Minister for Defence Stephen Smith has announced the achievement of initial operating capability (IOC) for the RAAFâ€™s KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) platform as part of his speech opening the 2013 Avalon Airshow.
Speaking at the opening address for the Airshow, Smith highlighted recent advances in the RAAFâ€™s airlift capability, saying Australia now boasts the â€ścomplete arrayâ€ť of tactical and heavy capabilities.
â€śToday, I am pleased to announce that the KC-30A MRTT aircraft has reached IOC. The MRTT is designed to perform airborne refuelling for air combat aircraft to enhance endurance and range. The MRTT will also provide a further increase in Australiaâ€™s overall air lift capability,â€ť he said.
â€śEach aircraft has a further lift capacity for 270 passengers and has an under-floor freight capacity of 36,000 kg, over 25 airline containers.â€ť
Following further modification and testing to the aircraftâ€™s refueling boom as well as clearance tests for the F/A-18F Super Hornet, Defence expects final operating capability to be achieved in 2014.
Australia accepted the fifth and final KC-30A MRTT aircraft from the Airbus Military facility in Madrid, Spain in December of 2012.