US Navy works on P-8A aerial refuelling
The US Air Force (USAF) has carried out the first operational aerial refuelling of the navy's P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft with its KC-135 tanker.
Establishing an aerial refuelling capability for the P-8A is critical to enabling the aircraft to conduct long-range missions for maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations.
The refuel was carried out by the air force's 459th Air Refueling Wing. In order to develop an organic tanking capability NAVAIR aircrew are obtaining the required training for in-flight certification. Ground school and simulator training has already been completed and the 459th will now support the team in taking training through the next phase. Day and night training missions will take place with the P-8A once a week as the navy prepares to deliver to capability to the fleet.The P-8A is only the second navy aircraft to be equipped to receive fuel mid-flight from a USAF tanker; the first being the E-6B Mercury nearly 30 years ago.
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