KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport

The KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is a heavily modified Airbus A330 airliner that allows the Air Force to conduct air-to-air refuelling and provide strategic air lift.

It features advanced communication and navigation systems, and an electronic warfare self-protection system for shielding against threats from surface-to-air missiles.

The Air Force's seven KC-30A aircraft are based at RAAF Base Amberley, operated by No. 33 Squadron.

The KC-30A MRTT is fitted with two forms of air-to-air refuelling systems:

  • an Advanced Refuelling Boom System mounted on the tail of the aircraft
  • and a pair of all-electric refuelling pods under each wing.

These systems are controlled by an Air Refuelling Operator in the cockpit, who can view refuelling on 2D and 3D screens.

The KC-30A can carry a fuel load of more than 100 tonnes, and transfer part of that load to compatible aircraft, including:

  • F-35A Lightning II
  • F/A-18F Super Hornets
  • E/A-18G Growlers
  • E-7A Wedgetails
  • C-17A Globemaster III
  • P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft
  • Other KC-30As
  • foreign aircraft such as the F-16C Fighting Falcon and B-1B Lancer.

The KC-30A MRTT can remain 1800 km from its home base, with 50 tonnes of fuel available to offload for up to four hours.

In its transport role, the KC-30A is capable of carrying 270 passengers. It comes with under-floor cargo compartments which can accommodate 34,000 kilograms of military and civilian cargo pallets and containers.


Manufacturer Airbus Military
  • Air-to-air refuelling 
  • Long-range troop transport
  • Pilot 
  • Co-pilot 
  • Air refuelling officer 
  • Mission coordinator 
  • Up to eight crew attendants
Length 59m
Height 17.4m
Wingspan 60.3m
  • 233 tonnes (maximum take-off weight) 
  • 180 tonnes (maximum landing weight)
Engines Two General Electric CF6-80E1A3
Range 14,800 kms
Ceiling 41,000 feet
Cruise speed 860 km/h
  • Up to 270 passengers 
  • 34,000 kgs of cargo
  • 111 tonnes of fuel 
Weapons Electronic self-protection measures