Dragon DRW56340 USAF Boeing KC-46 Aerial Refueling and Strategic Transport Aircraft and F-16C Fighting Falcon Fighter (1:400 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The Boeing KC-46 is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. In February 2011, the tanker was selected by United States Air Force (USAF) as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older KC-135 Stratotankers.
In 2006 the USAF released a request for proposal (RFP) for a new tanker program, KC-X, to be selected by 2007. Boeing had also announced it may enter an even higher capability tanker based on the Boeing 777, named the KC-777 Strategic Tanker. Airbus partnered with Northrop Grumman to offer the Airbus A330 MRTT, the tanker version of the A330, which was being marketed to the USAF under the company name, KC-30.
In late January 2007, the USAF issued the KC-X Aerial Refueling Aircraft Request for Proposal. The RFP called for 179 (4 system development and demonstration and 175 production) tankers, in a contract worth an estimated US$40 billion. However, Northrop and EADS expressed their displeasure at how the RFP was structured and threatened to withdraw, leaving only Boeing to offer an aircraft.
On February 12th, 2007, Boeing announced it was offering the KC-767 Advanced Tanker for the KC-X Tanker competition. Boeing stated that for KC-X's requirements, the KC-767 was a better fit than the KC-777. On April 11th, 2007, Boeing submitted its KC-767 tanker proposal to U.S. Air Force. The KC-767 Advanced Tanker offered for this KC-X round was based on the in-development 767-200LRF (Long Range Freighter), rather than the -200ER that Italian and Japanese KC-767 aircraft are based, differing by combining the -200ER fuselage, -300F wing, gear, cargo door and floor, -400ER digital flightdeck and flaps, uprated engines, and "sixth-generation" fly-by-wire boom. The KC-767 has manual flight controls with an unrestricted flight envelope.
Boeing submitted the final version of its proposal on January 3rd, 2008. On February 28th, 2008, the DoD chose the Northrop Grumman/EADS KC-30, over the KC-767. The KC-30 was subsequently designated KC-45A by the Air Force. Boeing submitted a protest to the United States Government Accountability Office on March 11th, 2008 and began waging a public relations campaign in support of their protest. On June 18th, following a series of admissions by the Air Force on the flaws in the bidding process, the GAO upheld Boeing's protest and recommended the contract be rebid. On July 9th, 2008, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that the Air Force would reopen bidding on the tanker contract. Secretary Gates put the contract for the KC-45 into an "expedited recompetition" with Defense Undersecretary John Young in charge of the selection process instead of the Air Force. A draft of the revised RFP was provided to the contractors on August 6th, 2008, for comments. By mid-August the revised RFP was to be finalized. However, on September 10th, 2008, the U.S. Defense Department canceled the KC-X solicitation.
On February 24th, 2011, the Air Force announced the selection of Boeing's KC-767. The aircraft will receive the designation KC-46A. Boeing was also awarded a development contract for the tanker. The contract calls for Boeing to complete, and deliver 18 initial operational KC-46 tankers by 2017. Boeing's "NewGen Tanker" is based on the 767-200 with an improved version of the KC-10 refueling boom, and cockpit displays from the 787.
Quick off the mark, Dragon Warbirds now brings an exciting 1/400 scale model of Boeings NewGen tanker. As would be expected, the model makes use of Warbirds existing Boeing 767 molds, but it adds all the requisite parts to make the latest air-to-air refueling craft. As a special bonus for this release, a brand new 1/400 F-16C fighter is also included. Both USAF aircraft can be displayed flying together on a special stand. The KC-46A will be a very important asset in the USAF, just as this model will be in any aircraft collection!
Wingspan: 4-3/4 inches
Length: 4-3/4 inches
Wingspan: 1 inch
Length: 1-1/2 inches
Release Date: November 2011
Historical Account: "Bidding War" - On September 24th, 2009, the USAF began the first steps in the new round of bids, with a clearer set of criteria, including reducing the number of requirements from 800 to 373 in an attempt to simplify the process and allow a more objective decision to be made. On March 4th, 2010, Boeing announced it will bid the KC-767 tanker for the new KC-X round. EADS announced in April 2010 it would submit a tanker bid without Northrop Grumman as a U.S. partner. Boeing submitted its KC-767 "NewGen Tanker" bid on July 9th, 2010. The company submitted a revised bid on February 10th, 2011.