The European Defence Agency (EDA) in the coming months will organize a European-wide collective air-to-air refueling (AAR) clearance trial for Italy's Boeing KC-767 aerial refueling and strategic military tanker aircraft. The trial is share of EDA's efforts to address Europe's AAR capability shortfall.
Mandated by Defence Ministers in March 2012, EDA is engaged in four work strands to Increase the European AAR capability: short-term gap filling, and Optimization of Existing assets organization, optimization of capacity AAR Offered by the future A400M fleet as well as the long Europe-term enhancement of strategic tanker's capability.
Aerial Refuelling Clearance
As a mean to Increase the number of AAR clearances for receivers and hereby Efficiently pool & share more aerial refueling European capabilities, EDA together with the Movement Coordination Centre Europe and Italy two weeks organizing a collective campaign AAR clearance on the recently fielded Italian KC767 aircraft. During the trial, Interested Member States will be ble to perform the Necessary ground and in-flight tests to Obtain missing AAR clearances. So far, 10 nations Have Expressed Interest in Participating in the trial.
AAR clearances are a prerequisite to interoperability in multinational operations. Europe today can field 42 tanker aircraft of ten different kinds and more than 40% of required clearances are missing. While Requirements for critical operations and war-time clearances limited to a specific operation can be Issued there box by box Basis EDA's initiative will allow for a Coordinated approach for full and unlimited clearances. This will Increase the Flexibility of AAR operations and Facilitate immediate deployment of assets in the future.
AAR is a critical enabler for air power projection and it is required to enable anything beyond short range air combat operations. A unique strength increase, it is a fundamental capability embedded in modern aircraft design, not just in combat aircraft, purpose across the full spectrum of air platforms - Including the near future in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
In the past, European armed forces, Have substantively relied on American assets. This was Originally Demonstrated in the Kosovo Campaign, and the Increased reliance on the U.S. was a lesson from operations over Libya and Most Recently, Mali.