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Qantas to start first Australian KC-30 tanker conversion

The first of four KC-30B multirole tanker transports to undergo conversion by Qantas for the Royal Australian Air Force has arrived at the company’s Brisbane airport facilities in Queensland.

Pictured during an induction ceremony at the site on 6 June, the Airbus A330-200 will receive mission equipment including under-wing refuelling pods and an EADS Casa-developed air refuelling boom system.

© Australian Department of Defence

Modifications will be made to approximately 2,000 structural and 5,500 system parts, and more than 400 new wiring harnesses will also be installed, according to Australia’s Defence Materiel Organisation.

The RAAF’s first KC-30B (below) was modified at EADS Casa’s Getafe site near Madrid, and is involved in an ongoing flight-test programme ahead of its planned entry into service late next year.


The air force will soon be without an air-to-air refuelling capability, with 33 Sqn’s last Boeing 707-based tanker to be retired from use on 30 June.


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