The Brazilian air force has selected Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert two Boeing 767-300ER airliners into aerial refueling tanker transports.

The converted aircraft, which will replace the country's existing Boeing 707-derived KC-137s, will also act as a strategic airlifter and medical evacuation aircraft.

Brazil's two KC-137s were built in the 1960s but only entered service with the country's air force in 1986.

The aircraft need to be replaced because of high operating costs and high fuel consumption. The aircraft's excessive engine noise also played a factor in Brazil's decision to replace the KC-137.

Brazil has been looking for a replacement tanker since 2008 under the KC-X2 programme. Boeing, Airbus Military and IAI had been invited to submit bids.

The award comes nearly three years after IAI delivered to Colombia a 767-200 modified into a tanker.

IAI's Bedek division performs the tanker modifications. The company offers refueling by probe-and-drogue and a recently qualified fly-by-wire boom, although it was not clear which configuration Brazil selected.

Source: Flight International