EADS’s advanced refuelling boom system (ARBS) for use in the US Air Force’s KC-45 aircraft has demonstrated night-time operational capability during a multicontact mission with an F-16 fighter.

The demonstration validated the ARBS’s enhanced vision system equipped with laser infrared lighting and high-definition digital stereoscopic viewing.

During the test mission the boom system installed on an A310 testbed aircraft performed 17 contacts with a Portuguese Air Force F-16AM after approach manoeuvres for calibrating illumination.

The ABRS flight tests form a part of the final qualification phase for the EADS A330 multirole tanker transport that will be delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force in 2010.