Skip to comments.Israel bids for $1.4 bil. refueling tankers (South Korea)
Posted on 06/12/2014 9:04:34 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
IAI's refuel tanker
By Jun Ji-hye
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is moving to join the competition to win a contract to supply the nation's Air Force with four in-flight refueling tankers.
IAI's participation is creating a three-way battle, along with Boeing and Airbus, who are also bidding to win the 1.4 trillion won ($1.4 billion) acquisition project.
The Israeli company held a media briefing session in Seoul Wednesday and stressed that its B767 MMTT (Multi Mission Tanker Transport) is the comprehensive solution to the air ability of the Air Force.
"The IAI is proposing the pre-owned B767-300ER to be the platform for the Air Force's multi-mission tanker and transport," said Moshe Scharf, senior director of marketing and business development. "We guarantee a service life of more than 30 years after delivery."
In talking about the strengths of its aerial tanker, Scharf enumerated "quick configuration changes, multiple refueling points, enhanced operational flexibility, high dispatch reliability and advanced mission systems."
The company also proposed that it will offer technical support for three years, as well as training courses including ground schools and boom simulators.
Seoul's plan to improve airborne operations of fighters of the Air Force was finalized in November.
In an effort to win the contract, Airbus Defence & Space held its briefing session on May 22, stressing the A330 MRTT's enormous fuel capacity improves the efficiency and effectiveness of fast jets' operations.
For its part, the formidable competitor Boeing also carried out its session days earlier, saying it would be able to supply the KC-46A to South Korea from 2017.
Initially, Boeing's KC-46 and Airbus's A330 MRTT were cited as the leading candidates for the military's acquisition project. But observers say the IAI's participation could turn the competition into a free-for-all, as the Israeli company is expected to present a considerably discounted price.
The government will accept proposal documents by the end of June and make a decision by the end of this year through operational tests and negotiations.
Since 1993, the Air Force has sought to deploy aerial tankers to refuel fighter jets, but the plan has been repeatedly shelved due to budget constraints and shifts in priorities.
Neighboring countries already operate aerial refueling aircraft.
China, which has 10 refueling tankers, recently imported eight more from Russia, while Japan's Air Self-Defense Force plans to augment its four KC-767Js with four more.
Follow Jun Ji-hye on Twitter @TheKopJihye
Tankers built using old 707’s are a lot cheaper.... wonder why not that route.
Easiest way to get F15 and F16 to Iran. And back.
Buying 707s is cheaper, of course. Keeping them flying and in shape is not. The 707 ceased production decades ago, so spares will be a pain. The 767 is still in production, so your life-cycle costs will be cheaper.