The B767 takes off this morning from Ben Gurion International Airport on its way to Colombia.
4 November 2010 -- Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has delivered a converted B767-200ER (Extended Range) MMTT (which includes air refueling capabilities) to the Colombian Air Force (CAF).
The aircraft was converted by Bedek Aviation Group to a Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) configuration for the Colombian government and the end-user, the Colombian Air Force.
A festive toast was held at IAI's facilities next to Ben Gurion International Airport, in the presence of the Colombian ambassador to Israel, Mr. Isaac Gilinsky, pilots from the Colombian Air Force, IAI's president and CEO, Mr. Itzhak Nissan, Bedek Aviation Group's general manager, Mr. Eli Hattem and project managers from IAI.
At the ceremony, Mr. Nissan said:" We are proud and honored to deliver the Air Refueling B767 to the Colombian government and it's Air Force. The B767 "MMTT" configuration was jointly defined by IAI teams and Colombian Air Force pilots and officers, to provide the best capabilities for both air refueling and transport missions. I would like to thank the Israeli Ministry of Defense for supporting this contract and the Colombian government and Air Force for their cooperation. We look forward to working with you on joint projects in the future."
The Colombian ambassador said: "Receiving the tanker is a great gift to the Colombian Air Force. It is a project of national significance and is of crucial importance to Colombia's security and defense. The tanker will play a major role in enhancing our Air Force's capabilities. We look forward to enjoying its performance in the field."
Lt. Gen. Carlos Silva of the CAF said:" We're so pleased to be receiving the converted B767. It is an impressive platform with outstanding capabilities. The joint IAI/CAF effort has succeeded and borne fruit. We are proud to be working with IAI's pilots and engineers who see us as friends, rather than customers, it's a great pleasure."
The MMTT aircraft successfully completed flight tests, including in-flight refueling of Kfir/C10 fighter aircraft, also produced by IAI.
Israel Aerospace Industries’ Bedek Aviation Group is a leading supplier of aviation maintenance, repair, overhaul and conversion services on a variety of commercial and military aircraft, engines and components. Bedek provides cost-effective, total maintenance support packages through its Full Service Provider Programs. With more than 20 years of experience, IAI/Bedek's passenger-to-freighter conversion product line also includes: B737-300, B737-400, B767-200, and B747-400 aircraft.