Two 21st Century Air Systems Work Together: KC-30As Refuel F-35As

2015-10-03 Recently, a KC-30A refueled a KC-30A with the new boom system.

On 13 August 2015 two KC-30 aircraft from RAAF Amberley conducted a Air to Air refueling training sortie.

The Australian Air Force KC-30 aircraft is carrying out an air to air refueling operation using the Airbus Defence and Space Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS).

Having an air refuelable tanker, a crew rest area onboard and a large deck, which can be used for a variety of purposes – transport, ISR servers, C2 posts, etc. – is a key advantage of the A330MRTT tanker.

Having a global fleet is highlighted as exchange pilots from Britain and France are involved in the training exercise.

It is clear that the KC-30A is a key platform in shaping a more integrated 21st century combat force as envisaged in the RAAF’s Plan Jericho approach to force transformation.

Now the next step has been taken with an Aussie tanker refueling USAF F-35As over the skies of the Western United States.

According to an Airbus Defence and Space press release from September 29, 2015:

An Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) of the Royal Australian Air Force has successfully refuelled a F-35A Joint Strike Fighter of the US Air Force.

During a four-hour sortie from Edwards AFB, California, the tanker, known in RAAF service as the KC-30A, conducted 59 contacts including five “wet contacts” during which 19,600kg (43,200lb) of fuel were passed.

All the refuelling was performed used the A330 MRTT’s Airbus Airborne Refuelling Boom System (ARBS).

The combat-proven A330 MRTT is the only new generation tanker/transport certified and in-service and the first to refuel the F-35A, underlining its full international interoperability with all Western front-line fighters.

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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