The modernization of 7 KC-135R aerial refueling aircraft of the Turkish Air Force was to be completed in January 2024, but US-based Field Aerospace, which carried out the modernization, completed the work in December 2022.
The modernization of the air tankers of the Turkish Air Force has been completed.
What is happening with our country and the case of acquiring aerial refueling aircraft
Greece has a very strong Air Force, which will be strengthened even more with the addition of 18 French Rafale (4th generation +), covering the Aegean with its blue wings.
However, there is one critical "aeronautical sector" in which our country lags significantly behind Turkey, and that is the complete lack of "flying tankers" for aerial refueling of aircraft.
Any procurement of such aircraft, or better, conversion of Airbus A330 passenger aircraft, into "flying tankers" would be a great force multiplier for our air force, which would now be able to provide air support to Cyprus for long periods of time, while with the appropriate munitions such as long-range surface-to-air missiles, would have the ability to attack the entire Turkish territory and, of course, its strategic targets in its entire extent.
According to Israeli expert Dana Levi, the Greek Air Force will acquire refueling aircraft, considering the decision to be made.
“The KC-10 extender aircraft is one of the most common aerial refueling aircraft in the world.
It is based on the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 airframe, with some of these DC-10s converted to KDC-10s for aerial refueling and cargo transport missions.
The flying tanker has a crew of four and can carry 365,000 pounds (163,500 liters) of fuel.
The Omega Air company has KDC-10 aircraft equipped with special systems for aerial refueling," she says.
These tankers could refuel any type of aircraft of the Greek Air Force.
Thus we will cover the critical "aviation sector" that has been plaguing us for many years.
With the "flying tankers" the modern Greek fighter jets, F-16VIPER and Rafale will incredibly expand their radius of action "covering" Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean except for the Aegean.
Any procurement of such aircraft as "flying tankers" would be a great force multiplier for our air force, which would now be able to provide air support to Cyprus for long periods of time, while with the appropriate munitions such as long-range air-to-surface missiles range, it would have the ability to attack the entire Turkish territory and of course its strategic objectives in its entire extent.
The latter in particular would force Turkey to have air and anti-aircraft assets for their protection, thus dispersing its forces, which is not the case now.
For example, many targets inside Turkey, such as air bases deep in Asia Minor which are now in the fireproof zone for the Greek air force, will be possible with our flying tankers.