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Massive air-to-air refuelling exercise takes place near NSW

Refuelling between two RAAF aircraft took place at the beginning of June. "

The Royal Australian Air Force has successfully completed air-to-air refuelling trials between two of its aircraft off the coast of northern New South Wales.  

The exercise, which took place from 1-13 June, involved a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport and E-7A Wedgetail aircraft.

This was the first time ever a KC-30A was used to refuel a Wedgetail.

Wing Commander Christian Martin, Commanding Officer of Number 2 Squadron said air-to-air refuelling would strengthen the fleet.

"Air-to-air refuelling considerably increases the Wedgetail's range and endurance, allowing us to provide Command and Control, and Air Battlespace Management over longer periods," he said.

He explained that this became obvious when the aircraft were participating in Operation Okra in the Middle East Region.

"Once the trial results are assessed an initial clearance is expected to be granted to allow Wedgetail crews to begin refuelling training flights with the KC-30A," he confirmed. 

Such operations require both aircraft to maintain a precise distance and a speed of more than 500 ‚Äčkilometres, according to the RAAF. 

Squadron Leader Ben Goring, Executive Officer of 33SQN, was also involved in the mission.

"The KC-30A deploys the 17-metre-long Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) from the aft fuselage, which is guided by an Air Refuelling Operator on the KC-30A into a refuelling receptacle on the Wedgetail," he said

According to the officer the KC-30A has a fuel capacity of more than 100 tonnes, and using the ARBS it can can offload up to 4500 litres per minute.

"The ARBS on the KC-30A represents a completely new capability for Air Force," he said. 

Interconnect Systems has a comprehensive background in aerospace and defence engineering, being an industry leader for more than 20 years.

It provides electrical interconnect products and solutions, including cable and wire harness manufacture. For more information on the best backshells and cable harness solutions, contact Interconnect Systems today on 1800 812 214.

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