Turkish Armed Forces refueled NATO’s E-3A AWACS aircraft over Romanian skies.
It was announced by the National Defense Ministry, a tanker plane conducted the refueling operation over Romanian airspace. National Defense Ministry over Twitter said “NATO’s E-3A AWACS that has taken flight from Geilenkirchen, Germany as part of Security Routine has been refueled by Turkish Air Forces’ KC-135R over Romanian aerospace on official NATO request.”
Almanya Geilenkirchen'den havalanan ve Güvence Tedbirleri kapsamında görev icra eden @NATO’ya ait E-3A AWACS uçağına, NATO'nun talebi üzerine Hava Kuvvetlerimize ait KC-135R tanker uçağı tarafından Romanya üzerinde yakıt ikmali yapıldı. pic.twitter.com/zqzeL4CKuV
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) September 24, 2020
Current Turkish Air Forces’ Tanker Fleet and New Needs
There are 7 KC-135R planes operated by Turkish Armed Forces. Boeing Model 367-80 (Dash 80) is a prototype for 707 civilian airplanes and KC-135 jet tanker systems and is the first jet designed for aerial refueling operations.
Built over 55 years ago, the current fleet of KC-135 tanker jets is in need of a replacement with more modern variants. Without a doubt, Boeing’s latest KC-46A program is evidence of this.
It is apparent that the Turkish Air Forces are in need of an update. Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean have recently seen activity. Turkey must keep its fleets strong and operational in such active environments. Joint training military drills that have taken place in Libya and the active role tanker jets have been used during it are still fresh in memories. Such large scale military drills reveal such needs for a fleet upgrade.