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In a first for the Royal Australian Air Force, an Airbus Defence & Space KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft has conducted refuelling contacts with a Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter.
The four hour sortie took place from Edwards AFB in California, and saw the KC-30A perform 59 boom contacts, says Australia’s Department of Defence in a statement. Of these, five contacts were “wet” and included the transfer of 43,200lb of fuel to the USAF F-35A.
“Our KC-30A is an essential force multiplier,” says air force chief AM Leo Davies. “Mid-air refuelling is critical to ensuring global reach for our aircraft, our people and our equipment. Refuelling between the KC-30A and F-35A is an important step towards the KC-30A’s achievement of Final Operational Capability (FOC) and represents continued progress in the development of the F‑35A.”