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

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 15, 2016

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 (4)

  • Daryl


    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.

  • Paul


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

  • mick181


    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.

  • Aden O'Keefe-Buckton


    That’s something you don’t see every day!

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