Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A aircraft are conducting air-to-air refuelling trials with RAAF F/A-18 Hornets. Commencing with the first air-to-air contact on October 18, the trials are a mixture of 'dry' and 'wet' contacts (confirming safe connections can be made and fuel transferred respectively), and are intended to provide a partial clearance for hose-and-drogue refuelling contacts with the KC-30A, expected to be declared in December 2011. The test program will then expand throughout 2012 to increase the envelope of hose-and-drogue refuelling to other conditions, as well as train additional KC-30A personnel to conduct these tasks. Initial Operational Capability, which will include the KC-30A clearance to conduct hose-and-drogue refuelling and strategic air lift missions for the Australian Defence Force, is expected in late 2012. Air Force is receiving five KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transports, to be operated by No. 33 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley. Photos http://ra.af/rSdPAC More about the KC-30A http://bit.ly/hb37Bb
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