In a surprise move, Boeing has selected Pratt & Whitney's PW4062 engine to equip its 767 tanker for domestic and international operators. All previous military derivatives of the 767 have General Electric engines.

Boeing says its decision was based on "best-value evaluation criteria, including engine performance, pricing considerations, management, and quality and schedule history".

Programme insiders say "rock bottom pricing" gave P&W a way into the tanker project, which has been dominated by GE's CF6-80C2 powerplant. Japan already operates GE-powered E-767 airborne early warning aircraft, and will field a CF6-powered tanker variant, in common with Italy.

The selection could become meaningless, however, if the US Air Force is unable to proceed with its proposed $20 billion lease/purchase of 100 KC-767s. Adecision on the project's future is due from the Office of the Secretary of Defense after 1 May.

Source: Flight International