Although the UK might convert ex-BA 767s, new build A330s are also in the running, I suspect the RAF would prefer new builds if the price is right, plus the A330s greater cargo capacity might be a factor too, but the 767 seems an attractive deal.
It is fair to say that the KC
-135Es need replacing and soon, though the bulk on the -135 fleet are KC
-135Rs with CFM-56 engines, and more recently, an extensive avionic upgrade.
However, this stinks of corporate welfare, if the 135E replacement is so urgent, and it is, they could have already started with converting used 767s leading to an incremental programme of new 767s, ordered in the usual USAF
style in batches every year.
Maybe 20-30 conversions, the balance of the 100 being new.
Then look hard at various proposals for new tanker/transport designs, (LM
have produced some, I'm thinking of those here). This is for the KC
-135R and KC
-10 replacement, also a supplement for the USAFs transport fleet.
From 2015 onwards.
Everyone is happy, the USAF
gets a new tanker programme on stream, the work is more evenly spread both financially and in jobs (helping to ease it through Capitol Hill), then LM
get back into the big airframe business with a new advanced design, with potential commercial applications.