RAAF explain what passenger plane, three jets were doing flying over Port Stephens

Image of an Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport. Picture: U.S. Air Force photo by Christian Turner supplied by the Australian Defence Force
Image of an Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport. Picture: U.S. Air Force photo by Christian Turner supplied by the Australian Defence Force

Royal Australian Air Force fighter jets flying in formation over Port Stephens is a common sight but what was spotted on Thursday afternoon had people turning to social media.

Plane spotters took to community pages on Facebook to ask if anyone knew why three jets and what looked like a passenger plane were flying together over the area about 1pm.

The Examiner contacted the RAAF seeking an answer to that question.

A Defence spokesperson said the large plane was an Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, which is a modified Airbus A330 passenger jet.

It was flying with three F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets from RAAF Base Williamtown as part of a training exercise.

The Defence spokesperson said: "An Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport has been down from RAAF Base Amberley today, flying with local Hornet fighter jets.

"The KC-30A type is a modified Airbus A330 passenger jet, rigged to refuel other military aircraft in flight via a boom under the tail or two drogues mounted in the wings."

The KC-30A can carry a fuel load of more than 100 tonnes and transfer part of that load to compatible aircraft including F/A-18A/B Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets, E/A-18G Growlers, E-7A Wedgetails, C-17A Globemaster III and other KC-30As.

It is also compatible with refuelling P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft, F-35A Lightning II, and foreign aircraft such as the F-16C Fighting Falcon and B-1B Lancer.

RELATED READING:

Comments