The UK Armed Forces have received the first 14 aircraft refuelling vehicles, which have been upgraded as part of the large capacity aircraft refueller life extension project (LCAR LEP).
The tankers will support air assets of all three services, including the UK Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Navy and the British Army.
LCAR LEP is a collaborative effort of the UK RAF, the Ministry of Defence’s procurement arm Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) and Terberg DTS UK.
Several other sub-contractors, working under Terberg DTS UK, have also been engaged in the project. It includes MAN Truck & Bus UK and Tasca Tankers.
With a 20,000l capacity, the refurbished LCAR is deployed to supply fuel to military aircraft in bulk quantities.
The newly upgraded refuellers are now expected to support the British forces’ aircraft for up to the next 15 years. The tankers will further improve the availability, deployability and flexibility.
A total of 80 refuelling tankers are scheduled to receive upgrades as part of LCAR LEP.
Work on all the tankers is expected to complete by 2025.
To mark the delivery of the first set of upgraded vehicles, DE&S Air Systems, Equipment & Training head air commodore Young also visited Terberg’s facility in Halifax. He also acknowledged that the newly upgraded tankers have achieved initial operational capability.
Young said: “These vehicles are out there every day, ensuring our aircraft have the fuel they need to deliver their tasks, whether that be securing the skies above the UK, transporting people and equipment around the world or delivering on operations.”
The ground and on-aircraft refuelling trials of upgraded LCAR have already been completed with Typhoon fighter jets, Hawk jets, Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and Merlin helicopters.