20 January 2011
An in-flight incident occurred during a training flight for Airbus Military staff, involving an Australian KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and a Portuguese Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft.
The aircraft was being operated by Airbus Military Corporation. No Australian personnel were on board the MRTT at the time of the incident.
The incident resulted in the detachment and partial loss of the refuelling boom from the MRTT, which fell into the sea.
Both aircraft suffered some damage but returned safely to their home airfields.
Project AIR 5402 will supply five MRTT aircraft to the Australian Defence Force. Design, development and testing of the prototype aircraft is being undertaken by Airbus Military at its facilities in Madrid, Spain.
Airbus Military and the relevant European military airworthiness authorities will have the lead responsibility for investigating the incident.
Australian Defence experts will participate in the investigation process.