RAAF: Airbus Military KC-30A achieves IOC
Defends Minister Smith and Minister Kelly announced today that the KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft had reached Initial Operational Capability (IOC).
The MRTT is designed to perform airborne refuelling for air combat aircraft to enhance endurance and range. The MRTT will also provide a further lift capacity for 270 passengers and has an under-floor freight capacity of 36,000 kg (26 airline containers). The RAAF will receive 5 MRRT’s.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) accepted the fifth and final MRTT from Airbus Military on 30 November last year. The aircraft was delivered to RAAF Base Amberley in early December 2012.
As well, Air Force completed the first Australian pilot and Air Refuelling Operator courses at the MRTT training centre (RAAF Base Amberley) in December 2012.
Earlier this year, two MRTT aircraft accompanied seven F/A-18 A/B ‘Classic’ Hornets to Exercise COPE NORTH in Guam. The exercise successfully demonstrated the aircraft’s refuelling capability and capacity.
Refuelling clearance tests for the F/A-18F Super Hornets are now underway and are on track to be completed this year.
Further modification and testing is underway to enable the MRTT to achieve Final Operational Capability, involving the ability to refuel the E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, C-17A Globemaster, and other MRTTs.
In the future, the MRTT will also be able to refuel the P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter when these aircraft enter Air Force service.