EVERETT, Wash., July 1 (UPI) -- Boeing has offered its new KC-46 aerial tanker to South Korea, which plans to form its first tanker squadron, the company reports.
The KC-46 Pegasus is based on the company's 767 commercial airliner. It is scheduled to come into service with the U.S. Air Force beginning in 2018.
"We've been a strategic and industrial partner with the Republic of Korea for more than six decades and remain committed to helping Korea strengthen its defense capabilities and aerospace industry," said Eric John, president of Boeing Korea. "With the KC-46, Korea will acquire a force-multiplier and the ability to operate seamlessly with the U.S. Air Force during combat and humanitarian relief operations."
The official offer by Boeing was made earlier this week in response to a request for proposals from Korea's Defense Acquisition and Program Administration.
The agency is expected to select an aircraft later this year for a tanker fleet comprised of four aircraft.
The KC-46 is a multi-role aircraft for transport as well as use as a tanker/aerial re-fueler. Its main deck cargo floor can be reconfigured by one person in two hours or less for any type of mission and it features an armored cockpit for protection from small arms fire.