U.S. military has urgent requirement to clear A330 MRTT to refuel its fighters in Middle East

Australia has a KC-30 operating in the Middle East under Operation Okra, its military intervention against ISIL, but the tanker is unable to refuel U.S. Air Force fighters and bombers such as the F-15, F-16, A-10 and B-1B. The U.S. military is now working with Airbus to get emergency aerial refueling clearances.

KC-30 Tanker Test fuel transfer to F-35A
Photo: USAF

Jane’s said the U.S. Navy also has a need to clear its AV-8B, F/A-18C/D/E/F, EA-18G and EA-6B to refuel from the KC-30. The trials will take place at NAS Patuxent River. Of note, a USMC F/A-18C did receive fuel from a KC-30 last month during an inflight emergency over northern Iraq.

The sailing branch also intends to clear the F-35B to refuel from the RAF A330 Voyager.

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