The Only Tactical Tanker with Three Refuelling Points
The Airbus A400M tactical airlifter has demonstrated its flexible capabilities in a series of air-to-air refuelling contacts between two A400Ms.
Over 50 contacts were achieved, in level flights and in turns, in two flights from the company’s Seville plant, using the centreline hose and drum unit (HDU) – the A400M is the only tactical tanker currently available with this third refuelling point in addition to underwing pods. With basic fuel capacity of 63,500l, which can be increased with two additional 7,200l cargo hold tanks, refuelling from the HDU can be carried out at a rate of 2,000l/min. The company states this would allow an A400M with a 20t payload to fly non-stop over a range of 11,000km – the distance from Paris to Kuala Lumpur.
The A400M has full air-to-air refuelling capacity already installed and requires only the rapid installation of an optional kit to become a tanker.