The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has performed successfully air-to-air refueling tests with a F/A-18 Hornet fighter. The tanker test campaign was developed in five flights in which the A400M performed 33 dry contacts and dispensed 18.6 tonnes of fuel to an F/A-18 Hornet in 35 wet contacts.
With a basic fuel capacity of 50.8 tonnes which can be increased by the use of extra cargo hold tanks, the A400M is the most capable tactical tanker in the market. The standard A400M aircraft has full provisions for Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) operations already installed as standard and only requires the rapid installation of the optional air-to-air refuelling kit to become a tanker.
Designed from the outset to be a dual-role transport and tanker aircraft, the A400M provides air forces with a cost-effective way to acquire an air-to-air refuelling capability in addition to a versatile logistic and tactical airlifter.