David Oliver in Oman – During Exercise Saif Sareea 3 (Arabic for Swift Sword) in October 2018, a Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus A330 Voyager KC.3 based at Al Musanna carried out air-to-air refuelling (AAR) with Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) Typhoons over Oman for the first time.
The training provided the Omani pilots with the ability to gain extended reach on flying sorties when using AAR, which will enable the UK and Oman to work together more successfully in the future. The first of 12 Eurofighter Typhoons, three two-seaters and nine single seaters, was delivered to the RAFO in June 2017.
In total, during the AAR training, the Omani pilots, flying the Typhoon aircraft from RAFO’s No.8 Squadron based at Adam Air Base, received 75,000lbs of fuel from the RAF’s Voyager in the skies over Oman. In the back seat of the RAFO two-seater Typhoons with the Oman ab initio pilots was an experienced RAF pilot.
During 10 sorties, six RAFO pilots received training and learned the procedures quickly in order to be able to become familiar with air-refuelling. The students first learn to make dry contact learn carrying out the procedures but do not receive any fuel. Once ready to receive fuel they will take on 2,000lbs of fuel in just two minutes.
The RAF Voyager tanker aircraft, callsign Madras, and instructors were from Nos 10 and 101 Squadrons based at RAF Brize Norton in the UK and both squadrons had previously worked with RAFO Jaguars, refuelling them from an RAF VC10 tanker aircraft. After the Voyager’s 45 minute transit flight AAR training took place at 19,000 feet and a speed of 365 knots (676km/h) in either straight and level flight or in the turn.
by David Oliver