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HomeTravelFrench Air & Space Force Tanker Fleet Now Under Metrea Ownership -...

French Air & Space Force Tanker Fleet Now Under Metrea Ownership – Travel And Tour World

Indrani Batabyal

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Metrea expands fleet, acquires French Air & Space Force tankers becoming world’s largest commercial refueler

Metrea has finalized the acquisition of the French Air and Space Forces’ (FASF) KC-135 aerial refueling fleet. This deal, officially signed on May 17, 2024, encompasses all fourteen of FASF’s KC-135 tankers, including the KC-/C-135FR and KC-/C-135RG models. The FASF is transitioning to A330-based tankers, leading to the divestment of their KC-135 fleet.

“With this acquisition, Metrea is putting even more ‘skin in the game’ to ensure that we have the necessary fleet capacity to provide our partners with the commercial aerial refueling support they require for training, exercises, and force movement,” said Jon “Ty” Thomas, Head of Metrea’s Air & Space Group. “As the only provider of KC-135 commercial refueling, we ensure that US, allied, and partners forces can train as they are very likely to operate in a contingency — refueling behind KC-135 tankers which remain far and away the most prevalent AAR tanker in service today and for the foreseeable future.”

In a two-part deal, Metrea received the first 11 of 14 French Air and Space Force KC-135 tankers on June 26, 2024. These included both the FR and RG variants. The remaining 3 aircraft will be delivered at a later date. This acquisition bolsters Metrea’s existing fleet of 4 KC-135Rs acquired from Singapore, solidifying their position as the world’s largest commercial aerial refueling operator. With this expanded fleet, Metrea now boasts a tanker force exceeding all but four nations.

“At Metrea, we are pleased to continue the employment of these KC-135s which served the French armed forces for over 60 years,” said Thomas. “These aircraft were maintained to the highest standard while in French service and we will continue to do the same as we put them to work as commercial assets. We are excited to show that even more commercial AAR can now be provided to receiver units that need our support.”

Metrea Soars as the Premier Provider of Commercial Aerial Refueling
Metrea stands alone as the world’s leading provider of commercial air-to-air refueling services. Their fleet of KC-135 aircraft seamlessly integrates with military operations, ensuring uninterrupted training and mission readiness for the US Navy, Marines, Air Force, NATO allies, and partner nations.

Metrea boasts an impressive track record, exceeding 130,000 safe flight hours across diverse aircraft, missions, and locations. Their unwavering commitment supports national security objectives for the US, UK, and other allied governments.

Innovation at the Forefront

Metrea’s tanker fleet features cutting-edge Multi-Point Refueling System (MPRS) pods mounted on the wings. This allows them to refuel a wider range of aircraft equipped with probe systems, including those used by the Navy, Marines, and partner nations.

Pioneering a New Era

Over the preceding year, Metrea has further broadened the use of commercial aerial refueling through multiple historic “firsts” in 2023:

1) April 2023: The company conducted the first-ever commercial boom refueling, marking a significant advancement in the field.
2) June 2023: Metrea broke new ground by providing the first commercial aerial refueling to US Air Force aircraft.
3) October 2023: Further solidifying their position as pioneers, they completed the inaugural commercial aerial refueling of US Air Force fighter jets, specifically A-10s.

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