The milestone took place on 10 February, with the RAAF tanker delivering 6,800kg (15,000lb) of fuel to the USAF C-17A over Edwards Air Force Base in California, says Australia’s Department of Defence.
(Photo: Royal Australian Air Force)
The 5h sortie saw 39 contacts made between the two jets using the A330 MRTT’s boom, which is designated KC-30A in Australian service.
The RAAF says air-to-air refuelling increases the C-17A’s range, allowing it to fly heavier payloads over longer distances. The US trial sets the stage for air-to-air refuelling between the tanker and Canberra’s own fleet of C-17As.
Australian C-17A pilots have already conducted refuelling trials with Republic of Singapore Air Force KC-135Rs in late 2015. Singapore plans to replace these aircraft with six A330 MRTTs.
The RAAF operates five KC-30As, with two more joining in 2017. It also has eight C-17As.
(Greg Waldron - Flightglobal News)