Boeing KC-767A: NATO interoperability for Air to Air Refueling operations of the US NAVY fleet.
As part of a NATO program to increase interoperability regarding Air to Air Refueling operations, the United States Navy (USN) has obtained the certification to clear the fighter component to refuel from the Italian Air Force (ITAF) Boeing KC-767A.
The testing and certification activities have occurred in Patuxent River Naval Air Station, (MD). The Italian Air Staff - 3rd Department has tasked the Italian Flight Test Unit to support the activities that are required to issue Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) clearance of the above USN aircrafts from ITAF Boeing KC-767A.
On August 19th, personnel of the Test Unit and the 14th Wing, Strategic Transport and Air Refueling Wing, took off from the Airport M. De Bernardi of Pratica di Mare (Rome) with the tanker aircraft towards Patuxent River, Maryland (USA), headquarters of USN Test Unit, VX-23, VX31, and Marine Aircraft Group 14.
In the United States, during the test campaign, The Italian Flying Test Unit collected the evidences needed to authorize the aircrafts F / A-18 (Hornet and Super Hornet), AV-8B and EA-6B to refuel from ITAF Boeing KC-767A.
The whole operation has been completed in 10 weeks, of which six were dedicated to flight testing.
Through this joint international teamwork between the Italian Flying Test Unit and the US Navy, interoperability between Italian and US assets in Air to Air Refueling operation has been enhanced. refueling in flight.
Roughly one year ago, in Arizona, the Italian Flying Test Unit with the KC-767A conducted the first certification in the world of a USAF tanker with stereoscopic vision system (Remote Vision System - RVS). Furthermore, in the same period, Italy certified the first non-US tanker as provider for a fifth-generation fighter, the F35.
The KC-767A derives from the commercial aircraft Boeing 767-200 "Extended Range". The KC-767 Tanker / Transport ensures extended flight range and high load coupled to the air refueling capabilities, such as "receiver" or "tanker". The KC-767A can replenish using the "boom" system, or the wing pod and the central tube and drogue chutes (baskets). The tank systems are compatible with the ones of Italian and Allied aircrafts and the KC-767A can be replenished in order to extend its range.
The KC-767A are employed under the command of Task Force Air Kuwait, as the Italian contribution to the "Prima Parthica" operation which is involved in the fight against Daesh, as part of the multinational effort in the Inherent Resolve.
The Italian Air Force KC767A aircrafts are a valuable NATO asset and are fundamental in the security framework of the European Defense. They are, in fact, part according to established plans, of the European Air Transport Command (EATC).