Boom acceptance sees KC-30A removed from Projects of Concern list

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 6, 2015
A file image of the first RAAF KC-30 refuelling a Portuguese F-16.
File image of the first RAAF KC-30 refuelling a Portuguese F-16 during testing.

The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has announced that the KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft has been removed from the Projects of Concern list, following acceptance of the boom capability.

AIR 5402 had been managed as a Project of Concern since February 2010 due to delays in delivery attributed to Airbus Defence and Space, Defence stated.

But the DMO’s acting chief executive officer Harry Dunstall said that following an extensive development and testing program, the issues previously identified with the introduction of the Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) have been resolved and Defence has formally accepted the capability.

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“Resolution of this issue completes the remediation of all activities identified in the project’s remediation plan, and accordingly it has been removed from the list,” Dunstall said. “Airbus Defence and Space has worked collaboratively with us to address our concerns, and I would like to recognise and thank Airbus for their efforts.”

The KC-30A has been conducting hose-and-drogue refuelling activities with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) since 2011, and is being used to great effect on current operations in the Middle East, according to Defence. Acceptance of the ARBS paves the way for the progressive introduction of the boom in-flight refuelling capability.

Airbus Defence and Space welcomed the decision to remove the MRTT from the Projects of Concern list, noting that as the launch customer the RAAF has accepted all five ordered aircraft. To date, 35 of the Airbus A330 MRTTs have been ordered overall, with 22 delivered.

“Like many high-tech, complex weapons systems, the KC-30A MRTT’s introduction to the Australian Defence Force has been a protracted evolution,” stated Kurt Rossner of Airbus Defence and Space. “However, we now have confirmation that these aircraft are regarded highly by RAAF pilots and support crews as capable, efficient and reliable aircraft, by virtue of their modern avionics, advanced performance and flight characteristics.”

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The ARBS is set to undergo operational evaluation and all aircrew will have to be trained before Final Operational Capability (FOC) can be declared.

7 Comments

  • Raymond

    says:

    Good news!

    Is there a current Projects of Concern list available?

  • Allan

    says:

    Another very welcome piece of the puzzle cleared for use. Will be interesting to see how long before some images of C-17s and E-7s on the boom are released.

  • Chris

    says:

    Good news indeed. Look forward to the KC30A refuelling RAAF C17A ER, E7A, P8A and other KC30As in addition to coalition UARSSI equipped aircraft via the ARBS with its higher rate of fuel transfer. The DMO risk strategy of being an early adopter of the Boeing E7A and Airbus KC30A eventually paid off whilst years late because these two main aircraft manufacturers had too deliver otherwise suffer hits to their reputations. 5 RAAF medium aerial refuelling tankers is insufficient for our AO and number of receivers. Singapore has 6 on order to replace its KC135s.

  • Billy

    says:

    Fantastic news! I read somewhere that they are planning on starting clearance testing on other KC-30’s, then wedgetails and later in the year heading to the states for the F-35

  • Captain

    says:

    Ah
    At last.

  • Tom

    says:

    It as great to see the KC30 up close on the Ground at Avalon the other week and a real treat to see it in formation with the Supers!

  • Adrian

    says:

    Does any body know how many KC30s would be required to enable a P8A to reach the extremity of the Australian Search and Rescue area and conduct a 4 hour search?

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