The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) KC-30A multi-role tanker transport aircraft has provided 100 million pounds of fuel during Operation Okra in the Middle East.
Operation Okra is the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to combat terrorist threats in Iraq and Syria.
The KC-30A tanker is used by the Australian Air Task Group (ATG) and delivers the air-to-air refuelling capability for both the RAAF and coalition assets.
RAAF Joint Operations chief air marshal Mel Hupfeld said: “The KC-30A has been a significant force multiplier for the airforce and has proven itself over Iraq as part of Operation Okra.
“Just one KC-30A can support the deployment of four fighter aircraft over 5,000km and has the versatility to refuel a range of different aircraft types.”
“From Australian C-17A Globemaster IIIs to the US Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers, British Eurofighters and French Dassault Rafales, the KC-30A can keep these planes in the air efficiently and effectively.
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“With the professionalism and operational effects we bring to the global coalition, the Australian KC-30A contribution is very well regarded amongst the coalition partners.”
The tanker is fitted with two forms of air-to-air refuelling systems, an advanced refuelling boom system mounted under the fuselage of the aircraft, as well as a hose and drogue refuelling pod underneath each wing.
Refuelling systems are controlled by an operator on the flight deck who is able to view the air-to-air refuelling on 2D and 3D screens.
The KC-30A aircraft is also equipped with advanced mission systems, including the Link 16 real-time data-link, military communications and navigation suites, in addition to an electronic warfare self-protection system for surface-to-air missiles.