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RAAF KC-30A tanker debuts in Exercise Pitch Black

14th August 2012 - 13:59 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has announced that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed its KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport to RAAF Base Townsville for Exercise Pitch Black 12, marking the aircraft’s debut in a multi-national exercise. The DoD made the announcement 9 August 2012.

The KC-30A, measuring 58 metres in length and with a wingspan of 60 metres, is the RAAF’s largest and newest aircraft.

Wing Commander Geoff Fox, Commanding Officer of No. 33 Squadron, said this deployment was a step towards bringing the KC-30A to an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) later this year.

The DoD said that for its missions, the KC-30A will transit to the Northern Territory to conduct refuelling with aircraft in the exercise. The aircraft will unreel a hose-and-drogue from a wing-mounted pod, which is ‘plugged’ by a refuelling probe on a RAAF F/A-18 Hornet, with both aircraft travelling in formation at more than 500km/h. The exercise will pave the way for future refuelling exercises with the Super Hornet and Wedgetail aircraft.

A heavily modified Airbus A330 airliner designed to perform the airborne refuelling role, the KC-30A can carry around 100 tonnes of fuel most of which can be offloaded to other aircraft.

The first two KC-30As were delivered to RAAF in mid-2011, and delivery of all five aircraft will be completed by late 2012.

The Shephard News Team


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