The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) wants to outsource the refuelling task through a private finance initiative (PFI) scheme. Under this, it will pay an industrial consortium to provide a ‘hoses in the sky' service whenever the RAF requires tanking facilities, rather than having the RAF buying and operating the aircraft itself.

This has the advantage, for the UK Treasury, of removing the capital cost of renewing the RAF's refuelling capability from the government's accounts.

At present, the MoD is officially contracting purely for a refuelling function, but it is believed that an option for carrying freight will be included in the deal, to maintain the capabilities currently found in the RAF's ageing VC10s and Lockheed L1011 TriStars.

Source: Flight Daily News