October 28, 2015 By Australian Department of Defence - defencetalk.com
A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft has used its air‑to‑air refueling boom for the first time on operations while refueling a RAAF E-7A Wedgetail last week during a Coalition mission above Iraq. The air-to-air boom refuelling process involved two large aircraft, military versions of the Airbus A330 and Boeing 737-700, approaching within metres of each other while in flight and transferring fuel via a maneuverable pipe, known as a boom, which extends back from the rear of the KC-30A. This type of refuelling involves use of the AAR boom at the rear of the aircraft, rather than the wingtip AAR drogues used to refuel smaller aircraft equipped with an AAR probe. Commander of the Australian Air Task Group, Air Commodore Stuart Bellingham, said establishing and proving the operational boom refueling capability was yet another in a long list of accomplishments by the Australian Defence Force team in the Middle East.