An RAAF KC-30A multirole tanker transport (MRTT) has been refuelled in flight for the first time by a foreign air force.
With a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) MRTT currently deployed to Darwin to support a detachment of RSAF F-15SG fighters training over the vast Delamere and Bradshaw ranges, an opportunity for RAAF and RSAF MRTTs to work together was taken from October 25 to 30.
Called ‘Boom Camp’, the two aircraft conducted receiver flying, away-base operations, heavy boom tanker consolidation, rendezvous procedures, and formation probe-and-drogue fighter refuelling.
“The event also provided an important opportunity for the RAAF and RSAF to share knowledge and operational experiences as operators of the same aircraft type,”, RAAF 33SQN pilot FLTLT Nicolas Barnes said in an ADF release. “Globally, there are very few exercises and activities that cater specifically to tanker training.”
RSAF 112SQN Deputy CO, Lieutenant Colonel Cheng Li Seng added, “As a small country with limited airspace available for training, we are especially grateful to the RAAF and to the Australian Government for their consistent and strong support in allowing the RSAF to continue to deploy to Darwin amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Singapore replaced its KC-135R Stratotankers with MRTTs in recent years, with the first of six aircraft entering service in 2018. They are essentially similar to the RAAF’s aircraft, with the most visible difference being the RSAF’s Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines as opposed to the RAAF’s GE CF6s.