The first air-to-air refuelling from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport to a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft has occurred over Edwards Air Force Base in California.
The five-hour sortie on February 10 saw 39 contacts between the KC-30A and the C-17A, Defence stated, with approximately 6,800kg of fuel transferred via the Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS). This paves the way for refuelling trials with 36 Squadron aircraft in the near future, stated Group Captain Adam Williams, officer commanding 86 Wing.
RAAF Globemaster crews will soon begin trials, having trained in the role late last year with a Republic of Singapore Air Force KC-135 tanker. In addition to further trials involving the KC-30A and a US C-17, refuelling trials with the F-15 and F-16 are scheduled, Defence said.
The RAAF operates five Multi Role Tanker Transports, with two more joining the fleet from 2018.