- UPDATED NOV 2 WITH YOUTUBE VIDEO
An RAAF Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime ISR aircraft has successfully completed a first round of air-to-air refuelling trials with an RAAF Airbus KC-30A MRTT.
The tests were conducted over seven flights in designated airspace off the Queensland coast from September 22 to October 1 using the MRTT’s fuselage-mounted boom and the P-8A’s UARRSI (Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation).
“The execution of air-to-air refuelling requires extensive planning and training in both the simulator and airborne environment,” P-8A captain, SQNLDR Chris Godfrey said in a release. “This included rigorous training scenarios to ensure we were ready for the demanding aerial refuelling flights.
“Fundamentally, it’s a team effort both in the air and on the ground,” he added. “This included our 11SQN maintenance personnel who worked long hours over the past couple of months to ensure the serviceability of the aircraft for the aerial refuelling flights.”
Officer Commanding 92WG GPCAPT John Grime said the missions were an important capability outcome. “The missions represent a significant achievement for the RAAF P-8A fleet on our path to final operational capability,” he said. “It enhances the existing operational effectiveness of the aircraft’s long-range surveillance capabilities, extending the endurance and radius of action of the platform.”
Once the clearance program is complete, it will provide a significant capability enhancement to the P-8A’s already impressive range and endurance.