RAAF KC-30 completes first refuelling of a C-17

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) refuels a United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster III transport.The first air-to-air refuelling from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport to a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport has occurred over Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The five-hour sortie on February 10 saw 39 contacts between the KC-30 and the C-17, Defence stated, with approximately 6,800kg of fuel transferred via the Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS). This paves the way for refuelling trials with 36 Squadron C-17s in the near future, stated Group Captain Adam Williams, officer commanding 86 Wing.

“The ARBS is a key enabler for the Air Force with most of the RAAF’s future fleet requiring boom type refuelling rather than hose and drogue,” GPCAPT Williams said.

RAAF C-17 crews will soon begin trials, having trained in the role late last year with a Republic of Singapore Air Force KC-135 tanker. In addition to further trials involving the KC-30 and a US C-17, refuelling trials with the F-15 and further trials with the F-16 are scheduled, Defence said.

The RAAF operates five KC-30s, with two more joining the fleet from 2018.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) refuels a United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster III transport.

Separately, in other tanker news, Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus tanker, which is being developed for the US Air Force, has refuelled an F/A-18 for the first time, also on February 10. It was the first time the KC-46’s hose and drogue system had been used during flight test.

Earlier on January 24 the KC-46 had used its boom for the first time to refuel an F-16.

KC-46A F/A-18 Milestone C

Comments

  1. Daryl says

    This jet was parked at the Southern California Logistics Airport, in Victorville, CA (old George AFB) just a couple of days ago.I suspected more trials.No mention in this article regarding the proposed trials with the B1.

  2. Paul says

    One hopes that the trials program will also include the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, in preparation for its introduction into RAAF service.

  3. mick181 says

    It would come down to aircraft availability Paul. The USN would be very busy bringing their P-8s up to FOC, so probably none available at this time to qualify a foreign Airforce Tanker. So probably some where down the track with RAAF P-8s.