Cobham Enables First Centreline Aerial Refuelling by Future RAF Tanker

GETAFE, Spain — Cobham’s new 805E hose and drogue Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU), has successfully passed fuel from an Airbus A330 MRTT (Multi role Tanker Transport) to receiver aircraft for the first time.

In a three hour, 10 minute sortie from Getafe near Madrid on 21 January, the Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) variant for the UK Royal Air Force conducted a series of “wet contacts” with two F-18 fighters of the Spanish Air Force. Both fighter aircraft received fuel at an altitude of around 15,000ft and at speeds from 250 knots to 325 knots.

“Cobham has led this field for more than 50 years, and the digital-electric 805E Fuselage Refuelling Unit shares its systems architecture with our wing-mounted 905E pod,” said Cobham Mission Equipment Vice President, Iain Gibson.

“This has allowed us to reach an advanced state of maturity quickly, as shown by the successful fuel transfer test on last month.”

The Cobham FRU 805E will be fitted in the rear fuselage of five of the 14 FSTA aircraft, and is capable of transferring fuel at a rate of 600 US gallons per minute (compared to the wing-pod’s 420 US gallons per minute), allowing faster refuelling of large aircraft such as the Airbus A400M military transport.

Cobham also supplies two wing-mounted 905E pods for each FSTA aircraft, which completed similar testing and certification in 2010.

Cobham’s products and services have been at the heart of sophisticated military and civil systems for more than 70 years, keeping people safe, improving communications, and enhancing the capability of land, sea, air and space platforms. The Company has four divisions employing more than 11,000 people on five continents, with customers and partners in over 100 countries and annual revenue of more than £1.9bn / US$3 billion

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