Australian Tanker Deliveries Complete

The Royal Australian Air Force received its fifth and final new-build KC-30A tanker on order from Airbus Military, announced the company. “We are very pleased with the in-service testing of the KC-30A and we expect to declare [initial operational capability] before the end of the year,” said RAAF Air Commodore Gary Martin, RAAF Air Lift Group commander, in the company’s Dec. 3 release. “The KC-30A makes a tremendous contribution to Australia’s need to move large numbers of personnel and cargo over long distances, both domestically and throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” added Martin. The KC-30 is based on Airbus’ A330 airliner. Airbus Military supplied components to Qantas Defense Services in Brisbane, Australia, for the conversion of the fifth A330 airframe to the tanker configuration, states the release. RAAF KC-30s mount a centerline refueling boom as well as two wing-mounted pods for probe-and-drogue exchanges of fuel. The final aircraft entered service with 33 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane. The RAAF’s first KC-30 arrived at Amberley in June 2011.