A C-130J Hercules operating from RAF Akrotiri has been conducting ground-based tactical refuelling of British Army Wildcat helicopters, which are deployed on a NATO mission in Estonia called Operation CABRIT, say the Royal Air Force here.
The RAF say here that this activity is known as an air landed aircraft refuelling point and enables aircraft to be refuelled in austere locations away from their main operating bases.
“The fuel is provided directly from the aircraft through a network of pipes and pumps. This extends the distance the helicopter can fly and increases the availability of the aircraft by eliminating the need to transit back to base.
It is part of extensive work to increase the ability of the RAF, Royal Navy and British Army to work together on operations and as part of a wider NATO force.
This training provides valuable realistic training in an unfamiliar environment to both C-130 and Wildcat crews and proves a capability that can be used to refuel aircraft at temporary landing zones. 30 Squadron have also developed this capability for the Atlas A400M aircraft.”
Operation CABRIT is a UK led operational deployment to Estonia where British Army troops are leading a multinational battlegroup as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence.