A Royal Air Force Atlas C1 (A400M) transport aircraft has been refuelled over the South Atlantic for the first time.

The Air-to-Air Tanking operation was conducted from a RAF Voyager aircraft flying from the Falklands Islands.

The Atlas was flown from RAF Brize Norton to the Ascension Island, before then flying on to the Falklands.

RAF Voyager

During the flight the transport aircraft was met by a RAF Voyager over the South Atlantic, that had earlier taken off from Mount Pleasant Complex, the principal military base on the Falkland Islands.

The Atlas aircraft was refuelled using what is known as the probe-and-drogue system. The refuelling probe extends from the front of the transport aircraft above the cockpit.

The pilot then has to dock this probe into the basket of the drogue that has been extended from the Voyager to allow refuelling.

‘Fantastic privilege’

“It was a fantastic privilege to be part of this mission; being part of any ‘first’ is a big deal and being able to demonstrate what we can do with this aircraft is what it’s all about,” said Squadron Leader Spence, of
30 Squadron.

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter