RAF

VIDEO: Refueling The RAF's Eye In The Sky

The United States Air Force has released incredible footage showing a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling a Royal Air Force E-3D Sentry aircraft...

The United States Air Force has released incredible footage showing a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling a Royal Air Force E-3D Sentry aircraft high in the skies over Iraq.
 
The planes are both involved in the coalition campaign against Islamic State, codenamed Operation Inherent Resolve.
 
Boeing Stratotankers, in this case operated by the 340th Expeditionary Air Refuelling Squadron, first entered service in 1957. It's predicted that they could remain operational until 2040, which would see them offer the USAF a remarkable 83 years of continuous service.
 
Operating with a crew of just three or four they can deliver 31,000 gallons of fuel to aircraft ranging from F-22 Raptors to B-52 Bombers
 
The RAF's E-3D Sentry, commonly known as AWACS, is an early warning and control aircraft providing airborne surveillance, command, control and communications.
 
Carrying a nine-metre radar rotodome the E-3D can fly for about 11 hours or 5,000 miles without refueling. With the assistance of the KC-135 tankers it can hugely extend its 'on-station' time, with the crew able to use an on-board rest area between shifts. 
 
When deployed over the likes of Iraq, the aircraft monitors an assigned area of the battlefield - detecting, identifying and tracking airborne enemy forces before directing fighter-bomber aircraft to these targets.
 
 
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