Fourth RAAF KC-30A handed over in Spain
Australia’s fourth KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport has been formally handed over to the RAAF, though the aircraft will remain in Spain for testing until later this year.
Deliveries of the tanker, based on the Airbus A330-200, began last year after a two year delay. The RAAF’s fifth and final KC-30A is expected to be delivered by the third quarter of this year, Airbus said.
The fourth aircraft was converted from standard A330 configuration by EADS in Spain, where it served as the development aircraft for the KC-30 program (during which it lost a boom during testing in early 2011). The other four KC-30s have been or are being converted at Qantas Defence Services’ facility at Brisbane Airport.
In their RAAF configuration, the aircraft are equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, the fly-by-wire Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), and a Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) that enables the KC-30A to be refuelled from another tanker. Powered by twin General Electric CF6-80E engines, the aircraft are equipped with a suite of defensive countermeasures and fitted with 270 passenger seats.
Air-to-air refuelling trials of the KC-30A began in October at the Edinburgh based Aircraft Research and Development Unit. IOC is scheduled for late 2012.
Source: 03 January 2011 - Australian Aviation Magazine (www.australianaviation.com.au)
Photo: A file image of the RAAF's first KC-30. (Airbus Military)
Photo Story: The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of the fourth A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft following handover by Airbus Military in late December 2011. This leaves just one aircraft still to be delivered to the RAAF under the existing order contract.
Designated the KC-30A by the RAAF, the aircraft will remain in Spain, where it has been converted by Airbus Military from the basic A330 configuration, until test work is completed. It will then be transferred to RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, later in 2012.
The fifth and final aircraft under the contract is scheduled for delivery during Q3 2012. All other aircraft have been converted to KC-30A configuration by Qantas Defence Services in Brisbane, Australia.
The A330 MRTT has undergone successful refuelling trials in Australia with an RAAF F/A-18 fighter. It is the world’s most advanced air-to-air tanker and the only certified and flying new generation tanker/transport aircraft in existence. It will substantially increase the aerial refuelling and logistical capabilities of the RAAF.
In RAAF service, the aircraft are equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, the fly-by-wire Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), and a Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) enabling it to be refuelled from another tanker. Powered by two General Electric CF6-80E engines, the aircraft are equipped with a comprehensive defensive aids suite (DAS) and fitted with 270 passenger seats.
(By the Shephard News Team, 03 January 2012- Shephard Group / Mil-Log News (www.shephardmedia.com))