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The 2 KDC-10 are Dutch tanker and transport aircraft from the Royal Netherlands Air Force which can rapidly deploy large numbers of cargo and troops over long distances. Besides, they can refuel other NATO aircraft like F-16 fighter jets and other aircraft equipped to be refueled by a boom system.
By refueling fighter jets, they will have to make less starts and landings which take care of a better environment around an air force base. Secondary the refuel aircraft take care that during operations the operational aircraft can fly over longer distances and can stay longer in the sky.
These two aspects were used when Dutch F-16's toke part of Operation Enduring Freedom. To refuel other aircraft the KDC-10 has a long boom on the back of the aircraft where a controller in the KDC-10 maneuvers the boom with joysticks to the fighter jet. The KDC-10 are the largest aircraft from the RNLAF.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force has 2 KDC-10 (number T235 and T264) and 1 DC-10 (which comes operation in 2007). Furthermore the Air Force will get a 4th DC-10. The 2 KDC-10 aircraft were bought in june 1992 from the civil airliner Martinair (in those days they were designated with DC-10) and came operational in 1995. After they had been bought they were converted to tanker and military transport aircraft. To make it a military aircraft it must have specific NAVO equipment like avionics, navigation- and communications systems.
Other systems that were build in into the planes are: the installation of the 'boom'-system and -lightening, adjustment of the fuel-, electric and hydraulic systems to use the boom, a 'Remote Air Refueling Operating' (RARO)-control station with the corresponding systems. The boom operator control station is direct behind the cockpit.
The KDC-10 from the RNLAF can transport cargo and passengers. This combination found his foundation years ago by the Dutch Royal Airline company KLM. KLM became very famous by this new technology. KLM has also build this system in the 2 KDC-10 and in 2005 in the 3rd DC-10. By only transporting cargo it has a maximum of 65 tons or a combination of 165 passengers and the other half cargo. Usually the RNLAF use this combination.
Difference with US KC-10A Extender
The KC-10A Extender from the United States Air Force seems like a Dutch KDC-10. Main difference is that the KC-10 has internal fuel tanks through which the KC-10 can give more fuel. On the other hand the KDC-10 has a larger transport capacity.
The KDC-10 was send for a period of ??? to Kirzigstan on Manas AFB. From there it was used to refuel Dutch, American and other allied aircraft during Operation Enduring freedom.
In 2005 Fokker Services (NL) was awarded with a contract to update the avionics from the 2 KDC-10 and DC-10 airplanes from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The contract costs 30 million dollars.
The project contains: design& layout, engineering, installation, integration, tests and certify of state-of-the-art cockpit avionics and accessories.
The airplanes will be updated with digital cockpits, Link 16 and satellite communications.
Royal Netherlands Air Force KDC-10
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|Last updated: May 19, 2012|