An Australian KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft has recommenced refuelling operations, in suppot of allied air force assets in the Middle East.
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The KC-30A deployment is part of Operation OKRA, supporting the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve mission to defeat Daesh.
Despite its territorial defeat, Daesh continues to pose a security threat in the Middle East region and beyond. The KC-30A will provide important air-to-air refuelling capability, which is essential to sustain effective coalition air operations in the region.
Commander of Air Task Group, Group Captain Paul Long, said the aircraft was one of the most advanced air refuelling platforms of its type in the world, generating greater reach for coalition air operations.
"The KC-30A can operate at long ranges, delivering significant payloads of fuel to a wide variety of coalition aircraft," GPCAPT Long said.
The KC-30A MRTT is fitted with two forms of air-to-air refuelling systems: an advanced refuelling boom system mounted on the tail of the aircraft and a pair of all-electric refuelling pods under each wing.
These systems are controlled by an air refuelling operator in the cockpit, who can view refuelling on 2D and 3D screens. The KC-30A can carry a fuel load of more than 100 tonnes and transfer part of that load to compatible aircraft, including:
- F/A-18A/B Hornets;
- F/A-18F Super Hornets;
- E/A-18G Growlers;
- E-7A Wedgetails;
- C-17A Globemaster III; and
- Other KC-30As.
The KC-30A MRTT can remain 1,800 kilometres from its home base with 50 tonnes of fuel available to offload for up to four hours. In its transport role, the KC-30A is capable of carrying 270 passengers. It comes with under-floor cargo compartments that can accommodate 34,000 kilograms of military and civilian cargo pallets and containers.
Australia’s presence in Iraq remains at the request of the Iraqi government. Australia continues to work closely with the Iraqi government and global coalition partners to counter Daesh and eliminate the threat to the region and broader international community.