Boeing is to develop a tanker boom, based on its 767-based platform, to meet the refuelling boom requirements for the US Air Force’s KC-X aerial tanker competition.

The company will work on the fifth-generation refuelling boom, developed for Japan, to meet the Pentagon’s 1,200 gallon-per-minute (GPM) offload rate.

The US Air Force has released the draft request for proposals for the KC-X tanker programme, stating the development work will take place under a fixed-price development contract.

Under the programme, the KC-X tanker will be built with a permanent centreline drogue to refuel receptacle and probe-equipped aircraft, and a receiver receptacle to allow it to refuel from KC-135s, KC-10s or another KC-Xs.

The tanker will have an integrated large aircraft infrared countermeasures system and improved communications; navigation and air traffic capabilities to allow it global airspace access.