RAAF KC-30A refuels P-8A for the first time

One of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft achieved a new milestone recently as it was refuelled by an RAAF KC-30A multi-role tanker transport from 33 Squadron for the first time.

From 22 September to 1 October 2020, seven air-to-air refuelling flights were made. It was not the first time that an RAAF KC-30A refuelled a P-8A.

Back in 2018, a KC-30A was deployed to NAS Patuxent River in the United States for air-to-air refuelling trials with P-8A aircraft from the US Navy.

After the first P-8As reached Initial Operational Capability in March 2018, successful air-to-air refuelling was one of the steps on the way to Full Operational Capability, which is planned to be achieved in 2022.

Australia is committed to acquiring 15 Poseidons. Up to now, twelve have been delivered (A47-001 to A47-012) and are in service with 11 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh. The acquisition of the remaining three P-8As is still pending approval.

Photo: Australian DoD

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