One of the Boeing 767s that will be used by the Brazilian air force as an in-flight refuelling tanker is to be converted in Brazil, under an agreement with prime contractor Israel Aerospace Industries.
Brazil's air force command in March 2013 selected IAI for the conversion of two 767-300ER commercial aircraft into tankers, with the deal including options for two more. The Israeli company's Bedek division will modify the first aircraft, with TAP subsidiary TAP Manutenção e Engenharia Brasil to prepare the second in Brazil.
The configuration of the converted 767s will be similar to that of the Brazilian air force's current three operational Boeing 707-based KC-137s, which are equipped with two hose and drogue refuelling pods to support the service's fighters. This will also make the new type compatible with the winner of Brazil's delayed F-X2 competition between the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen.
IAI offers modified 767s in a flexible configuration comprising under-wing pods, a refuelling boom or both. The company has previously supplied one 767-based tanker to Colombia, which operates the type as the Jupiter.
To be performed under IAI supervision, the local conversion is part of the company's effort to increase its co-operation with industry in Brazil.
IAI chief executive Joseph Weiss says the company intends to integrate into the Brazilian defence and security markets by strengthening ties with local industry. "We already have a number of business proposals which are currently under review," he notes.