B-52 aircraft was refueled by the Turkish Air Force as part of NATO activities.
Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Defense said in a statement that the US B-52 was refueled by the Air Force’s tanker planes as part of NATO activities. After refueling, Turkish F-16 warplanes flew with B-52 aircraft. Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Defense (MND) share with the Twitter account was given in the following statement:
“As part of Operation Silver Sky, which was conducted over the airspaces of NATO member countries, flights were carried out with US B-52 aircraft.
The flights over Turkish airspace on 28 August 2020 were supported by 2 KC-135R and 2 F-16 aircraft; air refueling was supplied to the B-52 aircraft and escort service was carried out by our F-16 aircraft to the depths of the international airspace on the Aegean Sea.”
2 F-16 ve 2 KC-135R uçağımız ile ABD’ye ait B-52 uçağına destek verilmiş, ABD uçağına yakıt ikmali yapılarak F-16 uçaklarımız tarafından Ege Denizi üzerindeki uluslararası hava sahasının derinliklerine kadar eskort görevi icra edilmiştir.https://t.co/Zssa5ZHsGq#MSB #TSK pic.twitter.com/87udEQdnIx
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) August 29, 2020
Turkish Air Forces’ Tanker Aircraft Fleet and New Needs
There are 7 KC-135 operated by Turkey. The Boeing Model 367-80 (Dash 80) is the first jet aircraft designed specifically for air refueling, a prototype for the 707-passenger aircraft and the KC-135 jet tanker.
As can be understood from the first production date of more than 55 years, KC-135 tanker aircraft are in need of replacement with modern tanker aircraft. Undoubtedly, the KC-46A program initiated by Boeing is the most important proof of this.
When we look at today’s Turkish Air Force, the need for tanker aircraft has become clear. Various operations are carried out in Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is obliged to keep the powerful military structure in such a busy environment. The training activity carried out near Libya a while ago and the tanker planes supporting this activity are still clear in everyone’s memory. With operations with such deep scope, new requirements are born.
KC-135 Technical Specifications
|Maximum Takeoff Weight||146.000 kg|
|Maximum Refueling Capacity||90.700 kkg|
|Range||2.414 km with 68.000 kg fuel transfer, 17.703 km without load and passenger|
|Power||Four 18.000-pound-thrust P&W TF-33-PW-102 turbofan engine, four 22.000-pound thrust GE F-108 turbofan engine|
|Capacity||4 crew, 62 soldiers|
|Maximum Altitude||50.000 feet|