The selection of the KC-46A as the US Air Force's next-generation tanker will help the Bedek division of Israel Aerospace Industries to market its conversion of the Boeing 767 as a multi-mission aircraft with aerial refuelling capability.
"We think that the Israeli air force will be among our first customers for a 767 that we will convert to perform aerial refuelling missions," said Jack Gaber, Bedek's general manager for marketing and business development.
The Boeing 787's entry into service will make the price of the 767 go down and make the type an even more attractive option for conversion, he said.
Even before the USAF's selection, Bedek had said that there is a commercial potential to convert a "meaningful" number of 767s for tanker/transport applications, and set such conversions as a high priority. The company also has started talks with European companies that could become partners in adapting 767s for military users.
Bedek last year delivered one 767-200ER converted as a multi-mission tanker transport for the Colombian air force, after equipping the aircraft with two ARP3 hose and drogu refuelling pods. The aircraft can refuel 13 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters over a mission with a range of 1,850km (1,000nm).