USAF’s C-130J uses ABFDS for hot-pit refuel of F-22 Raptors

26 November 2020 (Last Updated November 26th, 2020 12:20)

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced that a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft has used an Aerial Bulk Fuel Delivery System (ABFDS) during a refuelling mission.

USAF’s C-130J uses ABFDS for hot-pit refuel of F-22 Raptors
An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron completes a hot refuel from a fuel bladder carried by a C-130J Hercules. Credit: Photo by Senior Airman Michael Murphy.

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced that a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft has used an Aerial Bulk Fuel Delivery System (ABFDS) during a refuelling mission.

The system was used to carry out hot-pit refuelling of two F-22 Raptors at Koror Palau International Airport.

This is a part of the series of operations related to Westpac deployment of the 94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to the US Indo-Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.

As per the Air Expeditionary Force Fuels Management Pocket Guide, ABFDS system is designed to allow the aircraft to transport fuel quickly to different locations near or behind enemy lines.

It is normally equipped on the C-130s. However, it can also be used on the C-5 Galaxies and C-17 Globemaster IIIs.

Pacific Air Forces command fuels functional manager chief master sergeant Steve McClure said: “Hot-pit refuelling operations using ABFDS are relatively new.

“The primary design of the ABFDS system is to refuel or to take bulk fuel to bladders in a contingency location.

“It has the capability to refuel aircraft and always has, but we’ve stepped that up with agile combat employment.”

McClure stated that the 374th Airlift Wing came up with a checklist for the use of ABFDS to refuel other aircraft.

This marks the second instance where a C-130 from the 36th Airlift Squadron, 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan, carried out hot-pit refuelling of F-22 Raptors with ABFDS.

The first refuelling was carried out in September during joint field training exercise Valiant Shield 20 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.