The air forces of Australia and the Republic of Korea have formalised a bilateral air-to-air refuelling (AAR) arrangement.

An agreement regarding this cooperation was signed earlier in September.

It was signed between Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) air commander air vice-marshal Darren Goldie and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) Operation Command commander lieutenant general Park Ha Sik.

The agreement will provide an opportunity for the forces to align the procedures and techniques of AAR.

The two air forces conduct joint exercises, training and other activities at regular intervals, and the latest aerial refuelling arrangement has added another significant component to this existing cooperation. 

The new agreement will also allow the RAAF and the ROKAF to further expand their area of operations, while simultaneously improving the combined operational capability.

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Park Ha Sik said: “As strategic partners, various collaborations between the two countries should take place in the future.

“This implementing arrangement will be the ironclad foundation for the development of the military cooperation between Australia and the Republic of Korea.”

According to Goldie, the latest agreement marks a major step towards bolstering the partnership between the two nations.  

He added: “This helps further ensure that our two air forces can support one another in the skies, during exercises and training activities and on any future operations.

“The transfer of fuel when required to sustain and prolong our presence in the air is critical to our aircraft being able to successfully project air power.”

The most recent aerial refuelling engagement between the two nations was during the exercise Pitch Black 2022.

The exercise saw the deployment of the ROKAF’s KC-330 tanker aircraft to the Northern Territory, Australia.