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The 'Vilkas' Detachment witnesses the first aerial refuelling of the Navy's Harriers with an A400M of the Spanish Air and Space Force.

En Šiauliai,Lituania
July 4, 2024
  • New milestone for the A400M and the 9th Squadron of the Navy's Aircraft Fleet
The 'Vilkas' Air Detachment (DAT), BAP-65, has been witness and protagonist of a new milestone for the Spanish military aviation, the first in-flight refuelling mission of the AV8+ "Harrier" of the Navy, carried out by an A400M of the Air and Space Army.
During the last few weeks, the 'Harriers' deployed in the Baltic Sea aboard the aircraft carrier L-51 'Juan Carlos I', part of the Expeditionary Combat Group 'Dédalo 24', have participated in various NATO air and naval exercises.
These exercises have allowed not only to test the interoperability of the "Harriers" with the rest of the coalition's resources, but also to integrate them in training missions together with the F18M and the A400M of the 'Vilkas' Detachment.
This type of training activities, between Spanish air assets, are frequently carried out on national territory and take on a special dimension in the area of operations.
Until now, an aerial refuelling mission between Spanish 'Harriers' and the A400M had not been carried out due to technical circumstances that have already been solved thanks to the work and effort of numerous specialists, technicians and engineers to certify the compatibility of both platforms, in addition to the refuelling manoeuvre.
The Vilkas Detachment, taking advantage of the opportunity of having the two air assets in the same area of operations, promoted an initiative to carry out the first refuelling mission of this type, on this occasion in the airspace of the Baltic States.
After requesting the necessary authorisations, the Operations Section of the DAT Vilkas and the Units embarked on board the 'Juan Carlos I' provided all the human and material resources necessary to plan, coordinate and successfully execute the mission.
As part of Spain's commitment to the Alliance, this event not only certified the AAR manoeuvre between the A400M and the Navy's Harriers, but also represents an extra interoperability capability at the service of all the allies for future operations.