Air International 2021-06
J.van der Biezen, S.van Roij - Going Dutch
Two McDonnell Douglas DC-10s were converted into KDC-10 tanker transport aircraft for the Royal Netherlands Air Force due to a shortage of transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. To reduce costs, part of the tanker capacity was sold to other air forces, such as for the Belgian Air Component
A RNAF Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons approaches the advanced Airbus Defense and Space Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). By the end of this year, the Multinational MRTT Unit hopes to achieve initial operational capability. The unit had some problems with the training due to COVID and the lack of the air-to-air refuelling statement and now mainly trains with the probe and drogue systems
The Royal Netherlands Air Force will gradually phase out its KDC-10 air-to-air refuelling aircraft, with the capability replaced through buying into the European Defence Agency’s A330 Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport
To meet the demand for strategic air transport, use is also made of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III from the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). The image shows one of the SAC C-17s with a McDonnell Douglas KDC-10 in the background at Eindhoven Airbase, the place from where the European Air Transport Command ensures more efficient distribution of air assets
The first McDonnell Douglas KDC-10 - tail number T-264 - left its home base on November 4, 2019. The second KDC-10 - tail number T-235 and named after aviation pioneer Jan Scheffer - will be handed over to Omega Air Refuelling Services in 2021
A multinational effort has seen EDA members pool resources in order to provide an aerial refuelling capability with the Multi Role Tanker Transport programme.
The new Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport has a versatile air-to-air refuelling capability with the Cobham 905E probe-and-drogue system - mounted at the location of the two non-existent outboard motors - and the advanced Airbus Defense and Space Aerial Refueling Boom System on the tail
With the arrival of the McDonnell Douglas KDC-10s the 334 squadron at Eindhoven Air Base suddenly had a strategic air transport aircraft at its disposal. The squadron will start to shrink with the arrival of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) as the Multinational MRTT Unit runs autonomously
The air-to-air refuelling systems are controlled by the air refuel operator (ARO) from the fuel operator console that is positioned inside the cockpit. The ARO is mirrored from the flight direction