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Aussies Refuel C-17 from A330

Flight test trials of a RAAF KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport refuelling a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III during the first air-to-air refuel near Brisbane Queensland. *** Local Caption ***  A flight test team from the Aircraft Research and Development Unit successfully conducted the first air-to-air refuelling trials between a RAAF KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport and a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III on 27 April 2016 off the Queensland coast.
 
Pilots and aerial refuelling operators from No 33 Squadron and No 36 Squadron, both based at RAAF Base Amberley, as well as members of the United States Air Force were also involved in the trials.
 
These trials are part of the clearance program for air-to-air refuelling from the KC-30A's Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), which is also compatible with refuelling the F-35A Lightning II, as well as the E-7A Wedgetail, P-8A Posideon, and other KC-30As. Air-to-air refuelling increases the operating range of RAAF aircraft, and is a critical capability in establishing the RAAF as a modern and fully integrated combat force.
 
The Aircraft Research and Development Unit is located at RAAF Base Edinburgh and is part of the RAAF Air Warfare Centre, which is responsible for driving innovation and integration across the Air Force.

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 Wing Commander Daniel Rich.

For the complete story by Greg Waldron of Flightglobal, click here.

Photo by the Commonwealth of Australia

Updated: May 6, 2016 — 1:16 AM

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