The milestone was reached on 6 August 2018 during a routine air-to-air refuelling mission. The KC-30A is an asset of the Australian Air Task Group (ATG) and provides the air-to-air refuelling capability for Australian and coalition assets.
Chief of Joint Operations Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said the reliability and large air-to-air refuelling capability of the KC-30A has added tangible value to the Australian and coalition forces, with their large demand for aerial refuelling.
"The KC-30A has been a significant force multiplier for the Air Force and has proven itself over Iraq as part of Operation OKRA," AIRMSHL Hupfeld said.
The KC-30A is equipped with two forms of air-to-air refuelling systems, including an Advanced Refuelling Boom System mounted under the fuselage of the aircraft and a hose and drogue refuelling pod underneath each wing. These systems are controlled by an air refuelling operator on the flight deck, who can view refuelling on 2D and 3D screens.
Advanced mission systems are also fitted to the aircraft. They include the Link 16 real-time data-link, military communications and navigation suites, and an electronic warfare self-protection system for protection against surface-to-air missiles.
AIRMSHL Hupfeld said, "Just one KC-30A can support the deployment of four fighter aircraft over 5,000 kilometres and has the versatility to refuel a range of different aircraft types. From Australian C-17A Globemaster IIIs to 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."
The RAAF has six KC-30A aircraft in service operated by No. 33 Squadron from RAAF Amberley in south-east Queensland. The aircraft was first flown by Air Force in September 2011.
Operation OKRA is the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the international effort to defeat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria.