A mid-air refuelling exercise has demonstrated Japan and Australia’s commitment to Pacific cooperation at Exercise Pitch Black 2022. 

A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport conducted an air-to-air refuel with Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 fighter aircraft.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 pilot Captain Hiroki Tetsuo said the air-to-air refuelling was a tangible demonstration of the cooperation at Exercise Pitch Black.

“I am very pleased to be here in Darwin, proving that Australian and Japanese technology, like Japanese and Australian people, can work very closely together. The mission went very well,” Captain Tetsuo said.

“Exercises like Pitch Black let us prove that our technology and processes are interoperable.”

Australia and Japan are special strategic partners, and proving the ability to refuel the Mitsubishi F-2 was an important demonstration of improving interoperability.

“Fuelling today from an Australian KC-30 means that my F-2 can go further. It means Japan can reach further into the Pacific with Australian cooperation. And together we can help the Pacific more,” Captain Tetsuo said.