Cool video shows British E-3D AEW aircraft refueling from U.S. KC-135 tanker over Iraq

E-3 AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft require aerial refuel to extend their on-station time.

The following video shows a U.S. KC-135 Stratotanker with the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, refueling a RAF E-3D Sentry over Iraq.

Both aircraft were involved in missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and the fight against the terrorist group ISIL.

Even though E-3s perform AAR quite regularly, the size of both the refueler and the receiver make the operation a bit more difficult, at least according to Sentry pilots.

A few years ago we posted a video of a NATO E-3A that almost hit the tail of the tanker and its flying boom during air-to-air refueling operations.

In that case, the AWACS came within a few meters from the KC-135 and performed a quite aggressive evasive maneuver pulling several negative g-forces to gain quick separation from the refueler.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.