boom contacts and 7,259kg (16,000lb) of fuel offloaded to the US Air Force F-35 (AF-4).

via Italian KC-767 tanker completes its first F-35 refuelling – 8/6/2015 – Flight Global.

I knew Italy was buying the F-35, but I don’t think I realized they were opening a final assembly line there.

The Italian KC767 frustrates me, in that Italy and a handful of other nations were able to buy a perfectly good tanker, whereas the US acquisition process is so fouled up that the US had to spend a dozen years to sign a contract on the KC-46 Pegasus, a plane that is still having developmental issues, made by a company that literally invented the tanker jet.

2 thoughts on “Italian KC-767 tanker completes its first F-35 refuelling – 8/6/2015 – Flight Global”

  1. The A330 tanker was also “on the shelf” (and is in service with the Australians and British) when they picked the KC-46.

    Looks like everything Boeing said about this being an easy adaptation of a commercial aircraft… wasn’t exactly true… and they slightly underbid on price. What a surprise.

  2. What bugs me is KC-46A should be an easy adaptation of the, in service, KC-767; but it’s got developmental problems.

    There’s nothing really new on the thing except the FBW boom. It’s assembled from bits of other 767 variations that are happily flying around right now. I beggars belief that Boeing doesn’t have the talent to do it smoothly and makes one wonder if there’s other reasons than ability for the problems…

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