The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Canberra (L02) has conducted hot refuelling of the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) two helicopters, the AH-1 SuperCobra, and UH-1 Huey/Venom medium utility aircraft.
The operation was conducted as a part of interoperability trials during the Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2016, which recently concluded and was held in the surrounding waters of Hawaii and southern California.
The helicopters were hot refuelled by the vessel’s flight deck team.
HMAS Canberra commander lieutenant Adam Smith said: “We landed them on six and four spots, and refuelled them both, so that really ticked the box for interoperability.
“With everything that has come on-board from the MV-22, CH-53 and through to today, we have had no hiccups at all.
“We have managed to hit all aviation goals that we needed to, so we can now go away and say, yes this works and expand that envelope even further.”
Hot refuelling refers to refuelling an aircraft with its engines still operating and is performed when a military operation requires a quick turn-around of an aircraft. It is a frequently practised event by the RAN.
During the course of RIMPAC, HMAS Canberra also successfully took aboard the USMC’s MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and CH-53E Super Stallion, both of which were hot refuelled after they landed.
Image: AH-1W SuperCobra helicopter l and UH-1 Huey/Venom medium utility helicopter aboard the flight deck of HMAS Canberra. Photo: courtesy of POIS Yuri Ramsey / Royal Australian Navy.