During a briefing outlining Boeing’s tanker offerings, Mark McGraw, the company’s point man on tankers, revealed that Boeing also will offer its larger 777 aircraft as an option in the upcoming tanker replacement program. He said that the larger tanker has key capabilities that match provisions Boeing saw in USAF’s request for proposals. “It’s a well thought out mature document,” McGraw said, adding that a KC-777 would be advantageous for “high capacity” missions while maintaining a multi-role utility for deployment missions—since the 777 has a cargo capacity of up to 37 pallets and a max fuel capacity of more than 350,000 pounds. McGraw said the Air Force’s newer RFP has clarified a lot of to-be-determined aspects of the KC-X, such as the fuel offload curve and the ability for a new tanker to operate off of a NATO-standardized 8,000 foot runway.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.