The Royal Australian Air Force’s KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport fleet has surpassed the 20,000 flying hours milestone since entering service in 2011.
This milestone was reached during a mission from Yokota Air Base in Japan – having supported the return of Pacific Air Forces F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft – to Kuala Lumpur as the tanker in question was being positioned to support Exercise Bersama Lima 2016.
“The milestone was reached on an international flight supporting two completely different missions, which further demonstrates the value of the aircraft,” said Wing Commander Rob Williams, commanding officer of 33 Squadron. “The KC-30A has transformed and enhanced the global reach of the ADF, and will continue to mature in its role and application in the years to come.”
33 Squadron operates five KC-30A aircraft from RAAF Base Amberley. AIR 7403 Phase 3 is acquiring two additional aircraft to increase the existing fleet to seven.
These two aircraft – secondhand ex-Qantas aircraft – will be converted to tanker configuration by Airbus Defence and Space at Getafe, Spain.
In October Defence confirmed one of the two additional Airbus A330-200s being converted into KC-30A tanker transports is set to be modified with a VIP interior to support long-range government transport needs.