Wednesday, February 17, 2016

RAAF A330 MRTT refuels USAF C-17

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus Defence & Space A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) has successfully refuelled a Boeing C-17A for the first time.

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)

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