Airbus and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) have announced the successful conclusion of their joint automatic air-to-air refuelling (A3R) flight test campaign, featuring the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) and F-15 fighter.
The completion marks a significant step ahead of the anticipated certification in the first half of 2024.
During a three-week testing period in August, the RSAF’s A330 MRTT accomplished over 500 automated wet and dry contacts with the air force’s full range of receiver aircraft. This included the F-15SG aircraft, a tailored version of the US-manufactured F-15E Strike Eagle air-to-ground fighter jet.
Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space, remarked, “The A330 MRTT has made the future of air-to-air refuelling a reality as a result of the joint efforts of Airbus and the Republic of Singapore Air Force.”
The flight assessments involving F-15SG took place in Singapore. They spanned the entire operational AAR spectrum in varied weather scenarios, supervised by INTA (National Institute for Aerospace Technology), the Spanish certifying body.
The testing phase wasn’t confined to daylight conditions. Additional test flights during the night involved not only F-15s but also the RSAF’s A330 MRTT and F-16s, aiding in data gathering to advance and actualise the automated system’s night capabilities.