Military Aviation

Republic of China Air Force could rent tanker services to refuel its F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets

The chief of the Republic of China Air Force, Lt. Gen. Huang Chih Wei, told lawmakers that the service is evaluating the need for air refueling services and future requirements.

The chief of the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF), Lt. Gen. Huang Chih Wei, told lawmakers that the service is evaluating the need for air refueling services and future requirements.

According to The Central News Agency, Huang was questioned after a local media outlet in Taiwan reports that the country is looking into leasing air refueling services from an American civilian company. The RW News report says the company is Omega, however, the reporter might have gotten the facts wrongly as Omega’s tankers operate as drogue refuelers and Taiwan’s only fighter with air refueling capability is the F-16.

It is likely that the company in question is Meta Aerospace (that recently renamed itself as Metrea) which operates four KC-135R tanker aircraft and have two jets flying now in the Pacific region, Alert 5 says.

Huang added that he is not free to speak publicly on the need on air refueling services when pressed on the issue.

Omega is the first commercial company in the world that provides air-to-air refueling services. The company converted a former PAN-AM Boeing 707-300 into a refueling tanker in 1999. The modified aircraft flew for the first time in the same year and became the worlds’s first commercial air refueling tanker.

Today Omega Aerial Refueling Services (OARS) operates a fleet of KC-707 and KDC-10 aircraft owned by Omega Air, each capable of flying over 1,200 hours per year.

Metrea Strategic Mobility (MSM) owns and operates a fleet of four KC-135R aircraft purchased from the Republic of Singapore in 2020.

MSM combines decades of air mobility experience with long-standing capabilities at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels to deliver air-to-air refueling (AAR) services across a wide range of military training exercises.

Photo credit: Metrea

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. KC-135R Stratotanker 161st Air Refueling Wing, 197th Air Refueling Squadron “Copperheads”, 63-8038 – Arizona Air National Guard – Sky Harbor ANG Base, AZ
Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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  • Why bother? The F16s will be destroyed in the first 10 minutes of the war. They won't even get off the ground.

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