The US Marine Corps’ (USMC) MV-22 Osprey has conducted a first in-flight refuelling with a US Air Force KC-10 aircraft.
Refuelling was carried out as part of Cobra Gold 2015, which involved five MV-22 Ospreys.
The aircraft flew more than 2,200nm, travelling from Clark Air Base, the Philippines to Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield in Thailand. During this process, the KC-10 aircraft delivered 40,000lb of fuel in mid-flight.
1st Marine Aircraft Wing Marine Medium-tilt Rotor Squadron 265 captain Victor Bockman said: "This flight was a huge success for many reasons.
"Not only did we conduct two aerial refuels, but we effectively showcased the expanding envelope of the MV-22 and its ability to range the entirety of the Pacific Command."
According to Bockman, the marines conducted non-combatant evacuation operations, bilateral training with the Thai Air Force and combat support training, as well as some aerial delivery operations.
Commenting on the KC-10, Bockman added: "It is a very capable platform that can hold more fuel than the C-130s we are used to working with.
"The KC-10 also acted as a radio relay and communicated our location to controlling agencies throughout the flight."
The V-22 Osprey, a joint-service, multi-mission combat aircraft, combines the mobility of a helicopter with the long-range and high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
It can transporting 24 combat troops and 20,000lb of internal cargo, or up to 15,000lb of external cargo, via its medium-lift and vertical take-off and landing capabilities.
Cobra Gold is an annual exercise designed to advance regional security, enhance cooperation with partner nations and find effective solutions to common challenges.
Image: MV-22 Osprey landing on a ship. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy, photo by Lt. j.g. Michael Sheehan.