The KC-30A Returns to Europe


2016-08-08 A KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport and its crew from No. 33 Squadron (33SQN) visited air-to-air refuelling bases in Italy, and France, and attended the Royal International Air Tattoo, over the period of 5-16 July 2016.

The visit allowed personnel from other Air Forces the opportunity to tour the Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A, which is regarded as the ‘Coalition tanker of choice’ on operations in the Middle East.

The opportunity for these visits came as part of a task to transport Australian Defence Force personnel to France for Bastille Day commemorations.

Credit: Australian Ministry of Defence

July 16, 2016

According to the RIAT Airshow website:

The KC-30A is the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) designation for the Airbus Defence and Space A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

The aircraft is a military conversion of the A330 airliner, capable of carrying up to 110 tonnes of fuel without sacrificing space in either the passenger cabin or cargo hold. In service with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Royal Air Force, Airbus also has orders from Korea, Singapore and France. 

The Australian KC-30 differs from the RAF Voyager in that is equipped with the Aerial Refuelling Boom System, as well as two hose and drogue wing pods. The ‘boom’ allows the KC-30A to refuel fighters such as the F-15 and F-16 and larger aircraft including the P8A Poseidon and the E-7 Wedgetail, both of which are in service with the RAAF.

Air Tattoo 2016 marks the first time an RAAF KC-30A has visited a UK airshow. The RAAF last attended the Air Tattoo in 2006 with a Boeing 707, provided then by 33 Squadron.

The slideshow is credited to the Australian Ministry of Defence.

The first photo shows the KC-30A at the Istres Air Base in France.

The second photos shows Voyager KC2/KC3 pilot Flight Lieutenant Greg Shutie of the Royal Air Force (left) with Australian KC-30A pilot Ben Barden inside the cockpit of the KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The remaining photos show the visit of the KC-30A to Pratica Di Mare Air Base where the Italian Air Force 767 tanker is located.