Australian Aviation has this story about an in-flight incident during a refueling test between the Airbus KC-30A and an F-16. Readers will recall a Boeing KC-767J for Japan Air Defense Services had an incident in which the boom wouldn’t retract for landing and was damaged on the runway, the point being both programs have now suffered incidents.But the KC-30A incident will likely further delay delivery of the plane to the RAAF; it is already two years late. The timing couldn’t be worse for EADS, with the contract award for the USAF only weeks away.
- Bloomberg News followed with this story.
- FlightGlobal has this story.
- Meanwhile, there is this story that Boeing is taking a pass on bidding for the Indian government tanker contract. A second story says uncertainty over the USAF contract outcome is why. A third story has more detail.Defence Statement, 20 January 2011 from the RAAF:
An in-flight incident occurred during a training flight for Airbus Military staff, involving an Australian KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and a Portuguese Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft.
The aircraft was being operated by Airbus Military Corporation. No Australian personnel were on board the MRTT at the time of the incident.
The incident resulted in the detachment and partial loss of the refuelling boom from the MRTT, which fell into the sea.
Both aircraft suffered some damage but returned safely to their home airfields.
Project AIR 5402 will supply five MRTT aircraft to the Australian Defence Force. Design, development and testing of the prototype aircraft is being undertaken by Airbus Military at its facilities in Madrid, Spain.
Airbus Military and the relevant European military airworthiness authorities will have the lead responsibility for investigating the incident.
Australian Defence experts will participate in the investigation process.