Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Royal Australian Air Force had accepted its third KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.
This is the third of five aircraft to be accepted.
“This is another important step forward in this project,” Mr Clare said.
“This aircraft will join the other two currently being operated by Number 33 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley.”
Mr Clare said the aircraft was the third of four aircraft to be converted from a commercial A330 airliner to a state-of-the-art military tanker by Qantas Defence Services at Brisbane Airport.
“This is the most advanced tanker aircraft in the world. It’s an important piece of equipment for our Air Force,” Mr Clare said.
“It’s a flying petrol station which will allow our Hornets, Super Hornets, C‑17s and Wedgetail to be refuelled in the air.
“It can carry more than 100 tonnes of fuel, and can itself be refuelled by another tanker mid-flight.
“This means these planes can fly further without having to return to base making them more effective.”
Mr Clare said the conversion was supporting jobs in Queensland.
“Converting one of these aircraft takes about 10 months and involves a workforce of 170 Qantas and 45 Airbus Military personnel in Brisbane,” Mr Clare said.
“In addition, Qantas has 46 staff at RAAF Amberley providing through-life support for the new tankers.”
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