For the primary time, the Royal Australian Air Pressure (RAAF) has carried out air-to-air refueling flight testing with the Japan Air Self-Protection Pressure (JASDF, or Koku-Jieitai). Performed from April 4 to 27, the flight check engineering program in Japan concerned a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Function Tanker Transport (MRTT) and Mitsubishi F-2 plane of the JASDF. The RAAF and JASDF have cooperated in recent times in delivering aid following pure disasters in Tonga and Australia, and skilled collectively throughout Workout routines Cope North in Guam and Bushido Guardian in Japan.

Air Commander Australia, Air Vice-Marshal Darren Goldie mentioned, “ the profitable flight check program would facilitate the rising complexity and class of bilateral engagement between each nations. Our capability to work seamlessly collectively will guarantee we are able to proceed to uphold and reinforce a safe, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific area. This flight check program is the end result of two years of shut cooperation between Australia’s Plane Analysis and Improvement Unit (ARDU), and the JASDF Air Improvement and Check Wing (ADTW).


Flight Lieutenant Kevin Baker (left), a Royal Australian Air Pressure (RAAF) KC-30A plane pilot with No. 33 Squadron, speaks to RAAF and Japan Air Self-Protection Pressure personnel throughout air-to-air refuelling trials for the Mitsubishi F-2A plane in Japan. (Photograph by Australian Authorities Division of Defence)

The RAAF operates a fleet of seven KC-30As from RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, with each capable of carry greater than 100 tonnes of gas and refuel all suitable plane. Air Attaché for the Australian Embassy in Japan, Wing Commander Alison Spark, mentioned the KC-30A operated from Komaki Air Base in Nagoya, the place the JASDF’s personal KC-767 tanker transport fleet relies. The Superior Refuelling Increase System (ARBS) can lengthen to 19-meters when deployed and is managed by an air refueling operator utilizing fly-by-wire controls within the KC-30A’s cockpit.

The flight assessments are rigorously monitored by the refueling operator utilizing 3D show screens, in addition to the F-2’s crew, and a chase plane. The check program concerned 9 flights between the KC-30A and the F-2, flown in quite a lot of circumstances – daylight, nightfall, and night-time. The F-2 additionally flew in quite a lot of configurations, from carrying no exterior shops to carrying gas tanks and exterior shops, to make sure the plane might be safely refueled throughout totally different missions. The flight check program will assist facilitate Japan’s participation in Train Pitch Black 2022, which can happen within the Northern Territory this August.

Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Refuels Japan Air Self-Defense Force Aircrafts for the First Time
An air-to-air refuelling flight check between Royal Australian Air Pressure KC-30A Multi-Function Tanker Transport plane from No. 33 Squadron and Japan Air Self-Protection Pressure (JASDF or Koku-Jieitai) Mitsubishi F-2A over Japan. (Photograph by Australian Authorities Division of Defence)