The Royal Australian Air Force has conducted air-to-air refuelling trials between its two largerst aircraft types: the Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and Boeing C-17A strategic airlifter.
The work took place off the coast of Queensland and involved several contacts between the A330 MRTT’s boom and the C-17A’s refuelling receptacle. This marks the first time a RAAF-operated A330 MRTT has refuelled a RAAF-operated C-17A.
“Our testing program is not just of benefit to the RAAF but, through close cooperation with the United States Air Force flight test system, this clearance activity will also provide a meaningful contribution across allied test and evaluation activities,” says RAAF Wg Cdr Daniel Rich.
The Australian sortie follows an earlier mission in February that saw an RAAF A330 MRTT - designated KC-30A in RAAF service- - refuel a USAF C-17A over Edwards AFB in Claifornia. During that sortie the tanker delivered 6,800kg (15,000lb) of fuel to the C-17.
The five-hour sortie in February saw 39 contacts made between the two jets using the boom.
The RAAF operates five KC-30As, with two more joining in 2017. It also has eight C-17As.